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Elvi the Christmas Elf

Last year, my daughter received an Elf on the Shelf for Christmas, so this year I pulled out the book to get her up to speed.  This elf means business: He won't talk to you (Santa's rules). He watches your every move and reports to the big guy each night. And if you touch him, well, you'll pretty much kill him (well, not really, but it's not good).

I thought the book  did a pretty good job of convincing her this elf was the real deal, but no. Here's what happened yesterday, the first morning he was due to join us:

Her: "Mo-om, this isn't a REAL  Santa elf! He CAME  in a BOX!" Cue head tilt and dramatic hand gestures.

Me: "No, no honey! He MAGIC! See, look, he wasn't up on the mantle last night, and whoa, now he is!"

Her: "I want to touch him."

Me: "You can't. He lose his powers to fly to Santa and tell him if you've been a good girl."

Her: "He's looking at me. I think...I think I hear him blinking."

Well, if she's hearing blinks, I can do my makeup. I go upstairs to finish getting ready. Five minutes later...

Her: "Mommy! Look! The box! I KNEW IT!"

Panic. I left the box out? What kind of magic-promoting mother am I? And then...

Me: " Ok, yeah, he came in the box. But you know, he's like Buzz Lightyear. Remember in the movie he arrives in a box, and he's in hypersleep until he wakes up in Andy's room and that's how it is with the Elvi."

Her: "Oh, yeaaaah."

She didn't seem 100% convinced, but I decided not to push it. She moved on to her Silly Putty anyway. When we get to drop-off the first words out of her mouth:

"We have an elf and he's MAGIC!!!" And I felt only a little bit guilty.

Tell me, what lengths have you gone to keep the magic alive?