Jingle Snowball aka Elf from the shelf


japan_elves

I have an elf on the shelf. I had my elf way before I had kids. I bought my elf on a whim because growing up my grandmother had the red suit long legged elf. I hated him growing up, I thought he was creepy. I hated his elf face and I didn’t like “old” decorations which my grandmother had a lot of. Like all elves of his time he was made in Japan. He never sat on the tree. He would sit on a table and he had a smaller elf friend who was also in red I think. I have no idea what happened to her elves-probably Goodwill where someone got them for a steal and is now enjoying the surge in popularity and the enjoyment of rising value. Anyway, my elf. I was flipping through a catalog and saw I could buy my grandmothers elf and he had a book. I didn’t want the book, but they were a deal. I got my elf, and gave the book away. I never even read it and I READ EVERYTHING. I was so happy, I felt like I was ten years old again decorating for Christmas, which was awesome, but at that point in life, I didn’t decorate for Christmas, my husband did a little and I still hated this creepy elf.
Flash forward two years ago, a friend of mine says- I bet you do that stupid elf on the shelf don’t you. I said I know the elf you speak of and yes I have him, but he just kind of sits off. My elf does not do wonderful and magical things. He’s a felt decoration. She thought I was one of those crazy moms- you know, elf makes cookies over night, elf mows the lawn and plants a hedgerow, elf alphabetizes the home library and puts the spices in order, elf teaches your child advanced physics. I am so not that mom. I like crafts yes and I teach Sunday School, but my elf just hung out. And all these stupid overachieving imposter elves pissed me off.
Last year, my oldest got into this elf thing- he’s magical, he moves each night, you can’t touch him, he loses his magic. So this year elf came out and sat down and my kid was like oh I wonder what he will do tonight- please not this in my home also. So we had to name him, hence Jingle Snowball and my husband has been the elf master for the past few days, last night the elf sat on Barbie’s potty and left a tootsie roll- yes I did that and no I am not ashamed, all things need to use the loo. But I am mad that my childhood nemesis, who I wanted for just a bit of nostalgia is now this thing of wonder that has to perform and brings one more crazy annoying thing into Christmas. I do it because the kids like it, but all our elf does is move and maybe climb the curtains, he does not need to be a perfect overachiever and all these moms who put him in that role. just make it so much harder for everyone else. I want my kids to laugh and enjoy the elf hunt around the house and they do all with minimal effort. I refuse to use my elf or the Jolly Old Elf as a form of achievement and reward based on my children’s daily actions- oh you didn’t clean up your toys, the elf and santa will be watching and taking notes. I just want simplicity and laughter and my kids to remember the real reason for Christmas and to be excited for the birth of Jesus.

PS In addition to the elf, I read several Christmas books each night, we have a chocolate Advent calendar and we have a Jesse tree, all of which have gotten my kids excited too.

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