We’re an Elf family. Our little sprites (Johnifer and Glinda) come to visit us sometime after Thanksgiving, and stay until Christmas Eve. Even though they add one more task to an already busy season, I believe it’s worth it. The innocent excitement that comes along with the daily hunt for the elves is a tradition that will be gone too soon, and one I’ll cherish forever.
We do elves a little differently in our house. They don’t serve as, “Better behave, the elves are watching,” because that just doesn’t feel right for us. Our elves are visitors. They spend each day with us to bring some holiday cheer and excitement, not to tattle on bad behavior. My girls prepare snacks for the elves, leaving tidbits nearby and checking hopefully for signs of missing bites. They write notes of love and appreciation, which I secretly save for them to read when they’re older. My little one makes clothes for the elves, using scraps of fabric, ribbons, and construction paper, and delights in seeing the elves enjoy her creations.
The elves are part of a daily hide-and-go-seek game (how did they get on the ceiling fan?) but they also encourage goodness. Every few days, the elves bring a note suggesting a selfless task for a friend in need, or a brownie mix to make for a neighbor, or encouragement to donate toys and clothes to someone who has less.
I admit, I’m somewhat of a Grinch. I don’t look forward to the holiday season, or enjoy the disruption in routine, pressure to shop and spend, and letdown that follows on January 1st. Yet somehow, the arrival of our two little elves kick-starts my excitement every year. Something magical happens as my husband and I plan the next hiding spot, bit of mischief, or random act of kindness the elves will inspire. They’ve even become a part of our Christmas Eve tradition. We order Chinese food, watch “Elf” with the elves, and the girls give the elves a goodbye hug before bed.
If your home has an adopted elf or two, you understand the bittersweet goodbye each year, as well as the relief that you won’t forget to hide the elf until next December. Share your stories, memories, and ideas with our readers, below. Happy December!