Wednesday, December 11, 2013

That Creepy Elf...

I have been avoiding the Elf on the Shelf for the last few years. I see people posting pictures, and sometimes it seemed cute and funny...but mostly it just seemed creepy. The thought of a little doll that moves around at night and watches you to see if you've been naughty or nice would have given me nightmares as a child. I think it would have freaked out the older children, too. Marissa had a doll given to her by her grandmother one was very...realistic. The doll terrified her. She asked me to remove it from her the doll ended up in the corner of the hallway, until it scared ME one night coming out of my bedroom. With much guilt, we finally decided the doll must go. I think we waited a few years before we admitted to Grandma that her loving gift had terrorized our family.

Irelynn is a different child. She thrives on magic...and everything has a life of its own. She encourages magic, and wonder...and at times, creepiness. She claims to have ghost friends who take her through magic portals at night. While part of me is in awe and loves her imagination...I'm not going to lie, part of me is a little freaked out at times. Needless to say, upon hearing about the Elf on the Shelf (and who hasn't?) she started asking for one. She wrote me letters. She won't let it go in my room. I can help name the elf. She will keep an eye on it for me. After her pleas did not work, she turned to the elf itself. Someone told her that if you write a letter to the elf, it will appear. My child is nothing if not determined.

We now have an elf.

He showed up this morning. I read the book to the three younger kids, explaining how the elf flies to the North Pole at night to report to Santa on their behavior. Then it was time to name the elf.

"I know...Chris!" Owen was proud of himself.

"No, it's a girl," said Irelynn, "I think it should be Elfie or Lollypop."

"How about Tiberius?" Bruce is never going to give up on that name. He WILL find a way to honor Captain James T. Kirk.

The kids glared at him.

Irelynn replied, "I doubt elves even watch Star Trek."

Connor, quiet this whole time, piped up.


I looked over at him and said, "do you mean 'Schnitzel?'"

Connor shook his head "no."


"Yes," he said, "Snitchel."

Irelynn looked at him, shocked, and said, "Connor! That's not very nice! He's an ELF...he has to report to Santa!"

Connor just smiled.

The final decision was Elfie Schnitzel (pronounced "Snitchel.") Now I have to start coming up with creative ideas on what to do with her (Irelynn assures me that Elfie is a girl.) The idea of an elf causing mischief and then reporting to Santa on the children's behavior seems a little wrong to our elf will have to be silly without causing trouble.

I suppose I should enjoy these years where the magic is still alive in the home. I don't have much inside me...but Irelynn is finding a way to squeeze it out, little by little. Who knows...maybe by Christmas I'll think that Elfie is actually kind of cute. Doubtful...but stranger things have happened.

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