That’s right, Mina the elf made his/her return right after Thanksgiving.
I was quite impressed with Leif that he remembered the elf, remembered the routine AND the rules. I purposely hadn’t filled it in his/her name on the line in the book because I wondered if the same elf would return each year, or if the kids would latch onto a new elf being assigned.
When I suggested that it might not be our old elf, Leif latched onto this in a not so great way.
“It’s BOOK!” he cried. “Cate’s elf came to our house instead, I know it! I am going to tell her that her elf came to our house!!”
This had disaster written all over it and AB and I both sensed it simultaneously as we both jumped on the “you know, it looks like the same elf” and AB was busy saying, “I think it is Mina again!” (Thank you AB for remembering the dang elf’s name.)
We then all settled on agreeing that it was in fact Mina visiting us again and reviewed the rules (for the less rules inclined member of the house…) and Mina went about her way observing the kids’ every move and then flying all the way back to the North Pole every night to report to Santa.
There was the one day when Mina played a HUGE trick on the kids and went back to the EXACT SAME SPOT as she had been the morning prior.
And then there was the morning where Mina hid in a really, really hard spot for a 5 year old and he was certain that Mina was spending a little extra time up with Santa reporting how wonderful they had been the day before.
Mina has been helpful to me in more ways than just keeping the kids behaving slightly on the better than bad side. Leif normally comes and complains about every.single.thing that Skadi does that isn’t to his liking. Well lately he just goes and tells Mina so that she can pass it on to Santa. Wheee!
Skadi isn’t so good with the rules yet. One morning Mina was hiding in a particularly hard spot for Leif – like umm, right in front of his face as he went into the bathroom. He had given up finding her and here Skadi came running carrying Mina and squealing, “I FIND MONA! I FIND MONA!”
Yes, she calls her Mona.
Mina (or Mona) is a funny elf and hides in hilarious spots. Like hanging from Daddy’s dinner table chair. There was much concern all through dinner last night that Daddy might accidentally bump Mina and not get any Christmas presents. The kids both determined that there is no way that they want Mina to sit on their chairs as that is too big of a risk.
And then there are the crazy concerns:
Skadi: “What if Mona knocks the chair over? And it makes a loud noise? And she hurts herself? And she no come back?”
Leif: “OR she can’t fly back to tell Santa we were good!”
And the things I hadn’t really thought about:
Leif: “Mina is going to be so lonely when we go to Colorado! She won’t see us and what if she tells Santa we just went away!?”
Me: “Well maybe Mina will come to Colorado.”
Leif: “How will you pack her, you can’t touch her?”
Me: “Well maybe she will leave and fly there the same night.”
Leif: “But what if she can’t find us?”
Me: “We can make sure to tell her exactly where we will be.”
Leif: “How will she know where grandma and Bompa live?”
Me: “I will tell her the address.”
And then there is the just plain cute:
Skadi: “I want Mona hug me.”
Me: “We can’t touch Mina.”
Skadi: “I want a hug her.”
Me: “Well let me talk to her and see if she will accept a hug as nice.”
Skadi: “I love Mona.”
Truly this has become one of the funnest things to do around the holidays. I recommend the Elf on the Shelf – or even just buying a little elf and doing it yourself without the guidance (and commercialism) of the book.