Forgot to move your Elf? You’re not the only one.
By Jennifer Schultz for MommyBrief.com
It’s that time of year, where I try to keep traditions alive and the magic of the Christmas season. From stockings hung by the chimney with care, to chocolate chip cookies and milk for Santa, and our manger scene proudly displayed awaiting the birth of Jesus.
Last year, we welcomed, Jacob, our “Elf on the Shelf” into our home. I had been hearing about him and seeing flashes of photos on social media detailing what mischief he was getting into and keeping the excitement about the holiday alive for children.
While I tried to come up with new places for the elf to be in the morning when our kids woke up, what we never expected was that I might forget to move the elf. I didn’t think about what I was going to say, because, it never dawned on me that during our nights filled with homework, soccer, and bedtime activities I couldn’t find time to move this little guy. But, I did. And not just once, but, more than once.
And why did I forget? Well, some nights my son, who is eight and the younger of my two children, just wants to keep coming downstairs and saying he can’t fall asleep. So, then I get distracted. Or, I am doing housework, blogging, writing bills or any other activity that keeps me from remembering the ever growing “Mommy To-Do” list, which included moving the Elf.
So then, what happens? My son comes to me first thing in the morning and says, “The elf didn’t move, did someone touch him and make him lose his magic?” All I can do is play dumb and come up with some excuse like, “maybe he likes that spot” or “maybe he was tired of running around and needed to rest”, In the meantime, I am kicking myself and planning on how I can make sure I don’t forget.
And how does it make me feel? Well, concerned that I am taking away the magic that makes childhood so much fun for my children.
And to be honest, I have also forgotten at times, that the Tooth Fairy was supposed to come and again my son would come to me asking what happened. The next night, the Tooth Fairy reward is doubled for my son having to wait an extra day. And of course, there was one time, I didn’t take the tooth. That episode ended with my son writing a letter to said Tooth Fairy stating that he wants to keep all his teeth moving forward, but, would still like the money. I didn’t seem to have this problem with my first child, who is now eighteen. Maybe, it was because I was in the beginning stages of “Mommyhood” and didn’t have so many things to juggle, or maybe I was just better at remembering.
It seems to be easier when your children are under 6 years old, as they go to bed earlier and don’t seem to question the magic or notice that mommy has been busy and forgot to do something. Or on the other hand, I may have created such a tradition, that as soon as something is different, my kids question it out of fear of change.
At this point, with my son in third grade and turning nine next month, and with his questions about Santa being real, I know that the magic is starting to fade. As I write this, I realize that part of why parents keep traditions with holidays and symbols such as Santa, The Easter Bunny, The Tooth Fairy, Leprechauns and The Elf on a Shelf, is that there is a child in all of us and we want to remember what it was like to be a child – experiencing all the wonder that the world has to offer and the magic of childhood. So, this year, if you forget to move your Elf, know that you are not alone and that somewhere, some other mom has forgotten too.