is currently driving my cat crazy. I’m going to have to avoid Dangling Elf scenes in the future. He’s sitting on the stairs meowling at them IN AGONY because he can’t tackle them. I hope he shuts up before I have to go to bed.
Kaelin had her best friend over tonight. At one point, Paige came bounding into the kitchen holding the elves, which my kids play with all the time and had introduced her to upstairs. “Are these their elves? I thought you couldn’t touch them?”
Ok. WAS NOT PREPARED FOR THIS.
Quick history: there are (at least) two traditions for Christmas Elves. One is the Elf on the Shelf variety, in which all the elves look exactly the same and the kids can’t ever touch them because if they get touched, they lose their magic and can’t fly to Santa any more. Elf on the Shelf is the variety that is sweeping the nation right now – you can buy these elves at Target now, so it’s pretty ubiquitous.
We, on the other hand, chose to go with the Elf Magic version, in which the elves are designed to be personalized and played with. They’re basically little dolls and the kids dress them and carry them around all the time. Our elves came with “Magic Snowflakes” that the kids are supposed to sprinkle on the elf each night when putting it to bed.
So while I have been very aware of the elves’ presence and role in MY family, it had not occurred to me until the very moment that another child questioned me, that I would ever have to RECONCILE our ridiculous fiction with somebody else’s ridiculous fiction, without dismantling EITHER ONE OF THEM.
If you have ever met me, you probably know that I do not fare well in spontaneous challenging situations for which I am not prepared.
I did the best I could at the time, and explained to her that you can only touch the elves if you have the magic snowflakes to sprinkle on them at night, because that’s what gives them their flying power. Thank goodness she didn’t ask where to get the magic snowflakes and how come her elf didn’t come with them… although I wouldn’t be surprised if her parents end up faced with those inquiries.
She had all kinds of questions, like why didn’t we get to name our elves like she did (Santa had already named them) and how did we know their names (letter from Santa) and what kind of things did our elves do at night, because she heard there was a snowball fight and where did they get the snow?
When her dad and little brother came to pick her up, she ran out to tell him that you can really touch the elves. I hastily explained to him that we had elves also and that they were a little different because they came from the OTHER side of the North Pole (what is that, the South Pole? No idea what I was talking about.) Regardless, I’m pretty sure I just complicated their Elf on the Shelf tradition exponentially.
So, parents who are doing the Elf on the Shelf thing. It’s probably in your best interest to tell me before your kids hang out over here so we don’t make your lives harder by introducing traditions that don’t quite sync up with yours. ‘Cause even though I have a permanent tourist visa there, the Land of Awkward is one of my least favorite places to visit.