Have you heard of the Elf on the Shelf Christmas tradition? If you haven’t and you have little ones in the house you have got to check it out. We welcomed our family’s elf to our house in 2008 and he is now a beloved tradition that fills the days before Christmas with excitement and some serious Christmas magic.
We were lucky enough to receive the Elf on the Shelf box set on my son’s first Christmas. My son was only ten months at the time. We were so excited to open our elf the following Christmas and start a new family tradition. This is something that I had never even heard of before we had children, and I wasn’t sure what it wall all about until we opened our elf in 2009.
To my surprise the box contained an adorable little elf that was just for our family and a story explaining the tradition of the elf on the shelf. This little elf comes to your home each year in December with his little red hat and kind little eyes. He watches quietly to be sure that the kids are behaving and following the rules. He then uses Christmas magic to fly back to the North Pole every evening to report the days happenings to Santa Clause. The next morning he takes a new spot in the house and is ready for a new day. On Christmas Eve he flies back and spends the rest of the year with Santa. The book does a wonderful job of making this little elf come to life and really gets the kids excited about their very own magical elf. I think we read the book at least twice a day. Our elf arrives each year with a special note telling the kids that he is happy to be back to our home and see how the kids have grown over the last year.
When we started this tradition our son was almost two and spoke with little oddities like most one year olds do. He always seemed to add an “N” to the end of every word like Dadn’ and Dogn’. So for us, when it came time to name our new elf friend he came up with the name Ralfn’! Each year after thanksgiving we get out our book and read the story of Ralfn’ our Elfn’ (as we call him). I love that his name really reminds us all of when my son was that small, and I am so excited to relive those memories year after year with the kids.
This year our little elf seems a bit mischievous and has been doing things that simply delight the kids. He comes each day and leaves a special activity in their advent stockings and an occasional treat here and there. This tradition, for the kids, means springing excitedly out of bed each morning to see where their elf has landed, and what kind of trouble he has or hasn’t gotten into. Some days he writes a good morning message on the kid’s bathroom mirror with lipstick, other days he is building a tower with their blocks. Another day he has eaten a few of the candies that he has brought to share with the kids. Now and again he is just sitting and watching our daily routine. The kids are always thrilled to wake up and see his surprises. Each morning they literally run down the hallway asking, “Where’s Ralfn”?
For my husband and I, it means staying up a little bit later at night by the Christmas tree eating Christmas cookies and and spending time talking together. We are waiting to be sure that the kids are asleep so that we can put Ralfn’ in his special spot, but in the process we are spending quality time together during a very hectic time of the year. These are evenings and mornings that I would not trade for the world, and they have become a simple joy for our family. We have had so much fun with our elf that when my first niece arrived a few years back I couldn’t wait to get her her very own elf for Christmas. Her elf was named Bear after her favorite teddy bear. There is nothing more precious then my kids calling their little cousin and asking her where her elf is sitting for the day, or their talks about how and why he flies to the North pole each night. It is just plain adorable.
If you need an amazing gift to give to family or friends with young kids this is it! The whole idea of the Elf On The Shelf is pure Christmas magic and provides wonderful memories and even bigger smiles. Get one for your own family even if your kids aren’t small – I am sure that your elf will become as much a part of your holiday traditions as Ralfn’ has to ours.
Have a holly jolly Christmas from our families Elf on the Shelf Ralfn!