Over the last few years I’ve seen Pinterest, Twitter, Facebook and Instagram be polluted from photos of a little red elf hiding in homes and making messes. Up until this year I was not interested in
A) cleaning up after the little thing
B) remembering to move it every night
C) telling my daughter she has to have good behaviour because the elf is watching.
As the title of this blog insinuates- I caved.
Meet Lemon- our Christmas elf.
I rethought this idea when my daughter— called out the Easter Bunny at the mall to the entire line up at barely 3 because his costume had a seam between the body and his shoes “that’s a man in a costume”, told the kid behind me at a Dora show “that is an actor on a costume ACTING” and while talking about having a princess at her 4th birthday party she said “can you get the real one, I’ve seen too many actor princesses”. I mean she comes by it naturally because her father is an actor and she has been watching comedy shows, improv and standup since she was born…. But where did her imagination go?! Have we been terrible parents because she has seen the green room at a theatre and been to a few auditions?!
Elf on the Shelf was a way for me to encourage Mia to believe in Christmas magic. It’s also a way for me to try and outsmart my 3 3/4 year old!
Part of what made me hesitant to start the elf was the book. It implies that children must be “good” or Santa won’t come. Not in this house! I mean, I’ve already bought half her presents and my daughter already has clear boundaries and expectations when it comes to behaviours. Not only in December! The threat of Santa/the Easter Bunny or anyone else coming is not part of my parenting style and little Lemon (our elf) will not change that.
We changed Lemon’s Rules to suit our family. Lemon comes in the night while we are all sleeping and has some fun, sometimes she gets into mischief (which is appropriate for elves, let’s get real), sometimes she is having fun but mostly she’s bringing Christmas magic to our home. When she returns to the North Pole in the day she tells Santa all the fun things Mia has done that day.
We made it work for our family. Lemon is now a part of our family and it brings the Christmas cheer to everyone in our home – including the adults that research and plot what to do next over a glass of Shiraz at 11pm.
Thanks to Lemon, Mia doesn’t have to sit on a “pretend/actor” Santa and tell him what she wants for Christmas because Lemon has already told the real jolly old man.