When I was a child, one of the holiday traditions in my family was “The Christmas Elf.” According to my parents, the Christmas elf was one of Santa’s helpers, and on one night in December, he would come to your house to make sure you were well-behaved. He would check to make sure your room was kept nice and clean and if it was, he’d leave candy in your shoes while you slept. If your room was messy, there was a distinct possibility that you’d end up on the dreaded naughty list. Since the Christmas elf could come on any night you’d have to keep your room clean for the entire month. Clearly this was a sneaky plan by my parents to make us keep our bedrooms tidy, but it also stems from my father’s German heritage and Saint Nicholas Day.
Since my daughter was young, Christmas has always been celebrated in the tradition of her father’s family, which is always super fun for her, but this year I wanted her to experience something of the way Christmas was when I was little. It’s the first year we’re spending the holiday together at home, so I thought it would be the perfect opportunity to introduce her to the Christmas elf.
I told Symphony now that she’s big enough to clean her room all by herself, the Christmas elf might come. She’s done a great job of keeping everything tidy, and this morning there was a candy cane, chocolate balls and coins and a chocolate bear, pink and purple M&Ms and a small wrapped gift in her shoes. Here’s a dramatic re-enactment of her goodies:
She was so thrilled when she showed me what she’d found, and when I asked her to grab something from my bedroom and she discovered that Taylor and I also had candy-filled shoes she just about exploded with excitement. I would say our first visit from the Christmas elf was a huge success!