Friday, December 12, 2008

Our Christmas Elf

(shhh... don't tell anyone!)

I’ll let you in on a little secret.

We have a Christmas elf who lives at our house.

He usually arrives right around the beginning of December. He sits in our family room, watching and listening to the way we treat one another. (And, amazingly, we usually are a little kinder when he’s spying.) Last year he decorated our tree with tinsel one night when we were all asleep. One year, he delivered brand new jammies to each of my children’s pillows on Christmas Eve.

Every morning after my children are dressed, there is a dash downstairs to check and see where our elf will be. He chooses a different vantage point every day.

(My dad thinks that’s a little creepy… I think he’s worried about being on the naughty list.)

Sometimes he’s on the mantle or above the television. Sometimes he’s peeking out of a stocking. Yesterday, he was seated among the figures in our Fischer Price manger scene. (He gave us the opportunity to talk about Baby Jesus, that clever little elf.) This morning, he was nestled in the branches of the Christmas tree.

In a week or so, we’ll give our little elf some letters to bring to the North Pole. He must travel there with elf magic, because he manages to deliver our letters and be back in the morning when we wake up.

My boys are wary, though. They have noticed that our plate of Christmas treats is always a little more empty in the morning time than it was last night before bed. They suspect that the elf is getting a little snackeroo while we snooze. (But those darned striped pants are so slimming… it’s hard to tell if he’s putting on weight.)

We can’t really say where our Christmas elf came from. We have seen him at Grandma’s house when we’re visiting. He likes to sit on her cookie jar and smile at us as if he knows we just thought of removing the lid when no one was looking. Our neighbor claims she gave us the elf when we first moved in, but her recollection is foggy at best. It won’t stand up to serious scrutiny. (Maybe we need to put Pat Fitzgerald on this one… or Perry Mason – he might be a little less busy.) At any rate, the origins of the elf have passed out of our family memory.

What is certain, though, is that his presence in our lives is only temporary. Christmas Eve is the last we see of our little friend. Before bed, the children are certain to say goodbye (and yes, there has been a tear or two shed from time to time.) But when Christmas comes, we are celebrating the birth of Baby Jesus. I have a feeling the elf doesn’t like being upstaged.

Having our friend here in our home is a singular honor, and my children know that it is a secret for us to keep. I’m letting it slip, though, just this once, in the hope that you might catch a glimpse of your own little elf friend. You never know when he’ll show up, or for how long. If you do see him, though, you may find it’s a little easier to show some Christmas cheer. There is, after all, a little someone watching.

That’s all for now, though. I’m off to get me some of those striped pants. …darned Christmas treats.

- Midwest Mom


  1. How fun! I love the earnest expression on that elf's face.

  2. We have an elf too... actually two. We have twins.

    I grew up with an elf and my parents made sure to pass on the tradition.

    I love it and always love hearing other families who have a similar tradition.

  3. How delightful! Would you let the elf know I brush my teeth and go to bed on time? Thanks!

  4. Heh... what a delightful post. I loved it!! I think I need a Christmas Elf around here to liven up the mood and oh... if you find a pair of striped pants in my size, please please please.... let me know ASAP!! =)

  5. I loved this...Pure Christmas magic. I wish I grew up at your house! *grin* ;o)))


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