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Elf reporting for duty

One of the things I have come to love about the month of December is that our beloved

Elf on the Shelf named Joe Joe returns from his hiatus at the North Pole. He

only stays for a month, but when he reports for duty I believe I am just as excited as my

kids that he has graced our home with his nutty little presence. More importantly I love

that he dutifully reports my kids’ naughty and nice behavior to jolly old Saint Nick.

The one thing that I don’t like about this little sprite is the fact that he really puts a cramp

in my kids’ sleeping patterns. They deem it necessary to wake up in the morning an extra

hour earlier (or more) just to be the first to find this mischievous guy. In the process they

tend to wake up dear hubby, their siblings, and me from our long winter’s naps with

declarations of his whereabouts or shouts of excitement.

I’m glad you’re here, Joe Joe, but after a month of your shenanigans Daddy and I are sort

of weary and feel your welcome has met its max. Your creative fun -- which entails

swinging from chandeliers, making messes in the kitchen while mixing up dishes with

your four favorite food groups (candy, candy canes, candy corns and syrup), using toilet

paper for decor, making hot cocoa at midnight, riding reindeer with Barbie, fishing with

candy canes, playing with glitter, and more – must come to a halt. We see the posts on

social media of the zany whereabouts of everyone else’s elves, and while it’s clear that on

the creative meter you sometimes lose some points, we love you just the same.

We are thankful that you didn’t paint our car windows or go joy riding in our car. You

didn’t drop marshmallows into makeshift potties made of mason jars. You didn’t make a

deposit into one of our toilets (probably for fear that the three-year-old would push

you in and ruin your magical skills). You didn’t get caught, duct taped to our wall, and

surrounded by evil toys. You stayed away from the powdered sugar “snow angels” this

year (probably because you learned your lesson last year – felt pants don’t resist all that

powdery goodness). You have yet to zipline through our living room this year. You

didn’t fight marshmallow wars with stuffed animals. Overall, you’ve been fairly tame in 2014.

Thank you for bringing a glimmer of holiday spirit into our home this season. Tell your

head honcho with the rosy cheeks that we’re grateful for him, too. You both know you’re

not the reason for the season yet you work hard to help to spread cheer during a time that

can be chaotic and full of rushing hither and dither – a time where we can lose sight of

what’s truly important, a time when we should all step back, breathe, be grateful, and

give from the heart. Joe Joe, thank you for reporting for duty, and thank you for slowing

us down. Now make haste to your home in the frigid North. We’ll see you next year!