Mom Nearly Killed the Elf!

Wednesday, December 07, 2016
I'm THAT mom. I'm the mom who tries really hard to make everything magical for her family. I'm also the mom who burns the cookies, forgets the early release days, and to top it off, this year I nearly killed Jackson the Elf. Jackson has been part of our family for seven years. Each year, he appears like clock work. We read the story and spread the magic with the youngest children. This year, the older children are old enough to read the story to their siblings.

It's supposed to be magical, right?

It's supposed to encourage good behavior, right?

As much as I love the joy in their voices as they find Jackson each morning, this elf thing can be stressful. I forget to move him - A LOT. The morning of December 3rd 2016 I was feeling pretty crafty. Jackson was nestled in the lampshade of an antique lamp above my rolltop desk. The lamp hasn't been used in months and the little elf looked so adorable peeking over the top of the shade. To make it more fun, I even added an old wooden block and flipped it to the icecream cone picture. I left the house mid-afternoon with 3 of our 4 children in tow. We were headed to a benefit for the Salvation Army and we were looking forward to cocoa and cookies with Santa. Andre who is 8 stayed home with Dad. Andre would be joining us later. Long story short, Andre thought it would be interesting to turn the lamp on. Yes, the lamp under the elf and the wooden block. Luckily my husband noticed the smell and asked Andre what could be causing it. Andre quickly turned off the lamp and nothing more was said. Hours later, I was tucked in bed with our youngest and realized I forgot to move the elf. I text my husband and his reply was "that must be what smelled - the elf is in rough shape". I was a bit confused at his response because the afternoon incident took place completely unbeknownst to me.

The next morning there were 3 little faces peeking at me from the side of the bed (the youngest slept through the ordeal). Not only was the elf singed, but the children saw it. A family meeting was in order. That's when we got to the bottom of what had actually happened. I went through the mom lecture about playing with fire and how we were lucky the house hadn't burnt down. Now we had to move forward and I thought it would be a great opportunity to practice our writing skills. I mean, you can't just have something like that happen and then go out and buy a new elf, can you? I suppose you can, but where's the lesson in that? Jackson the Elf is currently being housed in a hyberbaric chamber to help his burns to heal. Eventually he is going to need a prosthetic foot because he lost the entire thing in the fire. Since Jackson isn't able to move around the house anymore this year, the children are going to be responsible for reporting their daily activities to Jackson.

I'm determined to take this epic mom fail and turn it into something positive. Hopefully, this journaling activity will help form a healthy habit for the children. Maybe by next year Jackson will have made a complete recovery. One can only hope.

Here is a note Santa left this morning:

Dear Otto Children,

Jackson is having a difficult time due to his injuries. Here is a notebook. Each day I'd like you to leave a note telling me about your day. This will help me decide if you belong on the nice list or the naughty list and it will take the burden off Jackson. I know you're worried about Jackson, but the Doctors have him in this Hyperbaric Chamber filled with oxygen and it will help him heal. Once his burns have healed, the other elves will make him a special foot (called a prosthetic). It shouldn't take long for him to be good as new. In the meantime, you'll need to be extra good for mom and dad.


Wish me luck friends. I'd love to hear from you:

How do you encourage your children to journal?

What would you have done if you melted the elf?

Do you have an elf on the shelf?

What's your favorite holiday tradition?

Crystal is a church musician, babywearing mama (aka crunchy mama), business owner, active journaler, writer and blogger, Blog Tour Manager with WOW! Women on Writing, Publicist with Dream of Things Publishing, Press Corp teammate for the DairyGirl Network, as well as a dairy farmer. She lives in Manitowoc County, Wisconsin with her husband, four young children (Carmen 9, Andre 8, Breccan 3, and Delphine 1), two dogs, two rabbits, four little piggies, a handful of cats and kittens, and over 230 Holsteins.

You can find Crystal riding unicorns, taking the ordinary and giving it a little extra (making it extraordinary), blogging and reviewing books, baby carriers, cloth diapers, and all sorts of other stuff at:


Sioux Roslawski said...

Crystal--For my 22 kids (students) I have "topic journals"--they are composition books that are decorated with such titles as "Dinosaurs," "Sports," "Travel," "Holidays" and so on. The students, when they're finished with their work, they choose a topic journal (they're all in a basket) and write in it. They write anything they want about that topic... and they need to include their name and their age. It's wide-open enough that they feel free to write anything--a story, something informative, etc.

Poor Jackson. I hope you can craft a prosthetic soon.

Margo Dill said...

This is the best Elf on a Shelf story I've heard yet. And really it all worked out to your benefit. Your kids have to write and you don't have to move the elf around. I haven't purchased one of these for the very reasons you said--I can not do one more thing. LOL Love this post!

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