While reading one of my favorite blogs: Renae Rude – The Paranormalist, I ran across a heartwarming story about the simple, yet often overlooked wonder of Christmas and the Elf on the Shelf by Ray Yanek.
My story is not as sweet, but I wish it was. My 8-year-old daughter Megan has enjoyed the Elf on the Shelf since 2012 and waited impatiently for when it would return this Christmas.
The elf arrived the week after Thanksgiving and although Megan had read the story and rule book the previous year, she reread it again – taking in every word much more seriously.
She knew that touching the elf would make her lose her magic and was so focused on trying to see when and where the elf went to, she wouldn’t go to sleep. She told me it creeped her out that a toy could come alive while she was sleeping.
She decided to take the elf’s magic away by holding it and sleeping with it so it couldn’t go anywhere or come alive. Yet, that didn’t make her happy either.
Hoping to salvage some happy memories about the elf, I mentioned that magic never really goes away unless you stop believing and my aunt added that she heard of putting the elf into the freezer so it can recharge. My daughter then felt confident she didn’t totally annihilate her powers.
She placed it on the shelf again after recharging.
Over the following weeks, the elf moved a couple times. Nowhere weird – the living room, dining room, etc. This still gave Megan anxiety and she finally confessed to having conversations with the elf to stop moving around because it scared her.
At this point, I asked if she wanted me to speak to the elf to go back to Santa’s workshop and stay there and she didn’t want that either.
The elf finally found a home on the mantel where it stayed until Christmas morning to make sure Megan liked all her gifts. There was a sigh of relief as my daughter woke up the following day, with no elf in sight.
I’m unsure whether the elf will return next year. But I do hope her belief in the magic of Christmas will.