I’m not sure if you’ve heard of this phenomenon called “Elf of the Shelf” but I’m right in the middle of it this year.
I would say it is a new sensation, but it could be old news. But it is new to me.
Just in case you don’t understand or haven’t heard of this new Christmas ploy to sell dolls, let me give you the quick rundown.
A doll, bearing the resemblance of an elf, “comes alive” at night and gets into all sorts of mischief. Of course this is a grand idea for kids to wake up and see what the “elf” has been up to all night. Of course, during the month of December, the “elf” is monitoring the children and will inevitably tell Santa Claus whether they have been naughty or nice. A set of eyes for Santa, if you will.
There is a book to go along with it, and probably more rules that we don’t follow, but that’s just how we are doing it. To each his own.
Well, after announcing to Cole, 7, and Gracie, 6, that our elf would be coming to life the night of Dec.1, Holly and I both followed that news by, right on cue, completely forgetting to find some mischief for the “elf” to get into.
So when Gracie woke up Sunday morning and shouted across the house “look what the elf did,” I was a little bit perplexed … all while realizing I had forgotten to move the elf.
“He ate the gingerbread house,” she said.
He did what?
Even though it took me a minute, I didn’t have to get to the kitchen to realize what happened.
That morning I let our Pit bull “Biggie Smalls” out of his crate that he sleeps in and never put him back in it. Biggie likes to snack on things he isn’t supposed to. Actually, Biggie snacks on everything, edible or not.
So as I turned the corner into the kitchen to see a roof panel missing on the carefully constructed gingerbread house that Holly and Gracie built the night before I knew what happened.
Generally such mischief earns Biggie a swat with a newspaper or a squirt with a water bottle.
Not this time. His mischief saved us two disappointed children.
Later, I found Biggie trotting around the house with the elf firmly in his jaws. Maybe he should be in charge of the elf’s activities.
-Josh Peterson is the editor of the Manchester Times. He has won TPA awards for his writing and photography. He can be reached by email at firstname.lastname@example.org or by telephone at 931-728-7577 ext. 105. Follow him on Twitter @joshpeterson29