What would the holidays be if it weren’t for becoming sentimental about some of our keepsakes that we bring out year after year when we decorate for the holidays?
As our official “Christmas” season begins the day after Thanksgiving as we decorate during the break and go and cut down our tree, it is also the time to become sentimental about things. My grandmother’s manger; snowmen and Santas from my mother; ornaments that friends and family have given to us over the years; and those cherished homemade Christmas projects that the kids have made are all things that make me feel warm and fuzzy as we open up box after box.
This year, however, something inexplicable has happened (or mysterious or mystical, however you want to see it). Since we have lived in this present house, each Christmas, our Elf on the Shelf has been stationed on a branch of our dining room Christmas tree that my daughter takes great pride in decorating. When she was home for Thanksgiving, she and her boyfriend tended to that tree. However, after the decorating was done, and much later as we were admiring its beauty, she said, “I can’t find Elfis” (that’s what we named our Elf when the kids were little). And so, hours of unboxing and looking for our Elf ensued.
After re-opening every single box we have, there is no sign of Elfis.
Perhaps he went back to the North Pole never to return to us.
Perhaps he was stolen from the tree as a joke and was never returned.
Perhaps he wandered off with Santa after he came down the chimney.
It’s a puzzle…a mystery…a stumper. There is no trace of him anywhere.
And no one is as befuddled as I am about his absence.
You see, we had a vested interest in Elfis. He was one of our family Christmas traditions. One afternoon in our former home, we left for an hour, and I had hidden Elfis on the lampshade. Lesson learned: never put the Elf near a hot bulb. He almost burned down the house. When we came through the door, we smelled something burning…and quickly realized it was our Elf on the Shelf. In those days, my young daughter was “not allowed to touch him,” as the magic would disappear and he would no longer play hide and seek with the kids. When I pulled him off of the lampshade, his tummy was scorched. With tears in her eyes at seeing Elfis’s condition, I had to think quickly.
“I know,” I said to my daughter. “I will make him an apron and cover his burn. He will be fine.”
Within minutes, I returned from the basement craft basket with a piece of green felt. Elfis was “saved” by a handcrafted apron. My daughter’s tears subsided, and we put Elfis in a safe place, swearing never to put him near anything hot ever again.
We’re devastated; this Elf was ours; he had a history with us.
And now, sadly, we cannot find him. I can’t tell you the despair I feel at having “misplaced,” “lost,” or “scared away” our Elf all these years later.
Elfis…if you can somehow feel or hear or read this message we are sending…please come home.
We miss you.