I could never have planned it this perfectly. It started completely innocently, with my sister dialing her pediatrician, who happens to share our area code and exchange, and accidentally calling us. HRH answered the phone and ended up chatting with my five-year-old nephew on speaker (HRH talks to everyone on speaker). Josh's first question was "Did you make a bed for your elf?", which was met with a resounding "huh?" from both boys.
Now our Elf on the Shelf has been residing in my glove compartment since I purchased him at Barnes and Noble last week. At first, I was trying to figure out how to introduce him, perhaps a letter? should he just show up? did the book seem a little cloying? Then, quite honestly, I simply forgot about him. But this? Kid-to-kid rumor transmission? Flawless! Auntie and I finally wrestled the phone away from the young 'uns and - still on speaker - we asked her a series of questions regarding the Elf's mythology:
The magic Elf is on recon, sent by Santa to monitor the behavior of boys and girls and report his findings back to The Big Man and Mrs. Claus.
Rule 1: You must prepare a bed for the Elf
Rule 2: Children must never touch the Elf
Rule 3: Children may speak to the Elf but only grown ups can hear him talk back
Rule 4: You adopt your Elf by naming him
Rule 5: The Elf returns to the North Pole each night to provide intel.
Rule 6: Each morning, you will most likely have to search for the Elf, who likes to hide, the little trickster.
We had just bought Gremlin a new pair of sneakers today and have a brand new, cozy shoe box that seems like a perfect Elf bed to me. Step One? Check! Next, we went up to the linen closet to find a nice, soft hand towel for a blanket. The first one I pulled out? Red with green piping and a big Santa appliqued on the front. Step Two? SCORE! We were so on our way!
Lastly, some concern has been expressed about Santa knowing that it was time to deploy the Elf. Through a follow-up phone call to Auntie, we learned that while she did indeed already have her Christmas tree, she felt sure that Santa, seeing the Christmas lights on our house would know we were preparing for Christmas, regardless of our tree status.
In addition to the bed, the boys have set aside cookies and a juice box, and queued up a movie - A Christmas Story - should the Elf wish to watch it. And just in case, instructions for operating the DVD player have been yelled out the back door. In a little less than an hour, Daddy will arrive home to find an Elf sitting on our stairs and will bring him inside, to meet the family.
I can hardly wait!!
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