Last Christmas our family received a wonderful gift from a friend.
It was called The Elf on the Shelf. And it was an instant sensation at our home. After a short debate, the little red elf who came in the box was named Ralphie. (With a nod to A Christmas Story.) And he was placed in a strategic spot in our home that very day.
Ralphie comes with a book that describes the tradition and warns the kids not to touch him, or his magic would go away. Ralphie’s job is to observe the children of the house and report back to Santa every night. Each new morning he will “hide” in a new spot so he can keep an eye on the kids.
Every morning last Christmas season the kids woke up and looked for Ralphie first thing. They delighted in the funny and clever spots Ralphie found to spend his day. The kids even took to having little chats with Ralphie… asking what it was like at the North Pole, and whether Santa was going to give them toys or coal. On Christmas Eve, Ralphie left our home and headed back to the North Pole to spend the year with Santa. He left a note that he would be back again next December.
Around the beginning of November the kids started thinking about Ralphie again. Would he come to our home again… or, gasp, choose another family. I was amazed they remembered him. Ralphie apparently made quite an impression.
Ralphie returned as promised on December 1st. And today, I am pleased to announce that my kids have once again turned over a new leaf. Not because of my exemplary parenting skills (I wish) but instead due to one little red elf. Who knew an elf could be so effective?
All you’d need to do is drop by my house for a visit, and while you are here try putting one toe out of line. You will promptly be told that Ralphie is watching… and he is going to tell Santa that you were mean, or not sharing, or not doing your jobs on time. Welcome back Ralphie.