Last year was the first year of us being a family of 4 for Christmas. Little Miss was 5 and Little Sir was 3 so we assumed that they would understand Christmas and fully embrace it. How wrong could we be! Aside from us not really appreciating how terrifying the idea of a big fat man appearing down your chimney can be, the other thing they hated was our Elf!
For anyone who doesn’t know what the Elf On The Shelf is all about – basically you have a toy elf which arrives on the 1st December and stays until Christmas Eve. The premise is that they will report back to Santa about the children’s behaviour. However, over the month the Elf also gets up to mischief which the children love. Except….mine really didn’t love it!
Ellie The Elf duly moved in on the 1st December, and to begin with all was well. They loved the idea of having a visitor from the North Pole. However, we hadn’t really banked on the fact that the children are full of questions:
How did the elf get here? Well, magic of course.
How does she get back to the North Pole every night? Ummm, still magic.
How can she move when she is a toy? It’s definitely magic!
And so on and so on and so on. There is only so many times you can tell the children ‘it’s magic’ before they start to look bemused and a bit worried. Things that can’t be explained can be fun to some children, but for adopted children the issue is that you can’t explain it! They have been through so many things that can’t be explained that having yet another one is very stressful.
The next issue we came upon was the behaviour of the Elf. Now, I had fully embraced the Elf On The Shelf. I had researched things we could do and was so excited to see the children’s faces every morning. After about the second morning of them both crying when they saw the Elf, I was quickly regretting it!
We had tears because the elf was reading one of Little Sir’s books and had ‘stolen’ his toys. Tears because they didn’t want snow in the house! Tears because they knew it was wrong to draw on fruit. Oh my goodness did we have tears.
So this year I had a long chat with Mr N about whether Ellie should return. The children are older so we thought that they might enjoy her a bit more, but I’m not willing to return to them crying and upset every day. So, Ellie has returned. But….this year she is being very good! She has written letters to them (which they are loving reading) and will only appear in different places each night without getting into any mischief. Does it take away the charm? Actually no! If anything else it has taken the stress off me of trying to figure out what new mischief she would get up to.
After all a bit less stress at this time of the year can be nothing but good! Do you have an elf? I’d love to know how your children reacted to it when it first arrived!
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