Day 15 here in WeNdYs WiNtEr WoNdErLaNd
AND WE’VE BEEN
In my home the name “Christmas Elf” brings a smile to your face, and a flood of priceless memories immediately come to mind. Long before the book “Elf on the Shelf” came out, Elves have been a huge part of our Christmas holiday. I only heard about this book last year and still haven’t looked at it. I’m sure it’s a great book for some, but we have so much imagination and creativity in our elf tradition already that the generic looking book doesn’t interest me. My elves are happy, they don’t get into trouble, they aren’t moved every night, although some of them show up in funny spots. The elves at my house come when the Christmas trees and decorations appear and are gone on Christmas morning. So here is my little Christmas Elf Tale!
My son is now 22 years old and I believe that I first brought home an elf when he was 2, so I have had about a 20 year experience with this. Way too many stories to tell and pictures to be shared. Soon after that year the elf tradition took off and my children grew up knowing no other way at Christmas.
A couple of things I must share first. I have collected elves for many years and that is why I have so many, probably a hundred or more, of them. I am always keeping an eye out for them too, as well as my friends and family who find one here or there for me. I find them at after Christmas sales so I don’t spend tons of money for them either. Most were purchased at sales for 70% off. Since I have three children I have always tried to four of many of them if possible, so they can have their own in the future. I also search for them at antique shops and have found some little treasures too. When packing up my Christmas things, I label the elf boxes “Wendy’s Quilting Stuff- Not Christmas” and put them at the back of the boxes. This way my children won’t want to look in them! They think my sewing stuff is boring!
This year, for the first time in many years, I decided to organize them all again since I have many new ones stuffed in bags, from sales over the past four years, that have never been used. I found a little tragedy as some of my original elves were broken. This is a first!
But surprise! As I found quite a few that I had totally forgotten I had purchased! Like these cute little elf candy ornaments!
Every year when we put Christmas trees up at our house and decorate, usually the day after Thanksgiving, my children go to bed and wake up to find that the Christmas Elves have arrived. They are all over the house! Including a few in each of their bedrooms including their own Christmas tree, which is in each of their bedrooms as well.
It’s like the game “I Spy”! Many hours and sometimes days are spent on a never ending scavenger hunt to find Santa’s Elves! Do you see the ELF in the picture above?! I usually put the same elves in close to the same places each year as it helps me to have a system and makes it easier to collect them all and put them away too. That is with the exception of …
The green one shown here also know as the “Crazy ELF”! Every year his is in the kitchen but he changes locations every once in a while! My husband has his own fun in placing it in a new crazy when he wants to! He thought of the idea of moving it too! Well this was always a favorite activity for my son to wake up and see where he was next! Sometimes the “Crazy ELF” would change locations when we went out for the evening! This year when I brought them out and my children shared their “ELF” memories with us, they all remembered and talked about the “Crazy ELF”! So last night I had him grab a friend and jump to hang from his favorite spot, the kitchen chandelier!
An elf on a china hutch! These great Annelise Elves that I love have such neat facial details that we swear that their eyes move! Their eyes have been the topic of many “Elf Time” conversations, and spying on our part!
And even an original Holboll type elf from Sweden with a history of its own! I also have quite a few little garden gnome type elves that I didn’t picture!
There are very large standing elves that can guard the stairs or tree and presents too, or any other area if needs be!
The best part of having Elves in your home, besides the children staying on their best behavior, are the many memories and stories to tell! My first funny ELF memory was when my son was about four years old. His sister had done something he didn’t like and he had pulled a chair over to the bookshelf and was standing on it! He was going on and on telling this elf what his sister had done and for him to tell Santa all about it!
My youngest daughter always loved these and elves and wanted to tell Santa all about it! She was always leaving notes and pictures for him!
She just turned 16 last week and was amazed when I pulled out her old letters and this elf and told her stories of what she used to do! She wouldn’t have believed me if I wouldn’t have had them to show her! One year she wanted to make sure that the same elf would come back to our house so she made him a name tag bracelet. She put her name on it to make sure that Santa knew to send the same elf,that she loved so much, back to her again!
She also wrote this note to the elves! “Can Elves talk and walk and do you use magic? Please tell me! and show me!”
Another year a book full of labeled pictures for Santa! I wish I had the time and space to show you all of the wonderful pictures!
With even a reference to Mrs. Clause! One year we took the children to New York City for a week of Christmas excitement! We thought the children would be so excited but Claire was devastated wondering if Santa and his elves would find her there in the hotel! Well we took a blow up, yes if you can believe it, Christmas tree and many favorite elves! Somewhere I have a picture of Claire in the hotel staring at the elf on the table in NYC.
I could do a whole post one day about her many books! Both of my daughters published books in Elementary school for their classes and they both chose to tell stories about Elves! It was something they loved.
Here is a picture of Claire from a couple of years ago when we received some Christmas goodies in this fabric elf container! She put the lid on her head and became an elf! It reminds me of those jibjab cartoons where you insert you picture in the dancing elf cartoon! Yes we sent those out a few times! Too funny!
So there are only two problems that might come up with having Elves come into your home for Christmas!
First is that other children that come to visit, or hear about it at school, will be amazed at this and some will wish that they had an elf at their house! Really makes you feel bad when the same child wonders year after year why they don’t. You have to tell your children to tell them that your mom knows HIM and is connected!
Second is when Christmas is over, the elves go away to The North Pole on the sleigh with Santa on Christmas night and sometimes it is hard to get the elves out of their bedrooms, you might forget to take one away! So you tell them that Santa left one or two to make sure you are still being good!
But the idea that your children will be on their best behavior, or at least you have a way to bribe them, for the whole month of December because Santa’s Elves are watching and reporting back to him, far outweighs any problems you might encounter!
So I leave you with all of these “elfish thoughts” spinning around in your head. Hopefully memories from your family or ideas of your own to begin a new elf tradition too. This picture is of my very special and favorite elf! My dear friend Harriet made this for me by hand! I will treasure this elf forever! When my children were very little and I was beginning the Christmas Elf Tradition she told me how she did it in her home. I took her ideas and made them my own. I started out with a couple of elves that year and they grew each year from there into something wonderful! What do you think about Elves now? Do you have one of your own?