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Oh My Stars!

A Highly Effective Elf

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.

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6 Responses to “A Highly Effective Elf”

  • i saw that at borders a few weeks ago! so cute and clever. but not wanting to spend the money, my hubby and i made up our own. we bought a $3 plush reindeer at walmart – composed our own letter – and Chip is now a fixture in our home. He can’t talk to the children but the boys do talk to him. The difference is we do let them touch him. Often the boys take him with them when they go play in their rooms and they like to snuggle on the couch and whisper things to him. so much fun!

  • Sarah, I thought about making small elf dolls to give as gifts for Christmas, thinking they would make a great gift and after finding out how expensive the Elf on a Shelf were. I even started toying with a pattern. I never even thought of using an already made stuffed animal! Very clever.

  • what a wonderful idea! I love it!

  • We adore our elf as well.

  • Lana:

    I have an elf that is 40+ years old that always sat on the rim of the lamp in our living room when I was a kid (at christmas time…). When mom was downsizing christmas stuff I snagged him and he now gets put out every year. How I wish I had heard this story years ago when my older girls were little…but since I had this midlife baby, I guess we can start a new tradition. I will have a look and see if I can find that book!

    Again …( and again…) thanks for sharing.

  • Michelle:

    I found two little elves in a thrift shop back when my now 12 year old son was a wee little boy and they came in with the Christmas tree each year. They always stayed in the tree but were always in different spots. They watched my boy being good and bad both and reported it all to Santa. And on Christmas Eve, they left with Santa.
    To my amazement, 3 years ago, I started seeing Elf on the Shelf in stores. I thought it was just a little fun thing we did at our house but now I know better.
    What fun it is to have kids!

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