The elf must die... or at the very least, he MUST go!
It started innocently enough. In 2009, a co-worker bought an elf on the shelf for her son. I thought it sounded weird and creepy. However, she said that her son would behave for the little red-suited creature. And that is when the temptation started.
Maybe this will work for our son. Maybe this little, cute, adorable, rosy-cheeked fellow would be the answer to my prayers.
(Side note: I'm pretty sure God doesn't use lies and scare tactics as miracles in our lives.)
After the temptation, then there was peer-pressure. This may very well be the only time in my adult life that I've caved to such an adolescent pitfall.
"It'll be fun," they said.
"Your kids will love it," they said.
"It can be a new family tradition," they said.
A new family tradition. They got me. We were adopting and our family needed some traditions of its own.
So, during my lunch break one day, aforementioned co-worker joined me as we drove out to pick up our new elf.
He was cute, in his creepy, eyes-never-quite-looking-at-you way.
But very fake looking. His hands and feet came to a point. Were my kids really stupid enough to fall for this?
I rushed home, hid him on a shelf, composed a letter and sent the kids to the mailbox. They came running with the companion book and letter from Santa announcing that he had sent a special elf to our house and the book would explain the rest.
My kids were ridiculously excited and spent an incredible amount of time talking to HLE. The kids named him Handsome Little Elf and call him HLE for short.
The first few days were fun. Where could I hide him that would be a little harder than the day before?
Then, one morning, my son came to me terribly upset.
He explained, "HLE didn't write to me on the board."
"What do you mean?" I asked.
"I asked him questions and asked him to write me the answers on the board."
You have got to be kidding me!
Now, I have to eavesdrop on elf conversation.
Certainly, finding just the right spot for him to hide is bad enough. And, the responsibility of remembering this chore weighs heavily. But now, this.
Christmas came and HLE hibernated in a cardboard box for eleven glorious months.
Then, some yuppie moms decided to up the ante and ruin it for the rest of us. The elf needed to do mischievous acts. Wallow in a bowl of marshmallows, write on picture frames with a washable marker, leave secret messages, dance with Barbie, steal the last cookie, poop out a Hershey kiss, and leave hidden messages around the house.
And God forbid that HLE take a day off and just hide in the cupboard. Blasphemy.
The chants came:
"HLE, hide somewhere hard tomorrow."
"I drew you a picture. Can you draw me one back?"
"I have questions. How old are you? Will you ever die?"
"Will you really leave if we touch you?"
"How does Santa make it around the world in one night?"
"Can you stay all year long?" (HECK TO THE N-O!!!!!!!!!)
Let me pause my rant to say this. The marketing on this little guy is impeccable. You can buy a birthday outfit for him so he can show up on your child's birthday just to check in on him. You can buy matching chef aprons so the elf can wear his while you bake Santa's cookies. You can even have a transgender elf by leaving a skirt out for him and then he magically becomes a girl elf. The list goes on.
In the midst of all the elfishness, my kids are no longer focused on the true meaning of Christmas. I can't take it anymore. Christmas is NOT about a free-loadin' elf looking for a good time.
This is our fourth year and sorry kiddos, but it's the last.
I. CAN'T. TAKE. IT. ANYMORE.
So far, HLE has been super lazy. He showed up on the 8th in our Christmas tree. 9th- hiding in the manger. 10th- on a shelf. 11th- clutching a sword on the wall. 12th-hanging from a curtain rod. 13th- hanging from the other side of the SAME curtain rod.
At this point, my kids are begging HLE to do something fun. Anything other than just show up somewhere. There's even whining and complaining that he hasn't even hidden in a cupboard this year. Because sitting out in the open is so four years ago!
Well, HLE ain't got no time for that!
Instead of HLE, this is what my kids found when looking for him today.
This is just preparation for the final good-bye. The big adios. Maybe HLE will get a promotion to oversee all the scout elves in our region. I'm still working on that.
For now, HLE is camping out on the top shelf in my closet. Maybe I'll bring him back in a week to share the big news.
This mama is done with the elf.
My advice. Read this carefully. DO NOT START THIS TRADITION!
There are a bazillion better traditions out there.
Some of my favorites that we do are decorate a gingerbread house together, bake a birthday cake for Jesus, bake cookies for Santa, watch classic Christmas movies, and we buy a book for our kids every Christmas eve and read it to them.
That last one is my favorite.
I wish you all much success with the passing... I mean, promotion of your elf.
If you have done such a thing or are contemplating it, please leave a message on my blog. We'd all love to read it.
Keep an eye out on my blog for the final good-bye from HLE.
Okay, I feel so much better now!
Now, off to bake bread and make Christmas Pretzel M&M Hugs with my kids. Something fun and delicious. Not menacing and annoying.
Smile :) donnamusing