August 13, 2013

how we're kickstarting the most wonderful time of the year

I love Christimas ... even in our ridiculously warm, humid and occasionally hazy tropical weather. Perhaps it's a good thing I live right smack in the middle of the equator because if I was anywhere else cold and with snow ... like with my parents in Philly, I would most likely become a blithering incoherant pile of extremely excited seasonal mess starting Thanksgiving all the way up until New Year's.

Seriously, how can you not love Christmas when you have easy access to the divine fragrance of real pine trees, beautiful and affordable ornaments, all the Christmas decorations and carols a-ringing everywhere and not to mention ... the sale, people! Oh-to-the-M-to-the-Gee ... the holiday sales and all the pretty sets of makeup!

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Oh well, like I said - a blithering incoherant pile of extremely excited seasonal mess; might be for the best that I'm on the wrong side of the planet. Hmrph ...

Anyway, for Christmas this year, the husband and I {... mostly just me since the husband lets me have free reign over our home} are thinking of starting a little holiday tradition for both our little ones - the elf on the shelf. Yes, you read right - the elf on the shelf; a special and magical scout elf sent from the North Pole by the big man himself - Santa Claus. Its mission is to help Santa manage his naughty and nice list, since his other elves are too busy licking his cookies and the yetis have their hands full churning out the toys.

Wondering how it works? Here's the children's version of what the elf on the shelf is all about.
Every year, Santa will send his scout elves out to the Elf Adoption Centers where they wait for families to adopt and take home. Then these very patient elves will hibernate until their family reads the book "The Elf On The Shelf" and gives it a name. Once named, the elf receives its Christmas magic and will fly back to the North Pole every night to report to Santa about the day's adventures around the house. Early each morning, the elf returns to its family and will "hide" in a somewhat secret location somewhere in the house while keeping watch over the family. The kids' mission is to find the elf but there are two simple rules that every child must learn when it comes to the family elf.

First; an elf cannot be touched. Second; an elf cannot speak or move while anyone in the house is awake ... after all, the elf is on a very important mission and its job is to watch and listen. On Christmas Eve, the elf will listen for Santa's bell and fly home to the North Pole ... that is, until Christmas next year.
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Now for the adult version of what the elf on the shelf is all about -  It is essentially a story written by Carol Aebersold and Chanda Bell about little elf that keeps an eye on everyone in the house, and flies back to the North Pole every night to tell Santa who’s been naughty and who’s been nice. Traditionally and this is a relatively new tradition as the book only dates as far back as 2005 - the Elf moves around the home every day from Thanksgiving until Christmas Eve and then returns every year. Now, every "Elf on the Shelf" is sold in a keepsake box with the storybook.

I love the idea behind this elf, which in my opinion is a pretty neat way to teach my kids to behave - particularly lil Ee who has developed with the "Touch-Everything-eenitis" and the "Michieviously-Sneak-eenitis" syndromes. I think it's a good way to teach her and eventually lil Kai too, that rewards do not come automatically just because they want it but with good manners and good behaviour. Besides, most families have a Christmas tradition and I thought figured this would be a cute one to incorporate into ours.

So, how am I going to go about this? Well ... since the original elf retails for USD $30 excluding postage in the US and I am on the wrong side of the planet, the next couple of weeks will see me attempting a customized DIY of our own family elf - please do wish me loads of luck on that one!

Then on Thanksgiving weekend, I will wrap our little guy up in a box {assuming I am no longer struggling with the elf!}, address it to both my kids and make it look like its delivered all the way from the North Pole. Inside will be "handwritten" note from Santa explaning what Christmas is truly about and why he sent Moe - yes, our elf will be named Moe. Then the duties of Moe the elf will officially begin December 1 and hopefully come Christmas morning, both my kids would have earned a place in Santa's nice list.

For sure this will be a very labour intensive and mind boggling tradition since mama will have to come up with ideas on how to best pose Moe around the house for the kids to find every evening {I have a day job so morning elf-hunts are a no-go for me} when they come home from gramps but I have a feeling the husband and I are going to have quite a bit of fun with this one.

What do you think ... would the elf on the shelf idea make for a good Christmas tradition for the kids?