For a few years now, I've been hearing about The Elf on the Shelf from other mothers of small children. This December, I finally broke down and bought one. The Elf on the Shelf either strikes people as cute or creepy. I think he's kinda cute; Jay thinks the Elf is going to come to life in the night and kill us. You be the judge:
If you've never heard of The Elf on the Shelf, here's how he works: You purchase an Elf on the Shelf set, which comes with the cute/creepy elf and a storybook about him. The storybook explains that the elf watches you all day long. When you fall asleep at night, the elf flies off to the North Pole to tell Santa whether you've been naughty or nice all day. He can also relay messages to Santa about what you want for Christmas. The elf then flies back to your house, but he never ends up in the same spot as before. Every morning, he's somewhere else in your house, and you have to look for him. On Christmas Eve, he disappears, only to show up suddenly the following year on the day after Thanksgiving. (Or perhaps several days after Thanksgiving, depending on whether Mommy actually remembers that the elf is supposed to show up.)
WCK was a little bit skeptical when we first took him out of the box:
ME: He has magic powers.
WCK: This guy?
ME: Yes. He has magic powers.
WCK: This guy?
WCK: This STUFFED ANIMAL has MAGIC POWERS???!?!
But once I read her the book, WCK was totally into the elf's powers. She even dropped him with a little scream when I got to the part about the most important Elf Rule: Never touch the elf, or his magic will wear off. I wasn't aware of this rule, so this made getting the elf into his first WCK-watching position a little bit hard. I had to sort of shove him into a corner using the edge of the book.
WCK named the elf Ralph, and we have to hunt for him every morning. Ralph has never been in the same place twice. He's turned up on top of the fridge and on top of the nativity scene. He's been trapped in the entertainment center and has been found hanging from lamps and window blinds. This morning, Ralph was in the car. Ralph is a little crazy.
We have just another week left with Ralph, and I have to admit that I'll miss the little guy. At least Jay will stop hearing elf footsteps coming for him in the middle of the night.