Get an elf, they said! It’ll be fun, they said! Why did I think getting one of those pesky elves on the shelf would be fun? It’s not! Honestly, it’s just torture!
I got sucked into the idea of having something wonderful for my son to look forward to each year. Welcoming our elf every year on Thanksgiving, looking forward to his crazy tricks each day and the sad goodbyes on Christmas eve night. Of course, my son does enjoy it. However, I still question whether it’s worth it.
I do remember my son meeting his elf for the first time. The elf sitting off a festive basket wrapped in garland accompanying a gingerbread treat and the book about his purpose and story. My son’s gleaming eyes of curiosity was quite wonderful to see. He was asked to give his new elf friend a name. At 4 years old, a name was kind of difficult for him to create, so he gave me three letters, T.M.E. Hesitantly, I responded, “Oh..Timmy. Okay, his name is Timmy”. That was the start of all.
At first, it was fun to find odd spots for him to sit at and finding different ideas from Pinterest for fun. I tried so many tricks like tying him to the star on the top of the Christmas tree, getting caught inside a toilet paper roll, watching TV with a remote and bag of marshmallows beside him, and so much more. I can only find so many spots to use. There’s only so many humorous ideas to use. It’s a lot to plan each day.
The real torture is each night waiting for my son to fall asleep, so I don’t get caught moving the elf. I almost got caught a couple of times trying to be slick moving it while my son was still awake. The only reason why I would take a risk such as that is that elf gets in the way of my slumber and I don’t like him controlling my life! Bedtime is hard enough with trying to get my son to bed on time and asleep, but now I have to attend to the elf afterward.
There are several challenges to face when having an elf, however, I’ve found some ways to defeat them:
1) Walking through Target with end caps filled with elves can spring up some questioning. So, my answer to that is that those elves are up for adoption. An elf just doesn’t show up, you have to adopt them, that’s why some kids have them and some don’t. I guess it worked.
2) Falling asleep while waiting for your kiddo to fall asleep? Now I have an alarm set on my phone for 11:30 every night, so I don’t forget to move him. I set the alarm name to “Code: Red” and for some reason, I felt like the song, “Tears of a clown” by Smokey Robinson was an appropriate alarm song for the mission.
3) Last year, I forgot to move him – twice. My son said, “Mommy, Timmy is in the same spot”. My response? “I guess he just really likes that spot, I wouldn’t question it”.
4) This year, I’ve already ran into issues. In fact, the first day of his arrival, I accidentally knocked him off the shelf – THE FIRST DAY! With my son right there in the room, he panicked. However, I was cool and collected. “I got this, I heard Aunt Nikk did this once and their elf was fine”, so I grabbed an oven mitt and gently picked him up. I slowly placed him back on the shelf hoping to not drastically drop him again. We both apologized to Timmy and went on with our holiday.
Even though that elf irritates the sugar out of me, I love that it means something to my son. Because if it didn’t, then I would make up some great story like Santa felt like Ty was so well-behaved that he didn’t need an elf, or he got run over by a reindeer or Santa had mistaken him for a gingerbread cookie.
Regardless of my feelings towards the doll, my son actually loves Timmy. In fact, he talks to him often. I’ve caught him engaging in deep conversations with the little elf-like an old best friend coming to visit. It makes me smile and honestly melts my heart. He truly looks forward to finding his new spot each morning and it brings him joy to see Timmy. He’s not scared or intimidated by the fact that the elf is supposed to be watching his every move – yes, I personally find it creepy, too. He’s just conscientious that he’s not allowed to touch him. This year was the first time that my son pointed out that Timmy looked like a toy. I told him that it was part of the learning process, whether you’ll have the temptation of touching him as he looks like a toy and breaking the rule. It teaches responsibility and how to listen to rules. I believe he got the concept.
Overall, I guess it is worth having the elf. Don’t get me wrong, I dislike the elf on so many levels, however, if it brings joy to my son then I can’t fault it for that. Deep down, I do like the anticipation of wanting my son to see the new funny thing that Timmy did. I enjoy the laughter and smile that follows when he finds Timmy at a weird spot. Also, playing the game of Hot or Cold in order to find Timmy. It’s all part of the golden years of his youth and that one day, I’ll truly miss it. Just like an old song that he used to listen to that I currently miss as it represented the younger years. One day, I’ll miss Timmy…probably not, but I will one day miss these memories.