The Elf on the Shelf comes with a small elf doll and a book. The book tells the story of how the elf communicates with Santa about how good the children have been.
You also name the elf. Our is named Mr. Quickster.
Every day when the children get up, Mr. Quickster is in a different location in the house. This indicates that indeed, he has been off to the North Pole to let Santa know how the day went.
The boys have been pretty enthused with the elf. The other day, Sutton Hawk, 3, was overhead making a confession to Mr. Quickster after misbehaving. He followed the confession with an apology to Mr. Quickster and Santa. I'm sure Mr. Quickster told the Jolly One all about it that night.
I must admit, I'm guilty of using Mr. Quickster as a weapon. I recall saying something like, "I beat that elf is going to let Santa know about that." To my credit, I've said it for both good and not so good things.
It's fun to introduce new traditions to the kids just as my parents and grandparents did for my sister and me. Mr. Quickster has been a fun addition to our traditions.
———If I had to pick my favorite thing about fatherhood it might be the sharing. That and the hugs.
I like the fact that my boys want me involved in what they do. They constantly seek that approval and admiration.
Several times a week I'm asked my opinion on a drawing, building or some other project. It tickles me to watch their progress.
Many times, I receive what I am complimenting.
"How does this look Daddy?"
"Boy, what a great airplane. That's one of the best ones I've seen."
"Thanks Dad! I drew it for you!"
At that time I usually get a big hug. I guess that's one of the best things I can imagine.
———More and more we see teens and many others of us hammering away on their cell phones. They are either texting away or talking.
It's great that we have this technology, but texting hours on end is no way to go through life.
Encourage your kids to put the phone down once in awhile. Better yet, go for a walk without it.
If your child puts up an argument when you ask them, that's proof enough you just did the right thing.
Copyright Christopher Blackburn 2008