How the Elf on the Shelf Saved Christmas
My 8-year-old daughter was iffy on Santa, until the Elf on the Shelf and his overnight antics made her believe again. Plus: cute ideas to try with your Elf on the Shelf
What a drag this was. Often, my husband and I would be nearly asleep, when one or the other would bolt straight up croaking, "The friggin elf!"
We did forget once. Surely, this would make the truth clear? No, Amelia made an excuse for him (rain, ironically). But every other morning she raced around like a kid half her age, squealing and beaming when she found him, in a light fixture, atop the cookie jar, next to a pile of mail. Jolly, as he'd been named along the way, began to grow on me. He made an 8-going-on-14 year old believe in magic. Had she been doing it to pull my chain, or annoy her brother, she would have tired of the routine in a few days. No, she believed that Jolly flew from our high-ranch on Long Island to the North Pole every night (well, except that one).
On Christmas Eve, he left for the last time, as apparently those of his kind do. Christmas Day kept her mind off of him. But on the afternoon of the 26th, I found a picture on the fridge. A girl drawn in blue, with a red bow, and tears nearly as big as her head. Underneath: "I miss you Jolly."
Report cards and party invitations have gone up and come down around it. It has a ketchup smear, and the construction paper has gone a little gray, but I won't take it down. I've been afraid to ask her if she still misses Jolly, because in the past 10 months she might have finally crossed the bridge from child to tween.
Is 9 too old to believe?
Jolly will be back the day before Thanksgiving. And I, for one, can't wait.