Elfie makes every morning happy in house

Published 12:37 am Sunday, November 27, 2016

Normally our 3-year-old Anna mimics a hibernating bear in the mornings.

The routine goes something like this.

Dad — the only creature in the house that wakes up early and in a good mood — comes into her room and tries to rouse her.

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“No Daddy,” comes the initial whine, spoken through clenched eyes and as she rolls away from me.

“It’s too bright.”

“I want to sleep.”

“I’m sleepy. I didn’t sleep good.”

“I don’t want to get up.”

Sometimes I’ve tried to interject a little logic, stupid of me I know.

“Baby, you have to get up so we can make it school on time.”

The answer is always the same.

“I don’t want to go to school. I want to sleep.”

So when I heard Anna awake at 6:15 a.m., Friday, I knew something had to be wrong.

“Daddy, daddy, daddy,” she whispered.

“I’m ready to get up,” she exclaimed.

“This is not my child,” I thought. “I must be dreaming.”

“Anna, it’s too early. You don’t have to go to school today. You can sleep late,” I uttered trying to focus my still bleary eyes.

“I want to see if Elfie is here,” she said.

Now it all made sense.

Elfie is the name Anna gave to her small “Elf on the Shelf” given as a gift two years prior.

If you aren’t familiar with the gimmick, the elf doll comes with the book, “The Elf on the Shelf: A Christmas Tradition,” written by Carol Aebersold and Chanda Bell.

The book explains how it’s all is supposed to work. The scout elves are sent by Santa Claus to watch children to determine if they’re being naughty or nice.

The tiny elf flies back to the North Pole each night to report back and debrief Santa.

At first the idea seems a little far-fetched, until you realize Santa                                                                                                                                  has to keep track of hundreds of millions of children around the world. It makes sense that he would need a little help, though I’d have thought he would have worked some kind of secret deal with Apple and Google to somehow bug our smartphones by now. Santa is old school though.

The book explains that when the child names his or her elf, the elf gets his or her magic — namely the ability to fly to the North Pole and back in the night.

This back-and-forth continues until Christmas Day when the elf returns home to the North Pole until next year’s Christmas season begins again.

The elf has only one rule — the children cannot touch it or the magic might disappear.

Elves living in creative — I’d say some are maniacal — homes for the season often appear each morning in wildly imaginative and humorous situations, not just sitting on a shelf.

For her part, we explained everything to Anna last Christmas season, and she got a mild kick out of Elfie’s hijinks last year.

While Elfie didn’t get overly elaborate at our house, he did fall asleep in a box of Kleenex one morning and was found propped up at the dining room table eating breakfast off one of Anna’s plates another morning.

She still giggles at the idea of him eating her food.

Friday morning’s early wake-up proved that she’s far more “into” Elfie this year.

Anna volunteered at lunch on Friday that she plans to wake up with a smile on her face every morning until Christmas.

“Why?” we asked her having already forgotten about the wee man in the red suit in the den.

“Because Elfie is here!” she said.

Given the morning battles we usually have to get her out of bed, her mother and I were seriously considering making a special request to Santa to have Elfie become a permanent resident of our house.

After thinking about it some, though, we’ve opted not to ruin next year’s Christmas by messing up Elfie’s routine.

Besides, we figure by Dec. 26, the magic spell on our daughter will have worn off anyway, and we’ll be back to the usual morning hibernator.
Kevin Cooper is publisher of The Natchez Democrat. He can be reached at 601-445-3539 or kevin.cooper@natchezdemocrat.com.