This year we have a 4-year old, 2-year old and 4 month old for Christmas. So we decided it was an appropriate age to introduce the Elf on the Shelf. We’ve had many friends use it and the stories we hear are priceless and it adds a bit of extra magic during the holiday season! It did not go this way for us, I wish I would have introduced him last year.
This is our story…
So, we were sent Milton from the North Pole to spy on how kind our kiddos are being. We introduced him as the “Kindness Elf” who watches to see how kind we can be to each other. Well, we introduced him the morning of the 7th, and he vacated his site that night never to return. Our 4-year old is very bright and sharp and sometimes I literally have to say “I don’t know” to her questions, because I REALLY don’t have any idea. It drives me crazy sometimes. I do not remember having her thought processes…ever. 🙂
That morning while the family was getting ready for the day she stood there staring at Milton sitting high on a shelf. She watched him from different angles, jumped up and down to see him flinch, commented on how he looks like a stuffed animal, etc. After her observances she returned to me each time to report what she noticed.
“Mom, his eyes don’t move, how can they watch us being kind if he doesn’t move his eyes?” (He can’t move during the day, he just watches us.)
“Mom, he looks to small to fly back to the North Pole each night.” (I don’t know, maybe the reindeer come and get him)
“Mom, how did he get here?” (Santa sent him.)
“Mom, if Santa knows how we are from the North Pole, why do we need an elf?” (Maybe he want’s to REALLY make sure you are being kind.)
“Mom, this elf is too small to make toys.” (There are many different types of elves, they don’t all make toys.)
“Mom, I don’t think he is real.” (Well, we didn’t bring him, so how did he get here?)
Over Thanksgiving weekend we had taken the kiddos to see Santa at the mall. They got a photo and were able to ask what they wanted for Christmas. The same day Milton visited our home, we went to the Christmas Expo and met Santa again, and his reindeer. That night at our church Christmas party, a surprise visitor – Santa stopped by again.
When we were all home that night my daughter asked me again, “Mom, why do the Santa’s all have different faces?” “Why didn’t those Santas know about Milton?” “Why were they wearing different outfits; one Santa had a fur coat, the other had something else on?” “Mom, how does everyone fly; reindeer, Santa, Milton, fairies?” Our conversations that day went from observances of Milton, to questioning everything from Santa to fairy tales and pixy dust. I quickly realized Milton had to go. After bedtime I visited with my husband and throughout the day he had a very similar situation with her and the questions. We decided to get on the same page; we both had the same thought, Milton needed to go.
Let me stop a moment and point out, I feel like a horrible mother after all of this. I simply wanted a little extra magic and excitement for my kiddos, something fun and that would help remind us to be extra kind this holiday season. But I found myself getting lost in stories, and fairy tales, and getting way too close to killing all of the magic together.
Back to the story, that night I posted him for sale, discarded the box, and Milton left a note. He saved the magic by leaving.
Since then Milton has only been brought up a couple of times but the magic of writing a letter to Santa, and creating gingerbread mangers and singing Christmas songs has returned to normal. The magic is no longer threatened.