Friday, December 6, 2013

Alternative Elf on the Shelf

I finally crossed off my list an item that has been on there for a year. Well, 11 months and 19 days. For Christmas last year, JJ got the Elf on the Shelf book, which I was so excited about, because I love the creepy elf and couldn't wait to do weird stuff with him all around the house. That doesn't sound right, but you know what I mean. I wanted him to take a bath in the sink with JJ's tub toys, live in a Duplo castle that he built, get tangled in the Christmas tree lights, etc. There was just one problem: I HATE the message of the Elf on the Shelf book! Part of our parenting philosophy relies heavily on JJ learning to do the right thing when we're not watching, simply because it's the right thing to do. We are trying  to lay the foundation for  his internal moral compass, and don't want him depending on Santa not giving him gifts as his motivation for acting appropriately. So when I read the book, I was disappointed that this was what all the hype was about. 

But we already owned the book, and I still wanted to make little Fisbee or Zart a part of our family, so I thought about how I could make it work. Then I didn't do anything for 11 months and 19 days. 

This morning, in an effort to work on my holiday to do list, I sat down with the book. I decided that I just wanted the elf to be visiting us on vacation, since he's worked so hard all year preparing for Christmas with Santa and his fellow elves. I won't be winning any literary prizes for this one, but I think the story I developed is pretty cute, and a great alternative to the text in the book. I did a pretty good job incorporating the pictures into the story, just so it wouldn't seem totally random. Then I typed it out, trying to match the shape and font of the text (because there were some passages that were ok, and I left as is). So, here it is and a few pictures of it pasted into the book. I used rubber cement, so if I think of a better line down the road, it's pretty easy to peel out and re-glue. Here is the story. The parts in blue are original to the book. Feel free to copy and paste if you would like. I used Calisto MT font to match pretty closely to the book. I think it's 20 pt font.

Have you ever thought about life at the North Pole?
How the elves can work year ‘round and not grow tired and old?
For hundreds of years, it’s been a big secret.
It now can be shared if you promise to keep it.

At holiday time
I take a long rest
from the toy making, 
wrapping, and holiday fest.
The North Pole is busy 
the rest of the year,
planning many ways
to spread holiday cheer.

When December finally
comes, we have done
so much work all year ‘round
that now it’s time for fun!

The first time I come to the place you call home
you quickly must give me a name of my own.

Once you are finished my vacation can start.
What will you call me-Markle or Zart?
Will it be Foddle, Criddle, or Clyde?
Fisbee’s cute too, but you must decide.

Santa has told me
your name and address, 
but I’m looking forward 
to learning the rest!

My friends all went to families to take their own break.
We’re excited to hear about the memories we’ll all make!

Will we go skating, to the park,
or the zoo?
I’d love to go anywhere as long as 
I’m with you.

When you are sleeping, I’ll continue to explore
the living room, dining room, kitchen, and more!
When you awake look around and see:
Who’ll be the first to spy little old me?

Maybe the kitchen, the bathroom, or den
is where you will find me, your special elf friend. 
I can hide on a plant, a shelf, or a frame.
Where will I be? Let’s make it a game.

And when you find your new friend, the elf,
Please be kind and keep your hands to yourself.

Everyone will want to see what I’m up to,
So please leave me in my place until they’ve all seen me too.

When I’m here on vacation, I really want to see
What you here in Charlotte do with your family.
For what are you thankful? With whom do you play?
What’s your favorite food? Do you pray everyday? 

I won’t say a word, I’ll just sit and listen
to all of your stories. I don’t want to miss them!

I’ll write down some details to share with my friends
When I’m back at the North Pole and my work days begin.

And the night before Christmas, my vacation will end.
I’ll go back to help Santa 
with my other elf friends.

I’ll be rested and renewed from my time with your family. 
Thank you for sharing your December so happily!

So blow me a kiss and bid me farewell.
I’ll fly away when I hear Santa’s bell.
Of course I will miss you, 
but wait ‘til next year.
When the holidays come I’ll again reappear.

Until then I wish every girl and each boy
a Christmas of peace and a year full of joy.

And here are a few pictures of how it turned out. 

While you may be thinking I have too much time on my hands, trust me when I say I ignored way more important items on my To Do list this week to do this. Now to run around like a mad woman getting the other things done! Cheers!