If you don't have little kids, you may not be familiar with the latest craze in "Christmas." To be honest, I hadn't heard of it until the other day, but had already managed to successfully block it out of my mind -- until yesterday, that is, when Bear heard about it. Now it's the only thing on my mind.
Elf on the Shelf is the brainchild of a mother and daughter who wrote a best-selling children's book based on their own family tradition. Along with the book comes your very own elf, who you have to name and everything. Here's the fun part, though. Said Elf keeps an eye on your children in the weeks leading up to Christmas and reports back to Santa. Not only does he report to Santa, but he actually flies back to the North Pole every night while your little monsters are in bed and hands in his report in person to the Big Guy himself. No joke! I guess all that flying must make him tired and affect his memory, though, because he never ends up back in the same place come morning. This is the best part for little critters, because it means they have to run around the house looking for him every morning. (Fun!) So Elfie isn't so much an elf-on-the-shelf kind of elf as he is an elf-wherever-the-heck-he-ends-up-in-the-morning-because-Mommy-and-Daddy-were-feeling-kind-of-twisted-the-night-before kind of elf.
Bear came home from his friend's house yesterday full of elf stories. Did we know they had an elf? Where was our elf? Had we seen him? Had we heard him? Bear was ready to launch a full-scale hunt for our lost elf at supper time last night, just as I was trying to get the chicken out of the oven and the vegetables drained. He stood in the middle of the kitchen, tapping his index finger against his cheek, chanting "Where could he be? Where could he be?"
I did some fast thinking and very matter-of-factly explained that the elf always lets me know when he arrives for the season, but he hadn't checked in with me yet. He usually comes on December 1st (see how I bought myself some time...clever Mommy!) so he wouldn't be here for at least a few more days? How many sleeps? Oh, let me count. Four more sleeps, Sweetie. That blasted elf that Mommy now has to find in a small town comes in four more sleeps. Why does your friend already have her elf? Oh, I guess her elf must have come early. Maybe she and her sisters have been especially naughty this year. (OK, I left that part out because Bear would have been repeating that at school this morning, but you have to agree that it's funny.)
Anyway, now Mommy is on an elf hunt. I have to admit that it's a really cute idea and I'm sure we'll have fun with it for years to come, but right now it's just one more thing I have to do, and I only have three more sleeps.