One of the most popular new Christmas traditions is causing a lot of anguish for one 7-year-old girl living in New Jersey. Yesterday, when Isabelle LaPeruta knocked the elf from his seat by accident, she panicked and called 911.
In the book included with the Elf on the Shelf, the rules of the tradition are clearly explained — no touching or moving the elf, or he will lose his magic. So when Isabelle accidentally hit her family’s elf while playing with a ball, she was afraid she had done something to make Santa unhappy or that she may have ruined Christmas altogether.
That was when she called 911. On the call, she explains that she was trying to reach her dad, and you can hear as she realizes she made a mistake: “Don’t come to my house! Don’t come to my house!” she yells at the operator.
Because police are required to follow up on 911 calls to be sure that everything is OK, they went ahead and sent an officer to the LaPeruta home. Her mom, who was sleeping, woke right as the police arrived to find her daughter hysterical, crying and trying to make the police leave because she was afraid she would be in trouble.
Maybe you can identify with this panic-stricken 7-year-old. Who hasn’t dropped the ball at some point during the holidays and felt like they were ruining the season? Christmas traditions, especially ones repeated year after year, are part of what makes the holidays so special. They can bring a family together and create lasting memories that will be remembered long after kids have moved out and started their own families. But when those traditions start to add stress or anxiety to the holiday, Christmas starts to lose some of its magic.
The holidays are about celebration and enjoying the people we love. When all the extras — the activities, the parties and the decorations — start to feel like a burden, it may be time to step back and remember what is really important about this season.