With Christmas right around the corner, our household is completely consumed with the excitement of the impending holiday.
Batman has embraced Christmas with his customary zeal for all things important to him. He has mailed no fewer than seven letters to Santa Claus, and he can tell you exactly what items he has asked for in each letter, including which might require another note for clarification.
With his current focus on all things hunting, we have spent a great deal of time on the Cabela’s website, researching and then printing off the items that my young son would like to see under the tree on Christmas morn. These pictures are painstakingly cut out, then pasted on a clean page, with some hand written drawings of Santa and his reindeer added around the edges to draw the interest of the bearded man.
Batman’s big sister, Annabelle, has a slightly different approach. She sat down with her dad one evening and they created a letter to Santa that basically detailed every pink item ever created for a horse. She mailed the letter the next day and hasn’t spoken of it since.
Both kids hound me daily, though, to explain exactly how many days until Santa comes, and how many days is THAT?! While at first the threats of “Santa’s Watching” were fairly effective in maintaining general parental control, over the past couple of weeks those same warnings fell on increasingly deaf ears.
And then we met the Elf.
We arrived home one day after school to find our coffee table adorned with cookies, hot cocoa mix, new mugs, a book called The Elf on the Shelf, and of course, the Elf herself.
The Elf on the Shelf tells the story of how the Elf came to our family.
Apparently, Santa sends Elves to selected families to watch over the children and tell him who is naughty and who is nice. Some Elves are boys and some are girls. Our Elf is a girl.
The book explains the Elf Rules, which request you name the Elf (the kids named her Sparkles) and that you never, ever touch the Elf. Each Elf flies to the North Pole every night to report to Santa on the day, and returns to his or her assigned home by morning. Each morning upon arising, the children are to find the Elf, who will of course be in a different spot in the house after her flight back from the North Pole.
The kids welcomed the Elf with nothing less than complete enthusiasm. Each day since her arrival, Sparkles has moved around the house several times.
She has ridden Annabelle’s wooden horse. Wearing her chaps.
One morning she flew Batman’s castle to the top of the bookcase and sat in the car next to it until the kids came home from school. I’m not sure what the Army man and the plastic foal had to do with the scene.
She’s rounded up the toy horses and tried to rope them.
And sat in a wreath……
on a rope…..
in a halter……
and on top of a swag next to the ceiling, to name just a few.
Despite the (I felt) rather creative and heroic antics of our Elf, Sparkles, the children have been somewhat disappointed. The owner of Batman’s pre-school, as it turns out, also has an Elf.
Her family’s Elf is a boy named Red Ranger. Red Ranger is apparently far more spirited and mischievous than tame little Sparkles. He has fished in their fish tank, zip-lined across the dining room, taken a bubble bath in marshmallows in the bathroom sink, and even hung the kids’ underwear on the Christmas tree.
It’s kind of hard to compete with that.
But Sparkles is trying.
Last night she dumped a box of Bisquick (or “Pancake Powder,” as Batman so accurately dubbed it) on the counter and made a snow angel.
Then, while I was driving the kids to school this morning, she TP’d their bunk-beds.
Sparkles really is cute, but the way her eyes follow you around the room is a *little* creepy.
Quit eyein’ me girl.
The story is that Sparkles stays until Christmas Eve, then goes back to the North Pole for one last report. She stays with Santa and the other Elves all year, until just before next Christmas, when she will return.
Stay posted for her further antics. I have a feeling she’s getting ready to step it up a bit in the creativity department.
So far Sparkles has added greatly to our pre-Christmas family harmony. She’s gotten the kids to bed to bed on time, stopped fights, and on a notable recent Sunday afternoon induced Batman to clean his room.