When Ron (my hubby, & MKDC’s program director) was a kid and found out “the truth” about Santa, he had a bit of a hard time letting go.
Such a hard time in fact, that in order to hold on to the magic he decided to take part in creating it. He carefully saved money from his paper route and purchased a gift for the family that was kept a total secret – even from his parents. Then, this 12-year-old boy signed the tag from “Edwick”, the alter-ego Christmas elf he created.
He stayed faithful to this tradition every year, right up until we met and got married. Suddenly, helping to choose and purchase the “Edwick” presents was also part of my holiday to-dos… but it got harder too. Since we weren’t living under the same roof as his family – it didn’t have the same magic when we had to sneak the surprises into the house.
Then we had our kiddos, and the idea of “Elf on the Shelf” started getting tossed around. I am a sucker for just about anything Christmas, and like most relatively-new parents I was eager to start our own family traditions.
But I do have some issues with the actual branded “Elf on the Shelf”. I didn’t like that they all look the same. I didn’t like that they came with a book that told us what we were “supposed” to do. And I don’t care for the idea of encouraging children to behave just because someone is “watching” them. (The implication being they don’t have to behave properly if someone isn’t watching or there’s no reward? Plus… it’s just kinda creepy.) Elf on the Shelf is also one of those things that has become super trendy, and I’m SO NOT a Pinterest mom.
So since Ron and I have that little rebel streak that doesn’t like to do things the way other people do them… we set out to really make this elf thing our own. I’m thinking that’s one of the reasons this hasn’t felt like a chore to us… instead of following a pre-made prescription, we took a beautiful tradition from Ron’s own childhood and combined it with the idea of a physical elf and created… Edwick 2.0.