Thursday, December 10, 2009

The Elves

Last year two elves visited our house for the Christmas season. They came in early December, and they had a note asking our kids to name them and make them beds so they could live with us until Christmas. The kids named them after their best friends that year, Ian and David.

Ian and David were mischievous little elves. They would move around, and un-spin rolls of toilet paper, and take clothes out of the hamper. We found them trying to play Guitar Hero once, and they would disappear from tables in the family room only to show up on top of the fridge in the kitchen or some other odd place.

The kids never saw them move and were fascinated. They became very attached to the elves. Very attached...

Christmas night the elves went back to the North Pole while the kids were sleeping. We told them this would happen, but it didn't lessen the impact. The kids were devastated. When I walked into their bedroom the next morning, my older son was sobbing.

"Ian ran away," he said, once he could compose himself enough to speak. I gave him a big hug.

It broke my heart to see him so upset. It was like he suffered a tragic loss of a family member or pet, so deep was his attachment to his new magic friend. I came very close to willing the elf to re-appear in his bed right then and there, but I didn't. I knew he would come back again the next Christmas, and tried to comfort my son with this thought. It worked. Eventually.

The elves returned this year. They came the night we set up our Christmas tree. They're already up to their usual hijinx. My younger son is always amazed and takes each prank or sudden movement for its face value. My older son...he's a skeptic.

He thinks my wife and I are really moving the elves, and he's always on the lookout. He was still up at 9:30 the other night, in bed in the dark watching for the elves to sneak into his room. He leaves notes asking them if they will prove they are real by moving for him. He even wrote a note for Santa asking him to make the elves move for him.

Remember, this is the kid who tried to trick the tooth fairy. I'm pretty sure he does believe, though, until he can prove otherwise. He still can't explain how they got up on the sill of the big window high above the front door.

I like having elves in the house. Watching the kids laugh at them is like a Christmas present each day of the month.



15 comments:

Donna Hole said...

Ah the magic of belief. This is a cool gift you've given your sons.

.......dhole

Bane of Anubis said...

You better tell him to start believing or the elves might end up dead ;) (got any red paint laying around?)... of course, that might be too traumatizing (still, I'd give you like 10 gold stars for such a prank).

Laurel said...

This is absolutely the most charming holiday story I have heard in YEARS. Lucky urchins, those kids of yours.

Tricia J. O'Brien said...

What no photographic evidence??? I want to SEE these elves.

LeSan said...

Totally adorable! Lucky guys to have you two for parents. One day when they are all done punishing you they will punish their own children...of course they will gladly blame you for making them like that in the first place. Well, better make it good then. No use paying for something if you don't have a good time. Can you stick one in the medicine cabinet or the shower?

Iapetus999 said...

I thought this was a Flash Fiction piece...but you're serious?
D'Oh!

Stacy McKitrick said...

Man - I wish I had thought of something like that when my kids were small. My daughter would have so fallen for it.

As it was, we used special wrapping paper for Santa's presents (it was hidden in the attic or used up - the kids NEVER saw it anywhere). Made them believe longer and it distinguished those gifts from ours.

Frau said...

What a fun memory you are creating for your boys!

Rick Daley said...

Bane- threat of no presents for disbelieving works OK still, no need to resort to more extreme measures (this year).

Laurel- I'm glad you see it that way, the urchins themselves would probably find reason to argue otherwise ;-)

Tricia- Pics added!

LeSan- They don't have a medicine cabinet, but right now the elves are in the pantry in front of all the cereal boxes.

Andrew- Truth can be stranger than fiction, and when it comes to kids, you can't make this sh!t up!

Stacy- We need to be creative with the handwriting on our packages so they don't see that Santa's script is strangely similar yo mine or my wife's. They know that he supplies wrapping paper to Wal-Mart and Target, so we sometimes use the same kind.

Frau- It's fun until the elves leave :-(

Sharon said...

That is the neatest idea for xmas anticipation! I love it!!!!

Rachel Cotterill said...

I love this idea :)

WeaselMomma said...

What a fun family tradition.

Anita said...

Your kids are gonna love this when they're older!

Susan Quinn said...

ZOMG, this is funny. My husband spit out, then cried with laughter into, his cherrios this morning when I reprised your Elf story for him.

Seriously, post this on YouTube (yanno, the video version) and watch it go viral!! (I'm forwarding it to my non-blog-reading brother now . . . )

Rick Daley said...

Thanks Susan ;-) I may get the camera out and film the next hunt for the elves, it sometimes takes a while to find them, though.