The Elf on the Shelf from some of my neighborhood friends with young children. They were pretty enamored with the little guy. I pretty much knew the gist of the story, you buy an elf he comes to scout out your children for Santa and in return you get some cute memories and maybe a tiny bit better behavior right before the holidays. I really under estimated the power of the elf.
I had already decided to buy some other things for Christmas in the way of decorations and such so because I had heard of the elf later decided it just wasn't in the budget. I had planned to have some elves visit the house anyway, and did just that when I caught Jac and Mia being especially good one morning. (Check out the blog post that talks about their visit.)
However, my good friend in Dallas sent our family an elf as an early Christmas present. The package arrived at such a serendipitous time, that I instantly knew this elf was going to become part of the family. Jac was melting down, he has recently being going through a growth spurt and eating everything in sight. I had made some zucchini bread and allowed them both to have one piece at around 4:30pm but had said that was it before dinner. It is highly irritating for both Jeff and I when they don't eat anything for supper. So our normal cut off is 4pm but I made an exception on this day because the zucchini bread was chock full of healthy stuff. (I plan to write a post about this recipe because it was so yummy.) Jac started to throw a fit and I decided to go get the mail in order to give him some breathing room to hopefully cool down.
I got the mail and noticed that we had a package at the side door. I grabbed the box and ran inside. The kiddos were instantly intrigued about the box. I said, let's open it carefully and see if there is a Christmas present in here. I saw that it was from Kerrie and assumed that it would be the first present we could put under the tree. The present was wrapped and it had a big note on the box that said "Open This Now". Hmmm, very interesting. I opened the card and it gave a bit more information saying that we needed to open the package now and that hopefully we would start a new Christmas tradition similar to the one her family had just started. (She seemed maybe a bit dismayed at her choice to start the tradition and maybe a bit concerned about our wanting this tradition also.) I wasn't positive but I was pretty sure the package contained an elf. So in we dug, as dinner was ready and we were just waiting for Daddy to get home I needed a serious distraction.
And distraction is just what I got. In the box was a lovely book about the elf and the elf himself of course. Before we got the elf out, I wanted to read the "instructions" so we sat down and read the book together. The book gave all of the details about the elf and exactly what his job entails. (Read more about him here.) The kids bought it immediately, it makes me a little frightened at exactly what they will believe!
When Jeff got home we sat down to name him, as the book instructed. While we were trying to figure out what his name was, Jeff touched him. You would have thought that he had picked up a bomb. The kids had allowed me touch him to get him out of the box and to put him on the mantle. But after that, the book said not to touch him or the magic might go away, so he was off limits. Mia actually left the room very angry with Daddy, I am sure that she thought the elf would no longer be able to fly to the North Pole that night. (Come to find out that the magic only starts after you name him so, no worries, Daddy will be getting more than coal in his stocking.) After much discussion between the three of us, Jac came up with Paco. We all voted and our elf is Paco the Mexican Elf, oh my.
He did fly back to the North Pole that first night, and the second night, although I think that I need to put a note on my bathroom mirror to remind me to move him each night because Jeff actually remembered to move him at about 2am last night, thank goodness. It could have been a disaster if he had forgotten entirely. I think that is why Kerrie is a bit dismayed at her family's new tradition, because we can't forget about Paco. The devastation would be monstrous if they thought that he hadn't gone to talk to Santa one night. Both Mia and Jac were ecstatic, and really I promise they were crazy with joy, when they realized that he had indeed gone to the North Pole, given his report and flown back to our house only to sit in a different spot and wait for them to find him. Wow - if someone had dumped a truck load of puppies off at our house I am not sure we would have gotten a better response. I already thanked my friend for the elf, but I want to thank her again for giving us so much joy and happiness with this crazy little elf.
It does creep me out a bit that Paco is moving around the house. The last two mornings I have wondered where I will find him, sort of like a stealthy pet that likes to hide (my roommate in college had an iguana that liked to hide in our closets on top of the hangars!). Regardless, Paco is here to stay, at least until Christmas comes. I will give you more updates as we get to know Paco better over the next few weeks.
Do you have The Elf on The Shelf? If you have Santa believers in the house, I highly recommend him.