It’s that time of year again – time to find where you hid your Elf on the Shelf last year in the wee morning hours of 12/25 and come up with 25ish locations for him to appear this year.
Our elf, Oboe, came back to our home last week on 12/1.
I know how much Lily loves her elf, she talks about him year round. But I was completely unprepared for her emotional reaction to his return this year. Last Sunday morning, we all stumbled downstairs, Bob and I doing an up-with-baby-all-night catatonic walk to the kitchen for coffee. Lily wandered into the living room and saw her elf on the piano, back for another year of hijinks and fun. He must have heard her talking to her parents the day before about wanting a “countdown” calendar to keep track of the days left before Christmas. He brought a pretty cool pony-themed Playmobil advent calendar along with a letter saying hello and mentioning our new addition, her brother Landon.
I guess it was partly complete surprise that he had returned and partly a general love for this little red prankster, because Lily completely burst into happy tears. Tears! Real ones! I have never seen her do a “happy cry” before. It was so sweet and innocent, a reaction that I will have to try to picture when it’s 2 am and I can’t think of one more damn place to hid Oboe.
The next night, I thought I was really on top of my game. I waited for Lily to go up to bed and had Oboe settled into a pile of diapers on the Pack ‘n Play while holding his nose. Then Lily came back downstairs to “JUST TELL MOM ONE MORE THING” and in all of 2.3 seconds she noticed that he had disappeared from the piano and was planted in some diapers. ARGH!
After making up some sort of poorly spun tale, I waited until she fell asleep and moved him elsewhere. I left a note on the diaper pile that since she caught him before morning, he had moved to a new spot.
That evening, Lily proclaimed that she really hoped that Oboe would choose a good hiding spot the next day… one that was SUPER HARD to find. This led to him hiding in a glass pitcher in the cabinet. Lily makes it her business to hunt him down every morning and nearly had a heart attack when she couldn’t find him. (“WHAT IF HE STAYED AT THE NORTH POLE LAST NIGHT!?!?!?”) Mom had to give her a nudge in the right direction. “PHEW! He’s back!! I KNEW IT!!”
The following morning, well, he wasn’t quite as hard to find.
That night as Lily went to bed, we realized that she had not yet gathered up her “sound” objects for school the next day. She needed 4 objects that started with an “O.” Thank goodness for that little elf… apparently he helps with homework!
That brings us to this morning. We were heading out to Harrisburg, PA for the day – our annual trip to a huge holiday craft show. We got out the door with a very disappointed little girl in tow, sad that she had not found her elf ANYWHERE before we left.
Turns out Oboe was eavesdropping the night before and heard about our road trip. Apparently he decided to tag along!