The Most Wonderful Night of the Year

Farewell for now, Elf. 'Twas a season of close calls.

Look familiar to anyone else? Happy trails, Elfie:

I wrote about telling my oldest daughter the truth about Santa and our Elf on the Shelf which, as with most of her milestones to date, was much more nerve-wracking for me than for her. I never anticipated how easily she’d take the truth, especially in front of her little sister.

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I also didn’t anticipate her wanting to be so involved in our nightly ritual of dumping the Elf around the house. Once she knew the truth, she had ideas. She made plans. And we were happy to let her shake up our standard rotation of perches 1. in the Christmas tree, 2. in a stocking, and 3. on the windowsill. Yawn.

So one night last week, I put both girls to bed, waited about ten minutes, and then got my oldest up so she could put her latest Elf shenanigan into action. I figured ten minutes was a good chunk of time. Though they do many things to drive me up the walls, those angels are down for the count once their heads hit the pillow.

We stood in the kitchen while she delegated tasks to me. This Elf positioning had something to do with him pretending to have eaten all the Halloween candy. I grabbed him off the windowsill.

Right then, as I stood holding the dang Elf in my hand and she doled out instructions, we heard the floor squeak. We both turned in horror to see my younger daughter standing in the doorway.

“I’m getting a drink of – ” she paused, glancing from me to the Elf to her sister and back again – “water.”

And what did I do? I whipped the Elf behind my back – right in plain sight of her – and sidled out of the room with my back against the wall like a crazy person.

I stashed him in the closet and started to panic. She’d seen me! It was all over, childhood ruined!

But when I came back to the kitchen, my cool, collected eldest was explaining that Elfie had simply slipped out of his spot, and so Mommy had to pick him up. It was no one’s fault. We could give him his magic back by sprinkling some cinnamon around him.

“Right, Mommy?” she asked, looking at me with a straight poker face.

Uhh, yes, cinnamon and magic and whatever else you just said.

And so our Christmas magic is saved…for at least one more year.

Hope your holidays are happy, friends!


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