Ho-Ho-Ho Down
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The Ho Ho Ho Down: The Elf has landed

By Leslie Lindsay

At our house, we have a tradition of a tiny little “elf” visiting our family each night.  I am sure you are somewhat aware of this tradtion–perhaps heard it called “The Elf on the Shelf.”  Alas, ours is not a true shelfie elfie, but a tiny Barbie doll (do they call them Chelsea dolls?) that I picked up at Target for 1/4 the price of the official elf on the shelf.  She wears a cute gingerbread-inspired outfit and her tiny facial features are down-right elfie so, she has become our “Ellie the Elf.”

Ellie-the-elf made an sneak-peek appearance back in early Novemeber.   That got the girls excited for more.  She went back to the North Pole for awhile, to get further instructions from Santa.  A time or two in late Novermber, she made a re-appearance, and now that it is Decemeber, she’s back in full force.

What’s the deal with this elf?!  Well, I will tell you:

  • She hangs around watching the family seeking out good behavior.  You never know when you might look up and see Ellie-the-elf watching!
  • If she sees good behavior, she may leave something of value the next day. (more on that later)
  • But in order for Ellie to make a repeat appearance, one must leave crackers and water out over night.  Why’s that?  Well, legend goes that the crunch of the crackers remind her of the snow at the North Pole, and water is just melted snow…they both give her the energy she needs to complete her nightly shenanigans.
  • If the girls don’t (or can’t) find her the next day, then she can’t come back.

Since the season is really about giving, love, generosity, and hope (I know, it’s hard to tease that out sometimes), I make sure the trinkets and treats left by Ellie are not just “things.”  Here are a few examples:

  • Tomorrow, for instance the girls will receive tickets to the “Ramona Quimby” performance at a local college–from Ellie, of course!
  • Another day they may receive holiday themed stickers.  They are to give a sticker to someone who looks like they need a little holiday spirit–or something of similar ilk.
  • A coupon for a family game night
  • A bigger idea may be a holiday craft kit in which the family can work on a little each day
  • Perhaps, the “elf” will clean the girls rooms, or sprinkle glitter around the house
  • Maybe she’ll bake cookies…
  • Or give tickets to the Muppets movie
  • Tickets to ride the holiday express train (check local park districts, community centers if something like that exists in your area).
  • You can decide how often to give trinkets and how much you want to spend. Many ideas are free or low-cost.  It’s up to you!

Have fun and happy weekend! 

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