|Our elf hid in the downstairs bathroom, so my daughter made sure to use only the upstairs bathroom for the rest of the day.
This is our visiting elf. His name is Frederick William but we call him Billy. Actually, my daughter calls him Billy; my son calls him Fred. To settle the argument, my daughter wrote Billy a note asking if his name was Billy or Fred. He wrote back that the girls call him Billy and the boys call him Fred. He's nice that way.
We first heard about the Elf On The Shelf a few years ago, from a friend of my daughter's. That night while we were seated at the dinner table, the kids and I called out to Santa to "please send us an Elf On The Shelf." A few days later the doorbell rang. When my kids ran to answer it they saw the elf sitting on a shelf just inside our front door! On the doorstep was a brown paper package addressed to our family; it was stamped and postmarked from the North Pole! Inside the package was a book all about the Elf On The Shelf.
These days you can buy the Elf On The Shelf from a store because as Amazon explains, " . . after much urging, Santa has allowed his biggest secret to be revealed in The Elf on the Shelf." But my daughter feels that ours is more authentic because he arrived in the mail from Santa himself.
I can't tell you how much joy Billy (Fred) has brought to our house. He hides in his doll form in a different place each day and is the first thing my daughter looks for when she wakes up in the morning. Her brother, being older, has other things on his mind, but he always welcomes the morning updates from his sister.
At night, after we are all in bed, Billy magically transforms back into his elf self and flies back to the North Pole to report on the kids' behavior. A lot of times he carries a verbal message from my daughter back to Santa; this usually involves a special gift request - one that her parent's aren't likely to buy so hopefully Santa will instead.
My daughter often writes a note to Billy asking him questions about himself and he always writes back. Sometimes it's hard to read his writing because it's small, messy and full of misspellings. He has a lot of trouble with his "S's."
Through these notes we have learned that Billy is "very old and very young too;" his favorite color is red; there are 25 girl elves (at last count); some toys the elves make and others Santa gets from the store; and when it's not Christmas, he studies math, writing and magic.
The Elf On The Shelf, like Santa Claus, only comes to families who believe, so parents - keep believing and your children will learn all about the spirit and magic of Christmas.
Merry Christmas everyone! May you always remain young at heart.