No one really knows where he came from, just one day he was… here.
Decked in a cheery red suit, with pudgy cheeks and mischevious grin, he was perched on the top of our kitchen clock, brazen as could be.
The girls quickly nicknamed him Mr Elf (yep, they kept it simple). ‘Why is he here?’ they pondered. ‘Do you think he’s come from the actual North Pole?!’ they gasped.
Luckily, Mr Elf had come prepared with a book to explain that he had, indeed, come straight from Santa’s Workshop. In fact, he was here to keep a friendly elf eye on the girls all throughout December, just to make sure they retained their spot on the Nice List.
‘Whoooooooa!’ the girls breathed.
‘There are some rules that must be followed,’ I told the girls, ‘you can talk to Mr Elf but he can’t talk back, and you must never touch him, as this could cause his Christmas magic to get rubbed off. During the day he stays as still as a statue, but he’s still watching, then each night he uses the magic to fly home to the North Pole and tell Santa everything you’ve been up to.’
The girls exchanged looks. ‘Everything?!’ they repeated. ‘Apparently so,’ I replied, ‘which means he’ll be looking for good manners and behaviour, and NO fighting… do you think you can manage that?’
They both nodded furiously.
‘And here’s the really fun part,’ I added, ‘every time Mr Elf returns home he finds somewhere new to rest – so you’ll have to find him each time you get up in the morning.’
The girls dissolved into excited chatter, then ran off to write him a ‘Welcome to Our House’ letter.
The next morning I gently shook the girls awake. Instead of begging for ‘five more minutes!’ they leapt out of bed. ‘Mr Elf!’ they cried, stomping downstairs. ‘He’s not on the clock,’ Big Sis shouted. ‘Then where is he?’ Lil Sis replied.
Then they both skidded to a stop. ‘HE’S ON THE THERMOSTAT!’ they squealed.
The next day he was sitting pretty on the bathroom shelf, the day after we discovered he’d stopped to smell the orchids. This little guy sure did get around!
… except for that one night, when the girls got up super early and ran down to find he was still sitting on top of my computer – the same place he’d been the day before. ‘Gosh, he must have really really loved it there!’ I quickly surmised.
Yep. That must have been it.
Over the past two Christmases, we’ve found Mr Elf in all kinds of crazy places – from hanging off the living room lamp to peeking out from a vase of flowers to being wedged between the slats of the Venetian blinds.
Even when we were in New Zealand last year he continued to gallivant around our home, even going so far as to send us photos of his adventures. That cheeky little elf!
On Christmas Eve he made his final trip back to the North Pole, disappearing as quickly as he appeared and leaving an elf-shaped hole in his place.
The girls are counting the days until the see Mr Elf again – he’s now a much-loved part of our family Xmas tradition, bringing an extra sprinkle of fun and festive magic.