So the elf thing.
I held out for a long time. A $30 book and stuffed toy seemed
extravagant. Also, from what I gathered on Facebook and social
media, the whole operation seemed, well, complicated. There was a
backstory. And rules. And nightly repositioning of the doll in all
sorts of inspired and fun ways.
My middle son, Jack, requested one for years. In a fit of
desperation last December, Jack even crafted his own version, aptly
named "The Elf I Made Myself."
While I found his adaptation noble and creative, Jack hung his
head in sad defeat and muttered something along the lines of "it's
just not the same."
And wouldn't you know? After years of protest and disdain for
the whole wretched concept, I am now having an absolute blast with
our Elf on the Shelf. My husband has even gotten into the act as we
gleefully debate where little "Kane" should go each evening.
That is "Kane" as in Patrick Kane of the Blackhawks, by the way.
Not candy cane. With three boys, my chances of securing a festive
moniker like Peppermint or Kringle were about the same as my ever
buying a cute pink dress with bows. Or walking into the bathroom
and actually finding the seat down.
Part of the fun Joe and I are having with Kane is giving him a
new vice each night. Our backstory involves him spending time at
Betty Ford and quite possibly Joliet Penitentiary. Why have a
boring old elf when you can have one with a sordid past?
Doesn't every family need at least one black sheep in time for
Or rather, one Blackhawks-inspired drinking and gambling
Traditions all start somewhere. And I cannot wait to hear my
kids revisit this one in about 20 years or so:
"Hey fellas, remember when mom and dad gave our elf a
This is going to be AWESOME.
I hope the kids enjoy it, too.
Marianne is mother of three sons and the wife of a southside Irish fireman. She has learned that sometimes you're just too dumb to know what makes you happy. She blogs regularly at We Band of Mothers (webandofmothers.com) and curses with even greater frequency. Her material is written for the imperfect, the imprudent, and the impatient mothers who know that all this stuff is really very funny if you just give it a minute.
See more of Marianne's stories here.
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