Once, our Christmas elf on the shelf was so beloved that we decided he would return for birthdays each year. Who knew this was an actual thing, with a book to buy? (The Elf on the Shelf- Birthday Tradition- in case you are interested!) Smiling Max would return every March 15th (Megan) and October 6 (Alex) before coming for the Christmas season each year. Megan's birthday party theme when she was in kindergarten was "Elf on the Shelf" which was a little awkward since her birthday is in March. Her decorations and dress all features Christmas elves....but seriously, it was her passion and birthdays should be about what you like!
I still remember Megan putting Smiling Max in her bicycle basket and riding him all around the neighborhood on her birthday.
In recent years, we added Olivia Jingles to our family and she also returns on birthdays. We had a horrifying incident last October where Teddy jumped up and got Olivia Jingles by her leg, running all around the house with Olivia dangling from his jaws. I spent 20 minutes trying to get Olivia Jingles away from him.
Last night, before her birthday, Megan asked if Smiling Max and Olivia Jingles were coming back this year. I said, 'I don't know" and she said "Well you ARE Max and Olivia." I froze. Then she said, "You shape shift." I replied, if I was going to shape shift I would not choose to be elves! But her comment made me think.....SHE KNOWS!
Today, Smiling Max and Olivia Jingles arrived on top of Megan's birthday presents with a note from the North Pole. She didn't seem super excited to see them and didn't look at them all day long. As I cleaned up the kitchen, I found them abandoned near the penne, waiting to be put back into my closet until October.
It seems the season of believing in elves is over. Another step away from being a little kid.
Kathleen Neagle Sokolowski