Wednesday, December 19, 2012

An Elf in a New York Apartment

I guess this is the drawback of a smaller living space: It's only Dec. 19, and we've already run out of good locations for our Elf on the Shelf.

I've resorted to giving him Lego accessories to keep it interesting.

Not that I have to work very hard to maintain the kids' excitement. If anything, the daily hunt for Fred (that's what we call the elf) is getting more thrilling each morning.

When Elliot saw Fred on a Lego horse yesterday, he started shouting, "FRED MADE A HORSE! FRED MADE A HORSE!"

Unfortunately, I may have put Fred a little too close to Elliot's level. That meant he was able to really study him for the first time, with his eyes at least. (Kids aren't allowed to touch the elf  that's one of the first Elf on the Shelf rules. It's kind of like a strip club.)

After a couple minutes Elliot said, "Fred looks kind of fuzzy." Then a few moments later: "Fred looks like a toy."

Kelly had to do some quick thinking and told him that Fred builds toys and that's why he looks like one. Elliot seemed to accept this.

I can understand why Elf on a Shelf is so popular  it's an easy way to build excitement about Christmas while simultaneously keeping your kids in line  but it also makes the whole Santa narrative even less plausible.

Fred is clearly a doll, not a living thing that can fly to the North Pole. Doesn't Elliot see that? And how does he even believe in Santa at all? I'm continually telling him that vampires, ghosts, monsters and unicorns are make-believe. I won't even allow him aliens. (Sorry, Elliot, there's no compelling evidence that intelligent lifeforms have ever tried to contact humans.)

And yet now suddenly I'm saying that a fat guy in the North Pole is going to slide down our nonexistent chimney and deliver gifts? How does that pencil out?

But as with all faith, Elliot believes because he wants to believe. And I guess that means looking through a few holes in the plot.

If he's willing to go along with it, so am I.