On December 3, 2010 we arrived home from dinner to find a wrapped package on our doorstep. There was a note attached that read something like this:
Dear Niamh and Finn,
You got 3 free days, but now I’m watching. Be good.
Inside the pretty package was our very own Elf On The Shelf. We had heard about this elite group of Scout Elves from our great friends, The Prentices. We were insanely jealous of them for getting to host their very own Elf. Who said envy gets you nowhere? Envy got us our very own Elf On The Shelf.
Niamh and Finn jointly agreed to name him Elfa. (For the record, we have a stuffed cat named Kitty, dog named Puppy, Seal named Sealy, and who could forget the trio of pigs named Piggy, Liggy, and Ziggy. I was shocked that they didn’t name him Elfy).
Elfa watched the kids and their behavior every day from December 3rd-December 24th. Each night he would magically fly back to the North Pole and report to Santa their naughty and nice behavior. There was plenty of both. Then, in the morning hours before we all woke, Elfa would return to our home for another day of Scout Elf reconnaissance work for Mr. Nick. First thing Niamh and Finn did each morning was look for Elfa and see where he perched himself after his flight back to us.
There were a few days that Elfa didn’t move from the spot he was in the day prior. On those days, we usually found Daddy to blame for touching Elfa and taking away some of his magic and ability to fly. All it took was a day of rest and Elfa’s magic was restored.
Elfa and the kids had a special connection. Niamh and Finn would see him blink, wink, raise his arms, and turn his head. I never saw any of that. I think it must be a kid-elf kind of a thing. One day, Niamh even spotted Elfa at her school watching her. She said he was watching from behind a big air vent on the playground.
Elfa must have witnessed a lot of behavior that I missed, because in spite of the balance between naughty and nice behavior that I observed around here in December, the kids still got gifts from Santa on Christmas morning.
Elfa left them a gift too. Elfa gave them a set of walkie talkies. Since he left for the North Pole on December 24th, the kids have kept in contact with Elfa via the walkie talkies. Its usually hard to make out what he is saying to them because of all the static, and sometimes he gets interrupted by other Elves on the same radio frequency, but Niamh and Finn are satisfied just getting to hear his voice.
And, now when Finn can’t find something, he blames Elfa. He says that Elfa *poofed* it somewhere else!
See ya next year, Elfa. We will be waiting for you.