Do you believe in Santa? How about elves? What if an elf showed up at your door with a note that he was sent by Santa from the North Pole?! Well, you can’t deny now, can you?
You’ve probably hear about or know a family with an “Elf on the Shelf.” There is a book and elf set that you can buy. I guess it tells the Elf’s story and how he is in your house to see if the kids are naughty or nice and then report back to Santa.
But we do have an elf. He arrives out of the blue on December 1st from the North Pole. He is sent from Santa. He reports back to Santa every night. And apparently, he has some free time overnight because he finds plenty of time to “get into mischief” (as I’ve overheard JT tell his friends.) On Christmas day, we will find that Elfred has disappeared just as presents have arrived… very suspicious that way.
Some folks say that all this elf nonsense takes away from the true meaning of Christmas, celebrating God’s earthly arrival as the baby Jesus. I don’t know about that. We celebrate Jesus’ birth and His suffering on the cross for our salvation on a regular basis, year-round. For me, the elf adds some childhood magic that we don’t always embrace the rest of the year. No need to save all the magic for Christmas morning.
One of the things that keeps me going with the elf is that it’s a daily creative exercise. I get some ideas from other elf moms, but other times I’ve used all those up and I come up with my own. And sometimes, it’s 11pm at night and I’m just crawling in bed and realize I forgot to elf!
I take a lot of the pictures with my iPhone for quick posting, but I also try to take a decent picture with my real camera and flash. I’m still working on my skills with the flash, so that’s another work in progress. I’m so much more fond of natural lighting in our family photos, but the reality is that much of our lives in the winter takes place after dark. It gets me in a groove for putting on the flash and making an effort to capture those moments.
We use Elfred to inspire JT, too. You know how kids are more inspired to do something if it’s encouraged by anyone but their parents? That’s where the elf comes in. The magnetic letters the school sent home for literacy development were finally opened by Elfred to make JT a message on a particularly naughty day. In turn, JT spent time making his own messages with the letters. Education win!
Yesterday JT said, “I wonder what Elfred will get into next.” I repsonded, “I haven’t seen him, maybe he left already.” JT said, “It’s still December. Elfred is always here in December.” It’s true. He’s our own family tradition. Elfred’s the source of magic and memories that my kid will carry in his heart forever… and maybe celebrate with his own kids one day.