You’ll know if you’ve read my blog before that I gave the ‘Elf on the Shelf’ a go for the first time this year with ‘Elvis’, our stealth elf. He arrived on 1st December with his adoption papers and a warning from Father Christmas about his cheeky streak. As it turned out, Elvis was pretty lame. Meanwhile, his extended family were apparently wreaking havoc in other people’s homes.
As Father Christmas explained in his introductory letter, Elvis was only just out of training (perhaps explaining his timidity). I’ve been informed by those who’ve done it for some time, that their Elf has got cheekier and more daring with each Christmas. This time, it was fair to say, I was finding my elf-feet as Elvis’ right hand woman.
Rather than creating side-splittingly funny scenes, Elvis just tinkered with our stuff. As Christmas drew closer, he (or should I say ‘I’?) ran out of inspiration and bought couple of stocking-filler presents (shamelessly throwing money at the problem…). These included a colour-in Christmas table cloth and a pack of ‘photo box’ props to help them (indeed, all of us…) do silly Christmas photos.
Whilst my elf-antics weren’t a patch on my friends’ interpretation of what they found on the internet, I knew my limitations. Just before bedtime, I would lazily circle our house, searching for anywhere to hide Elvis. No additional accoutrement, or planned scenes for me. No marshmallow snowball fights, flour ‘snow angels’, no squirted ketchup, no helium balloons. Whilst those ideas were all great, truth be told – Elvis was bit of an after-thought in our house.
Despite my luke-warm attempts and the fact that we got off to a very slow start (my youngest went to the trouble of tidying the elf-scene that I’d carefully set out before his brother woke up…), my guys got into the spirit and leapt out of bed each morning to find out what Elvis had been up to in the night.
It ended up being a win-win: elf-excitement for them, low investment for me. What I hadn’t accounted for was the banter amongst other elf-adopters. Asking about “your elf” became a source of comedy chit-chat, as did looking (and laughing) at pictures of their crazy elves. My kids felt similarly. It didn’t matter that their friends described clever, intricate scenes that they’d discovered their elves in, whereas Elvis had got no further than climbing our tree.
Being part of a bigger ‘elf-movement’ was an unintended, but fun consequence. So, thank you elf-owners out there, for the laughs, inspiration and camaraderie. Next December, watch-out though: now I’ve found my elf-legs, the game has just begun!