We took a little trip to Michael’s yesterday to get some supplies for the craft my daughter wants to make for Christmas gifts. In the middle of a busy store my seven-year old came across a display of Elf on the Shelf products. There was the actual Elf in the box with a line about a new Christmas tradition, then there was a box of props available for purchase to enhance your experience of moving the Elf around.
She stood in front of the display, reading the boxes with a slightly puzzled look on her face. When I approached her she pointed to the box of props and said “that looks fun” in a low voice as we walked away.
That was it. No questions or inquiries about what she saw or read on the box. No deep questions later in the day when we were alone. It just sort of slipped right by.
But I know it’s coming. There are clues all around, one of which is certainly other kids telling her what’s real and what’s not. As it is, I get the feeling that she sort of does know, but that she doesn’t want to me to know she knows. At some point, however, she will ask me, and when she does, I’ll be ready.
I will tell her the truth about the wonder and magic of Christmas. I’ll share with her why we give as much as we do at this time of year. And as long as she wants me to, I’ll keep moving the Elf. I’ll write about it in her journal too.
Sara Marchessault is a writer, publisher, teacher, and mom who is on a mission to increase joy on the planet. Through the practice of self-reflection, we become aware of what brings us joy and what does not, and we make choices to move forward or stand still. Journal writing is a powerful reflection tool that can help any of us move forward, even in the darkest of times. For ideas on how you can get the benefits of journal writing without always keeping a traditional journal, check out Sara’s book, Beyond Pen & Paper: 33 Experiments in Journaling.