I updated this piece three years later as I enter into the first season without our Elf and without Santa. It is the night of Thanksgiving. On this very night, at this very time for as long as I can remember, I have unearthed our Elf and scoured Pinterest and recently dressed and dug out the Elf Brigade that has assisted in all the hijinks and tomfoolery over the years. But tonight . . . tonight, I do nothing. And I feel the nothing. I truly thought this nothing would feel so much better, or different. But it just feels a little empty. I mean, what is Christmas without the magic? So, parents of littles. I leave you this post from the late years of my Elf days when I knew they were drawing to an end, and I beseech you to hold them tight, for when they end, you will feel that emptiness.
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I know, I know. I have seen all the anti-Elf posts and some of them are hilarious. There are times that I curse out our elf and loathe coming up with new and crazy ideas for him to participate in. Waking up in the middle of the night, going to bed late, or getting up early to be sure he has moved and has written my son a letter can be exhausting. But when it comes down to it, my relationship with our Elf is a month-long love letter to my son and his childhood.
I do not ever really remember believing in Santa. I had two older siblings and, as it often goes, once they figured it all out, they were eager to spread their knowledge to their siblings. So that bit of magic was lost for me. I never really regretted it, and I do not feel like I am damaged because of it; it is just how it was and another reason that I am determined to have my son believe for as long as possible.
The other night, my son had the stomach flu. He does not get sick often, so it hits him kind of hard when he does. Our Elf (and his cronies, as he has collected friends to help him with his shenanigans- Grinch, Santa, Lizzie the Lizard, Fred a touchable elf, and Wolfie the Wolf) made him a care package of hot cocoa, Alka Seltzer, acetaminophen, and tissues. Like I mentioned earlier, he also wrote him a letter asking him to get better soon. My son was so moved by the kind gesture that it literally brought him to tears. Right then, I said to myself, “THIS. This is why I do this.”
Listening to my son talk to his elf and tell the elf about his Christmas wishes and desires and laughing at the antics of the elf fill the holiday season with such joy. My son pops out of bed each morning to see his elf. The other day, my son realized that his time with his elf was drawing to a close and, again, it made him cry. He thinks of his elf as a friend and confidant. My son is eight. This may be his last year that he so wholly and completely believes in this magic of the season. This time thinking of silly and fun ways to make my son giggle and believe is time well-spent, in my opinion.
So this year, and hopefully next, I will move our elf and hang him from ceiling fans, and create wanted posters, and allow him to poop peppermints and fish in our turtle tank if it means that I can bring a smile to my son’s face and allow him to keep this magical memory one day, one month, one year longer.