Saturday, November 26, 2011

Elf Trouble

I hope you all had a nice, relaxing Thanksgiving. I had a pretty awesome week since we had the whole week off from school. I overslept, and I wore sweat pants every day. Talk about bliss. I sure hope my pants fit on Monday.

I love weeks like this because they recharge my batteries and I end up being a lot more productive. I'm not rushing Monday or anything, but I'm ready to face it when it gets here. Bring it.

Whatever, take your time Monday, I'm only messing with you.

As a result of being on vacation all week, Peanut Head and I managed to get our tree up and our Christmas decorations out. Normally we go pick out a live tree after Thanksgiving, but this year we decided to go with an artificial tree. Artificial trees have come a long way since I was a kid and you had to match the color of the branch insert to the color of the hole on the broom stick tree skeleton. In the new millennium the trees are pre-lit, and that, my friends, is a beautiful thing. I'm not going to miss any of the cranky rumblings from Peanut Head wrestling with the lights while I pointedly avoid the vicinity of the tree. 

Would you look at the size of this tree. I'm telling you, it was not this big in the store. We got it home, set it up, and we exclaimed "Holy Huge Christmas Tree!" It's gigantic. When I stand off to the right, I can't even see my hallway. It's like it doesn't even exist.

Geezo, I'm just a few paragraphs in and already I'm off topic. I came here to tell you about our elf trouble.

This Elf. Perhaps you've seen him? I picked this creepy little guy up at Barnes & Noble last year, but I've seen him at lots of different stores as well. The idea is that the Elf watches the kids and flies back to the North Pole to report back to Santa. A little Christmas intimidation and threat to go with your Egg Nog. Right up my alley, I say. I'm all about messing with my kids. My parents did it with me, and I'm passing it along to my kids. It's tradition.

Except that I kind of suck at this particular job. As with our loser Easter Bunny and Tooth Fairy, the problem is that I keep forgetting to do my part to keep the magic alive.

Our elf, Peter, has been here since Thanksgiving and he hasn't moved. As I mentioned he is supposed to report back to Santa. Every night. And come back and be sitting in a new spot each morning. Therein lies the problem. I don't just have to remember to do my job on one night, but every ding dang night between now and Christmas. What the heck was I thinking?

Yesterday Zoe casually mentioned to me as I sauntered out of bed at 10:00 a.m., "Mom, Peter didn't move last night. We woke up and we looked all over for him and he was in the same place. Why didn't he go to the North Pole last night?"

I get the feeling she is questioning the magic. Can it be?

"I . . . Uh . . . uhhhhhh. . . . hmmmm," I begin. "You might remember from last year, Peter doesn't leave every day. Sometimes he doesn't have anything to report, so he stays."

You see, I have a history here. And I lie.

Well, you would think that after being busted and silently reminding myself fifty times last night, I might have remembered to send Peter Peter Pumpkin Eater to the North Pole.

I did not.

Freaking out girls woke up this morning and again, Peter had not moved a hair.

"Uh . . . uh . . . uh . . . . "

Nothin'. I got nothin' here.

Thinking, thinking, thinking. "Hmmmmm?"

I was just as perplexed as my offspring. Why did the ding dang elf not make the trek to see the Santa Man?!!!

Throwing me a bone, Zoe says "Mom, I think Garrett and Colleen touched Peter and that's why he won't leave." Garrett and Colleen are Smashley's kids and they were here for Thanksgiving.

"Nooooooo!" I exclaim. "That's probably exactly what happened. I'm going to look into this and get back to you. We'll get Peter fixed, don't worry."

I went straight to Google to find out how to fix my stupid self. I couldn't find a long-term solution, but I came up with this one myself, that I think will at least buy me another day. I went to the girls to share my findings.

"Girls?" I said.

"Yes, Mama." Blink blink went their pretty eyes and on went their trusting smiles.

"I think Peter hasn't been working because we haven't activated him yet. We have to talk to him and tell him whether we've been good this year and also give him a message to give to Santa," I misrepresent.

Honestly, I don't even know where I get this stuff. It's like a disease. The Lying Disease.

So today Zoe pulled a stool up to where Peter is sitting collecting dust, and she had quite the conversation with him. It was long, and it was pointed.

Stinkerbell couldn't be bothered with basic friendly conversation. She likes to cut to the chase and get things done.

She left a note for him to give to Santa. Would you like a closer look?

I think I need to talk to her about her list. A couple of those things are pretty pricey.

I told Annika that she needed to fold her note up so Peter would have an easier time carrying it. The way it is now, it would create a lot of wind drag.

She went one step further. She made him a little carry sack made out of toilet paper and staples. The note is inside. I'm tempted to tell her that toilet paper disintegrates in precipitation.

So now in my Zenbe Lists app, the one I check every night before I go to bed, my little OCD ritual where I arrange and rearrange my To Do List for the next day, I have marked as a Highest Priority Item, "Move the Ding Dang Elf!"

No lie.

I'll let you know how it goes.

If I remember.

I'm so glad Peanut Head is in charge of the Santa Magic. He's much better at magic than I.


  1. I am getting an elf for the beginning of December. I am TERRIFIED that I will forget to move him. I think I am going to have to set the alarm on my phone to remind me. Good luck!!!

  2. Oh gosh this post made me laugh!! I just purchased the Elf on the Shelf lastnight and plan for him to make his appearance on Dec 1. This is alot of responsibility I'm not sure I'm ready for LOL. We watched the movie lastnight, so darn cute!!

  3. we have had an elf for a couple years now. pretty much my 5 year old thinks its a load of crap and doesnt give a flying fig if the elf tells santa hes bad or not. :p doesnt stop me from trying! and we are pretty good about moving him. one of us is better than the other, and its not me.

  4. Haha! We didn't do this elf when my kids were little. Well, I had an elf that looks like this, but it didn't come in a kit. It was bad enough I had to buy totally different "Santa" wrapping paper and sign the tags leftie as my kids were getting pretty savvy. The year my daughter said, "Look Mommy, Santa uses the same wrapping paper as us!", added another 15 bucks to the Christmas budget!

  5. This is a 'stick a needle in your eye' job... Every time my friend Jon grabs a student that totally drives him nuts, takes them in the hall to work with them on an individual basis, I poke my head out the door & say, "Why don't you just stick a needle in your eye & be done with it?"

    Movin' that 'Ding Danged Elf' would be like 'stickin' a needle in my eye'... I would never remember & I would just be bangin' my head against a wall tryin... Good Luck!

  6. I love the IDEA of elf on a shelf...

    ... but the elf is CREEPY and terrifies me!

    ... maybe a cute elf would do the same trick...

  7. That list of Annika's is too pricey all right, best to make sure the elf loses the note!

  8. LOVE it! ROFL! I just heard about this elf tradition this year and was thinking about starting it. I read a story similar to this one and realized it's not something I can commit too. I'm not so good with the Tooth Fairy, or the Easter Bunny either. For that matter I'll be lucky if Santa himself arrives on time. ;)

  9. Annika reminds me alot of my 8 year old daughter - organized, makes weird stuff out of household goods and wants expensive things (Kindle Fire is on the list!). And, actually, Julie has that SpyNet video glasses on her list too! It was very nice of her to tell Santa where to buy things though...not every child does that. :)

  10. This was too funny! I had to read it out loud to my hubby. He got a kick out of it too. And this is why I am glad my youngest is 13! I don't have to remember things like this. The downside is that his list now looks like Annika's---$100-$200 items. Good luck on your future elf placements! :)

  11. You have an awesome pre-lit tree! Ours didn't have enough lights on it, but yours is fabulous. The darn tooth fairy here has been known to not come for a day or two here. Lame-o. We have never had the elf, and I think that's probably a good thing for us!

  12. @ Kathy, I tell my kids that Santa is super busy and he drops off the gift so me to wrap.

    I wanted to do the Elf thing but couldn't see shelling out the 30 for it so I found a little Santa bear at a local church bazaar. Hope it works. I am going to go start a Pinterest board for the paces to put him and thanks to you, I am putting an alarm on my phone. LOL

  13. Ha ha - I get a great laugh out of this post. Our first year we started our elf on NOVEMBER 5 - wth was I thinking? So, now the rule is December 1. I think I can make it one month without messing up, right?
    So, the first time the elf did not move we told the kids they must have been bad that day and he did not want to have to report that to Santa - so it was there chance to be extra good so he could give a good report. Worked like a charm! Any time he is not moved the kids blame each other for being bad and they are super for a day. That little elf really is magical!
    (Now that I have older kids, it has become their responsibility...delegation at its best!)
    Love your stories!

  14. Don't forget to get on Pinterest (what am I saying are already there) and find ideas for Peter....

  15. Last year our elf forgot to move alot and my son was convinced he was dead

  16. you are a genius. you say liar. i say genius.

    gorgeous tree.

  17. Hey Jill! I just found your blog and it looks awesome. Can't wai to explore later. I'll add myself as a follower.

    Have a great day!

    Anne from Bringing Borya Home

  18. I'm sure you've found this, but on pinterest, if you search for elf on the shelf, you will get TONS of brilliant ideas of places to put the elf. Yesterday, my friend set up a card game between her elf and buzz lightyear. Hilarious.
    But I'm with you...remembering is the hardest part!