Redd, the Elf

7 Jan

It is December…  Christmas is only 24 days away…

My kids have been driving me to insanity lately.  They are 8 and 5, and at the “lets drive mama and daddy nuts every day, and create chaos!” stage.  Christmas toy catalogs come in, and they are busy going through it every day.  When I ask what they will ask from Santa, they point at most of the items on the ads.  Every time there’s a toy commercial on TV, they tell me they want it for Christmas.  I tell them if they behave, they will get what they want.  However, that will go in one ear and out the other and leave me yelling after them.  And this is every day.  Until last year, they were not this bad, and they were still manageable.  This year, I am really fed up.  I feel like they taunt me.

As my last resort, I have decided to spend $30 on the Elf on the Shelf this year.  I’m not sure if it will work, but I’m sick of bribing them with toys to behave good.  So here’s how it went down…

Mia and I picked up Noa from school, and on that ride back, is how it began.  I wish I recorded, because it was priceless.

Me: Hey, you guys know what Elf is.

Noa: You mean those little guys that are the Santa’s helper?

Mia: Like the movie? Elf?

Me: Yes, the Santa’s helper.

Noa: Of course I know what they are, you think we are dumb?!

Me: Hey, watch out.  Anyways, we are adopting one.  Santa is going to send us an Elf soon, to our house.  He will watch you guys to see if you will be on the good or naughty list.

The kids went completely silent.

Noa: NO!  Please don’t let him come!  I know I’m going to be on the naughty list!  Mia is going to get me on the naughty list!

Me: All you guys need to do is to behave good.

Mia: That’s creepy!  I hate Christmas now!

Noa: Me too!  I love Halloween much more because you don’t even have to be good and you get lots of candies!   Is he going to follow us, like everywhere?  I can’t take a bath if he is watching!

Mia: (almost in tears) Where is he going to sleep?  I don’t want him to come!

At this point, I am trying very hard to keep a straight face.

Me: Mia, he is not going to be a big elf like the movie.  He is a good elf, and he is going to be small.

Both the kids were really concerned the rest of the drive home.

“Is the elf really coming?” was the question of every hour until a few days passes by… and I introduced them to the “elf.”

I told them the package from Santa came in.  They were really hesitant to get close to the package.


I first read the “letter from Santa”  My son was suspicious, saying “Santa has the same handwriting as you, mama!”  I just ignored that comment and carried on with the letter.

Letter from Santa

Letter from Santa

Then read the “Elf on the Shelf” book.

Then we brainstormed for a name… and decided on “Redd.”  I placed the book on our shelf, and told the kids that Redd will come to life when we are sleeping, and not to touch him.

Noa: How is he going to get out of that box?  He’s tied up.

Me: Don’t worry, he has magic powers.

The kids stared at Redd side ways, and walked briskly passed him for the rest of the day.  Noa did his homework without any hassle that day, and both kids noticeably tried their best to behave good.  They seemed like they are nervous.

Next morning, the kids woke up to “evidence that Redd got out from the box” and another letter from Santa.

Redd got out!

Redd got out!

Letter from Santa 2

Letter from Santa 2

They checked my phone for the pictures.  I was still in bed just listening to the kids’ conversations. (and chuckling under the covers)

Mia: Oh my god!  Look Noa, he’s real!  Look what he did!  Oh my God!  How does he know your password (to the phone) and how did he take the pictures?

Noa: Where is he?  This is so creepy!

So the kids and daddy looked around the house for Redd.

And so this went on for the remaining days until Christmas Eve.

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On Christmas morning, the kids woke up to presents under the tree and also another letter from Santa.

Letter from Santa 3

Letter from Santa 3

Mia has been telling me that she misses Redd, ever since he “went home to the North Pole.”

Some of the funny comments I heard my kids say:

“I think I smell Redd on my doll.  I think he was playing with them”

When I told my kids to finish the cookies, “No, Redd took a bite, and now his saliva is on it.  That’s gross!”  “Santa took a bite too.  Eew!”

The night I baked flan and left it on the kitchen counter to cool down, “Mama, hide the flan so Redd don’t eat it tonight!”  The morning after, they freaked out because it was no longer on the kitchen counter, and I had stored it in the fridge…

Mia was inspecting her candy stash to make sure Redd did not take them.

After Christmas, we went to Target, and we saw a big banner for “Elf on the Shelf” The kids were both so surprised, yelling out, “Look, that’s Redd, what is he doing in that picture?!”  Mia whispers in my ear and says, “I think Redd is a model, because he’s in the store picture…”  I told them “It looks like him, but you know there are many elves in the North Pole, and they all look alike.”

Now that Christmas has came and went, I am really really glad that I did this.  It was extra work for me, but I enjoyed it, and the kids’ reaction was priceless!  At the end, the kids really loved having Redd with us.  I truly felt the “magic” through my kids.  Such precious time…I know it’ll only be a few more years and I can’t use this trick any more.  So until then, we will be welcoming Redd every Christmas season. 🙂


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