I love Christmas in a major major fashion. This year, Mason gets it and is probably only slightly less pumped than I am. He’s asked almost everyday since November 1st if it’s Christmas yet (because at some point someone told him it was after Halloween), and just about everyone he knows has heard his Christmas list. Last year, my aunt gave us an Elf on the Shelf book and elf and I was SO EXCITED to start the tradition this year. On November 30th, I brought our elf out, stuck him in the Christmas tree, and read the book to Mason and Audrey before bed. They were totally into it. We named our elf Joe and talked about how exciting it would be to find him in the morning. The week before, I had spent an embarrassing amount of time planning out each day of the elf’s travels. I was ready. This was going to be the best tradition ever and our elf would not be a boring dude.
I got the kids ready for bed, and we laid down together. We laid there quietly for about 5 minutes before Mason rolled over and asked “Mommy? How many days until Christmas is over?” I told him 26 and he requested “When we get up tomorrow morning can we put away all the Christmas things and be finished? I don’t like Christmas anymore.” My heart leapt into my my throat, and took a pretty permanent residence there for the next 30 minutes as I tried to coax answers out of my son to find out what had changed.
In that time, Mason told me many things – including “tell Santa I don’t need a four wheeler anymore” at which point I knew this was serious. What on Earth had I done to make him hate Christmas so much?? Finally it came out. I was reminded that my little boy is still that – a LITTLE boy. “Mommy, I don’t like Joe. I’m scared of his elf talkin’ magic and he makes me scared of Christmas.” I tried not to laugh (or cry) as he continued telling me that he just doesn’t like the idea of Joe flying to Santa each night, and he especially doesn’t like Joe’s red cheeks.
We eventually resolved things with me promising that I would tell Joe to stay at Santa’s workshop and help make toys instead of checking in on Mason and Audrey. After the kids fell asleep, I grabbed Joe out of our tree, packed him up with the Christmas stuff and decided to never bring him up again. And yet… Joe keeps being brought up in conversation. Mason tells anyone that has an elf on the shelf in their home that “our elf flew away because I don’t like him.” He also explained the scary “elf talkin’ magic” and red cheeks to Daddy the next morning.
So much for that tradition. Maybe next year Joe will return and be the awesomely fun elf I had hoped for – but this year, you won’t be finding an elf on any shelves in this house!!