Thursday, December 5, 2013

Elf On a Shelf, Don't You Understand I'm Busy Enough?!

After I put the three little ones to bed, I was beginning to unwind by scrolling mindlessly through facebook, when I noticed Kalista standing behind me.  I turned to see her sweet face, and I noticed her little chin was trembling.  She quickly blurted out, "Can we get an elf?"  A little confused I asked her what she meant by that.  She took a deep breath as to hold back her tears and said, "you can buy a little elf at the store, and he is real, and will move around and do fun things at night while you are sleeping."  Aaaaaahhhh one of those I thought.  My impressionable little girl has somehow come to know the ever popular and somewhat annoying fad of Elf On a Shelf.

Then all at once she gazed up at the ceiling as tears started rolling down her cheeks.  I pulled my girl in to my arms and asked her to tell me what was the matter and what this little elf had to do with it.  Apparently, her group of friends at school assemble every morning and trade stories about what their little elf did through the night.  It usually involves finding them on toilets, or baking cookies, or making messes, and many other elaborate mischievous elf scenarios.  What broke her almost eight year old heart was that, in her words, she had nothing to add.  No fun stories.  No elves visiting our house.  Nothing.  The feeling of being left out of fun conversations and forgotten by a little elf was too much pain for her tender heart to handle. I held her as her tears flowed while I contemplated what I could say that would ease her sadness.

{Kalista at 3 years old}

I thought I might get away from having to give in to this demanding production of thinking of new activities for a little doll to get into trouble every night.  Didn't I have enough to worry about already?  I mean, Christmas is only a few weeks away and between getting all their gifts bought and wrapped, Christmas parties, putting a tree up, decorating inside and outside, going to see the lights, holiday baking, and many of the other wonderful yet time consuming things that go along with this time of year, I'm not sure how much more I can take.  Now, little elf, you are telling me now I have to add coming up with unique activities for you to do nightly on my never ending list of things that need to get done?!  Don't you understand that I have a hard enough time just keeping up with my laundry and reminding my kids to brush their teeth?  Let alone the already long to-do list that goes with this wonderful time of the year.

I'm really not a Grinch or a Scrooge either; I actually love Christmas.  I love to make special memories with my family, and to see my kids' imaginations broaden with all the wonderment of a magical Santa.  But I didn't want to expand the Christmas season to include this little bothersome elf.

So in-between sobs, she asked if we could please get an elf.  The thing with Kalista you have to know, is that she doesn't want or ask for much.  Her Christmas list this year consists of 7 things total.  They were all very reasonable things too!  Like, skinny jeans, a math book, duct tape, and a Monster High Doll.  She has saved her birthday money for the last 3 years.  She also rarely asks for things in the store.  So the desperation of wanting the joy and fun that comes with this mischievous little elf was genuine for her, and not just for theatrics.  So after a short pause, and annoyed as I am with this little elf, I responded with, "I'll see what I can do."  That seemed to do the trick.  Her waterworks ceased, she wrapped her arms around my neck, looked up at me with her tear filled eyes and exclaimed, "thank you Mom!"  Then she crawled out of my lap and wandered back to bed.

Uh oh, what did I get myself in to?? And how much do those stupid elves cost again?