Today while at work one of the people who came in to browse asked if we carried the Elf on a Shelf. I was so sorry to say that we didn’t. I don’t exactly know how Christmas came to be associated with elves in bright red and green outfits, but who am I to fuss about elves?
As a matter of fact, I remember having an elf or two grace my childhood home in Philly. We had one who was attached with a thumb tack to the ceiling at the foot of the stairs. I think that his name was Jo-Jo. He had a flat face and a tiny button nose and I liked to try to bat at him when I was small. There were also a couple of elves that hid on a small festooned ornamental log on the coffee table. I loved that decoration. Well, I loved it then…I can’t imagine it offering me any fascination now…cause it was just an 8 inch long 3 inch wide log covered in fake snow with a couple of red plastic berries and some plastic pine needles. Oh yeah, don’t forget it had elves hiding in it.
I also remember elves that sat on the mantel of our living room. They draped themselves around candles. The only problem was that their faces were plastic and their outfits were cloth and so they had to be removed from the area if the candles were lit. Holiday candles wouldn’t be as magical if lackadaisical folks allowed them to set small plastic elves on fire.
My husband’s family had a tradition of attaching a small glittery gold elf to their dining room chandelier. Don’t tell my mother-in-law, but now that I’m thinking about it, I remember her draping her ornate crystal bedazzled chandelier with plastic ivy and they have an annual retelling of the year my father-in-law put red and green bulbs in the fixture. As I heard the story, my mother-in-law wasn’t very pleased.
I thought I’d continue the tradition when my in-laws gave me the little golden elf. But when I tucked it into it’s holiday place in my dining room my kids fussed about it “looking down at them”. Apparently my kids were afraid of a three inch elf! I tried to understand, I wasn’t intending to upset them, but now looking back I see we had a golden snitch in our house way before Harry Potter’s turned up. I suppose it’s a good thing my kids never went after it with a broom.
So there you have it, these are some of my memories of “Christmas elves”. If you have any you’ll have to share them with us. Send me a picture if you have started your own family traditions with the “Elf on a Shelf”.