Monday, November 8, 2010

Elves and Wise Men

There's a sneaky little guy getting ready to move in with the Robert family next month. Perhaps you've heard of him before. He goes by the popular name of the "Elf on the Shelf" aka: Moe. Well, at least his name will be Moe at our house, because it makes me giggle every single time I say it in my head. Moe the of Santa's ambassadors sent to make sure Evie and Gracie mind their parents. He'll cause a little mischeif; maybe leave a treat or two here and there, and soon he will become yet another established tradition for our family to enjoy year after year.

Okay, have I totally lost some of you? Don't feel bad if you have no clue what I'm talking about, because up until two days ago I had never heard of this so called "Elf on the Shelf" either. But apparently this little guy is a time-honored tradition for many families all across the country. Well, huh. Frankly, I'm a tad bit insulted that I have been in the dark for so long. A fun family tradition? Why didn't someone tell me? :) Here's the gist of how he works:

Families that welcome one of these miniature pals into their homes choose a specific night each year that he will make his arrival. Some choose the day after Thanksgiving, others pick the first day of December, and some wait until mid-December, or even the week before Christmas to welcome their elves to the family. Each family gives their elf a special name...many choose cutesy names like "Snowflake" or "Skip." Well, my kids get Moe. (And Eric and I are already having too much fun with it. "We're gonna make some 'mo mischief...bring me some 'mo treats...Moe don't come around here no 'mo.")

Every night, after the kiddies are in bed, the elf sneaks around the house, playing little pranks or leaving treats or doing whatever mom and dad says he's going to do. Oh boy, do I have some plans already! The idea is that the Elf on the Shelf is the eyes and ears of Santa Clause, and he reports back to the jolly guy if the children are being naughty or nice. The one rule of this tradition is that the kids can never touch the elf or he will lose his "magic." Heh. Good one, parents. Way to keep little fingers away!

So many of my online mommy friends raved about this tradition that now I just have to try it out myself. Many of them shared how their children ask when their elf is coming every year, and it's something the entire family looks forward to. Well, sign me up! I know Evelyn won't exactly "get" the concept this year, but if I know my daughter, all the fun will be in looking for our little guy every morning when she wakes up.  I can hear her now, "Oh, Mooooe, oh moooe, where aaaare you?" (This is how we find her pacifier every day, haha. It's almost become like a game. "Oh, paaaci...oh, paaaaci, where aaaaare you?")

Our little Moe will show up on December 1st, with the arrival of the first gift of Christmas, a tradition we established as a family last year. More on that some other day! But instead of purchasing the "official" elf, I'm going to be keeping my eyes out for a more plush, less creepy looking Moe to use. Let me know if you see anything resembling one of Santa's helpers in the stores!

If you're interested in starting this tradition with your little ones, you can get more information and purchase some elf gear at the official Elf on the Shelf website. It's actually a really cute, well done site that I highly recommend just checking out for the fun of it.  (I especially like clicking around the North Pole, hehe.)

Click here:

But what if you don't do the whole Santa Clause thing? Well, I actually have some friends that do this tradition for fun with their children anyway, and they still get a kick out of it. But, there's another cute tradition that you can do involving the nativity that will give your littles the same kind of anticipating excitement each day. When you set up your nativity scene this year, leave out the wise men. Have your kids choose a spot (or you can choose) far away from the nativity, and each night when they're in bed, move the wise men a little closer to the scene. You can have them move across a room, or through your whole house if you want! Your children will enjoy waking up each day to see where they ended up, and by Christmas morning the wise men should be in your nativity scene with baby Jesus and the gang. :)

So no matter which you choose, cherubic watching elves, journeying wise men, or something else entirely, consider establishing a new fun tradition with your children this holiday season. This is the stuff that memories are made of, and while I don't want to overload my kids with dozens of different activities, I do want them to have a few constants that they can look forward to year after year. You only have about three weeks until December 1st, so start preparing now for fun days ahead! 


joyce said...

I guess I should come up with something, you know as they get older Evie an John are gonna talk holiday, he is gonna wonder why he doesn't have an elf lol, sounds like fun, but I may use an angel, I am not sure, this is gonna take some thought:) So will this replace the tradition of a letter and candy or gift left at the door?

Adrien said...

Nope, not replacing anything. :)

Staci said...

wish i knew about this when the girls were little. They range in age from 21 to 15 so i don't think they will find it as exciting!

Kim said...

How fun, I've never heard of the elf on the shelf either. I'm so glad you've passed this important info along ;).

Linda said...

We're going to skip the whole Elf thing, but will be doing the wise men in various spots. However, we'll be starting that the day AFTER Christmas. Since the wise men weren't there on the day Jesus was born, we'll be doing it for the twelve days between Christmas and Epiphany (Jan 6th), the traditional day celebrating the arrival of the wise men. And we'll have a special dinner and "king" cake and everything. I think the kids will have a blast with it. Any kind of "hunt" is always fun for the kids! Love your blog, by the way. :)

rachel fox said...

not sure if you've heard of, but i typed in "elf on a shelf" and a bunch of items came up. and most are hand made, but some are vintage.


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