...One Birthday at a Time!
When my Mom and I first decided we would approach Santa about writing another book—a new tradition focused on a child’s birthday—it was the result of having received thousands of letters from kids all over the world asking if their “scout elf” could return for their birthday. They implored us in person, over the phone, via email, and, of course, using the time-honored tradition of the stamped letter. Even my own children, knowing that I work for Santa, asked if he could send their elf back for their birthdays.
Then, the parents came, too. Many parents had made promises in an effort to calm tears on Christmas Eve, as scout elves bid a final farewell for the season and returned to the North Pole with Santa. Some parents needed extra help from their elf friend to be sure the family was operating smoothly mid-year. Others, like me, just wanted to create a very special family moment—a moment in time, when the busyness of our lives could be set aside, and we could be part of creating a lasting memory for our kids. These are the types of memories that we, as parents, hold especially dear; we realize that the older we get, the older they get, too, and one day these moments in time will be the richest and most beloved possessions—for our children and for us. As mothers and grandmothers, we are memory makers.
In writing The Elf on the Shelf®: A Birthday Tradition, we faced a challenge: Santa doesn’t typically allow elves to visit outside of the Christmas season. It was important that the scout elf not just come back and make an appearance, but that he came with his own tradition; tradition supplied the structure that would deliver something enduring and precious for children. We also wanted it be simple—a tradition any “elf” could do, even without a lot of time or a special trip to the store. After months of collaboration and study, we realized it was in front of us all along (well, under us, anyway!) The scout elf could decorate a special birthday chair! At that moment the idea was born, and as it turns out, Santa had been celebrating birthdays at the North Pole for hundreds of years in that very same way!
So this year, as your child’s special day approaches and you plan the surprise return of your family’s scout elf, I encourage you to take the time to read the book and learn about this very fun (and simple) tradition. Tell us how it goes! We’d love to hear from you. It is my dearest hope that your children will treasure the birthday visit of their scout elf, and that your family, like mine, will find that this tradition helps to create enduring childhood memories—the kind that last a lifetime.