Every Thanksgiving, we are visited by an adorable elf named Peppermint Stick. I’m not sure how we decided to have this mischievous elf join our family. It just happened. One day we were going about our business. The next we’re jumping out of bed in the middle of the night because we forgot to move the blasted elf!
I have to admit, I think we jumped the gun for Peppermint Stick a year too early. We had toddlers. And when you have toddlers, you’re beyond exhausted. That first year, there were many nights when, in the darkness, I would ask my husband if he had moved the elf to a new place. <Sigh> So one of us would turn on the light, creep out of the warm covers and find a new $%#@#$ spot for this red-dressed dude.
A couple of nights we completely forgot, only to have our three-year-old son Vman ask why the elf hadn’t moved. <Sigh> We hemmed and hawed, claiming that Peppermint Stick stayed because he was just so cozy he didn’t want to move. Vman was three. What did he know?
Now my boys are seven and five and much wiser. They aren’t buying any malarky from me or their dad. So game on!
This year I promised myself that rather than cursing our elf, I was going to have more fun with him. After all, our elf is strictly for fun in our house. We don’t use Peppermint Stick as a threat or a chance to force better behavior. My kids have good hearts, and I’d rather they learn it’s important to be kind and respectful without threats or promises of toys.
So as Thanksgiving approached, I started looking for great Elf on the Shelf ideas and am now incorporating them into our own Peppermint Stick. There's no reason to go over the top but there's every reason to just relax and have fun!
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