Did you ever imagine your life as a parent with a doll that needed to be carefully placed each night after the little people went to bed? It is one of the many things I never thought about before I became a Mom. We were given our elf, Jack Cereal (the cereal part of his name is because he looks like one of the guys from the Rice Crispies box), four years ago. At that time, I had no idea of the allure or the mystery an army of elves could add to Christmas.
Jack is a part of our holiday traditions that I love in the beginning of December and loathe by the 20th. Trying to remember to move him around each night and be clever in the process is a bit taxing. But my kids LOVE Jack! Watching their sense of wonder as they look around the house to see where he has been and what mischief he has found is what makes it all worth it.
We don’t use Jack in a punitive way to report to Santa. I know that is part of its design-to keep the kiddies in line as the Christmas chaos ensues. But we do it for the fun! Threatening doesn’t generally work at any time of the year. And if you threaten the toys from Santa doesn’t that work against the spirit of the season? Besides, it gets a little creepy to watch the kids with their eyes bugging out trying to determine if the elf is going to report them. We don’t really need a conspiracy theory to add to all the holiday drama.
So I will try to be creative with my Elf on the Shelf. I will use props like toilet paper, dry erase markers, and powdered sugar all in the name of making my children smile. And to inspire my fellow Moms and Dads who actually like dreaming up silly Elf antics! Not to mention the fact that my husband and I like to collaborate to make the kids laugh.
As you dream up the perfect location each night for your elf to land, remember these memories will last a lifetime. You are giving your children and yourselves a magical holiday gift. Perhaps your Elf creativity will help inspire your children in some way. And if you lack inspiration, remember that if you google “Elf on the Shelf” you can find all kinds of good ideas. (We can discuss life before google at another time.)
Feel free to share your elf pictures if the spirit moves you!