We are in the thick of the holiday season and while it is difficult to feel joyous in light of the recent Newtown tragedy, the festivities must go on, for our children’s sake, even if our hearts are weighing very heavy.  I am going to write my post about Andie the elf this week as planned, not because I am not feeling broken by the unthinkable loss of human life and innocence that occurred last Friday but because next week is Christmas and my girls are over the top excited.  My heart goes out to the victims, their families and the people of Newtown.

Meet Andie.

This year, I decided to follow suit and summon a magic elf to visit our home and watch over my kids during the weeks before Christmas, reporting back to Santa on their behavior.  My girls were delighted to meet our elf and quickly decided on Andie for a name.  At the time, we thought Andie was a boy but later discovered that he is actually a she.  The girls get a real kick out of Andie’s silly antics, swinging from our ceiling fan and hiding behind our plants.

Every day since Andie’s arrival, my girls come parading out of their room in the morning giggling and saying, “I wonder where Andie is today” or “we have to go find Andie!”

The bottom line is that they LOVE the game that the elf plays.  Searching and finding their magic friend is a blast but in our house  the threat of Andie watching over them and reporting back to Santa is about as menacing as a threat from Grammy Bigs (my mom).  In other words, it is a joke and as you might expect, we still have the same amount of whining, tantrums, and sibling quarrels.  Andie’s presence has not changed that.  Quite honestly, I feel a bit ridiculous telling my girls that they better be good because Andie is watching.  It’s really far-fetched.  Flying reindeer are one thing but magic elf dolls? Come on.

Although my oldest daughter, who will turn 4 in January, has not called me out about Andie being a toy like Stephanie’s daughter did (see her post about Santa and his cohorts if you missed that story), but logic beckons that if my kids truly believed in Andie’s magic, wouldn’t they be on their very best behavior all the time? Or at least more than usual?  Just when I thought there was no way that my oldest daughter believes in Santa’s little helper, Grammy Bigs accidentally knocked little Andie off of the stair railing where she had been having a blast sliding down the night before and my daughter lost it.  I mean she was beside herself.  There were water works and shrieks of “No Grammy, No! You can’t touch Andie or she will lose her magic!”  It was a major meltdown.

I did my best to console my daughter and I used a set of tongs to replace Andie on the stair rail without “touching” her.  I explained that because Grammy only bumped the elf accidentally, her magic would likely not go away.  It took a minute to calm my daughter down and we had company over so it was a bit chaotic for a moment and that is when it hit me – she really believes in the magic of this little felt doll.  She believes the storybook.  It was so sweet and spoke volumes about how innocent children really are.  And lo and behold, Andie did make it back to our house the next morning (after another quick visit to the North Pole to update Santa on how my girls barely ate their dinner ) so as far as we can tell, she still has her magic.

Do you have an elf on the shelf and do your children behave better when the elf is watching?  Do you think the elf is creepy?



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