Our very own Elf on the Shelf arrived before Christmas, and I know it’s come and gone already, but here it is. Better late than never. Our elf came with instructions, in the form of a story book, and the first job the girls had was to name our elf.
They named him Dale. I think it was a toss-up between Chip or Dale, but they decided on Dale.
So, Dale is, if you will, a spy for Santa. He sits up on a shelf, watches you to make sure you’re being nice, and heads back to the North Pole each night to report his findings to Santa. He returns before anyone wakes up, in a new location, so the first thing the girls do each morning is try to find Dale’s new “shelf” location.
One afternoon, Taryn (my 4-year old) came to me as I was folding laundry, in tears. No, hysterical tears.
“Mom, I accidentally touched Dale..” she said, sobbing.
Did I forget to mention that Dale is not to be touched? Touching your elf will cause your elf to lose his magic, and he won’t be able to continue on with his reporting duties to the North Pole.
On this day, Dale was located on the lights above our dining table.
“Were you on the table, Taryn?” I asked..
More hysterical tears. “No, I accidentally climbed on the table…”
At this point, it was a struggle to keep in the giggles that were ready to burst out.
I tried to console her; she felt so guilty for her crime. I told her that I forgave her but that we would have to see if Dale came back the next morning. If he did return, then he would forgive her, too.
Luckily, Dale did return the next morning, and Taryn was relieved, thrilled, and still a little bit stressed due to the pressure of being “nice” for Santa for so long.
A couple of days after the incident, she asked me in quiet confidence, “Mom, can we get rid of Dale?”
She really did love Dale, but she knew she was struggling with the whole naughty vs. nice thing. And she didn’t really want Santa to know the whole truth.
Luckily, she made it through Christmas, and Dale made his way back to the North Pole on Christmas eve, promising to return next year to resume his reporting duties.
This morning, Taryn asked me if Dale was back from the North Pole yet.