(Do I put WAY too much thought in the mental torture my children may or may not be subjected to at my own hands when really it's all just for fun? Yes, probably.)
Yesterday morning, as we were pulling out of the driveway, Elaina unleashed a heavy sign and while looking wistfully out the car window announced, "I really wish we could get an Elf on the Shelf". Her classroom Elf appeared Monday morning and she's been enamored by the concept even more than before ever since. McKenna seconded that request whole heartedly. Starting the day off with a hefty dose of mother's guilt is always a fun way to kick off the morning, and when I got to work I shared my dilemma with my friend, co-worker, and confidant. We then went on to share a discussion about Santa and the overall magic of the Christmas spirit. I left soon after to see students at another building and didn't give it much more thought as the day progressed.
Fast forward to 5 pm last night. I get a call from this same sweet, kind hearted co-worker asking me if we were going to be home. She was acting a little strange on the phone and initially I thought something terrible had happened. She mentioned that she was going to stop by our house and asked if we had a doorbell. Suddenly all the pieces came together and I figured out that she had taken matters into her own hands and was about to leave a very magical delivery on our front door step. Twenty minutes later, with the girls sequestered to the back of the house doing random room cleaning duties, the doorbell rang two times. I held the girls back a minute or so to allow a hasty getaway for the delivery person and then sent them to the front of the house to answer the door.
It was the best ding dong ditch ever. They were surprised and a bit bewildered to find not a person but instead their very own Elf on the Shelf sitting on our doorstep. Their excitement brought tears to my eyes and left me feeling so grateful that my friend allowed me to have that moment with the girls. The spirit and magic of Christmas - giving to others, the joy of surprises, heartfelt moments that will live in hearts forever - was in full effect at One Carbon Hill last night.
We read the book together, logged onto the official Elf on the Shelf website, and then proceeded to navigate our way through some tense negotiations about what the girls would name their Elf. In the end they compromised on Elfiebell Snowflake and with the click of a button she was officially adopted into our family. We even have the adoption certificate to prove it.
Elaina was literally bouncing off the furniture last night following Elfiebell's arrival; McKenna spent a solid 45 minutes scouring the website for additional details. They giggled about Elfiebell's presence, would run back into the living room to check on her while shouting instructions of "DON'T TOUCH HER" to each other, and hypothesized where she might turn up in the morning the rest of the night.
They woke up this morning with the same excitement I see from them on Christmas morning and worked together to find their elf. Squeals of delight filled the house when they found her in the kitchen sitting on top of a partly open pyrex dish, faced covered in chocolate next to the half eaten remains of a scotcheroo.
Deception or not, this is going to be so much fun.