Some of the kids in J's class have an "Elf on the Shelf." For the uninformed, an elf show up at children's houses around Thanksgiving. This guy or gal "lands" someplace and "watches" the kids to see how they act. Then at night, while the kids are sleeping, said elf "flies" back to Santa to give the big guy an update. The elf returns the next day, in another place in the house, and the Big Brother saga starts again.
I wanted no part of this. Mostly because half the time the Tooth Fairy forgets to leave money or the Easter Bunny accidentally neglects to hide the eggs (because she is so tired from the 2.5-hour Easter vigil). But perhaps even more so because it is just one more "lie" I am telling J. And if there is one the thing my kid pretty much never does it is lie. So I can only imagine how our conversation will go once she finds out the cold, hard truth. Worth noting, is I often quote lines from the Virginia letter; I like to tell her over and over that Christmas is magical and the spirit of it lives on.
But I digress.
Knowing that this year may well be her last to believe, I spent some time today staring at the Elf on the Shelf both at Barnes and Nobles and then at Target. Eventually, I gave in, tempted by the whole the-elf-reports-your-behavior-to-Santa lure. If this makes me kid act a little better, then it can't be all bad, right?
So the hubby took the elf out of the box and placed it on her keyboard, and an hour or so later I headed to school to pick up the kid. On the way home, I started to tell J that I was super excited by my "Christmas on Sesame Street" find. (That was my all-time favorite Christmas special for many, many years. "Keep Christmas with You," "Feliz Navidad," and all that stuff.) But she interrupted me, saying that she was praying. I was surprised, but then she went on to explain that she really wanted an elf on the shelf and that a girl in her class had prayed for one and had gotten it, so she was going to do the same thing.
On the one hand, I thought this could really help her faith and belief in the power of prayer. As a Christian, that sounded pretty good to me. After all, I certainly have my doubts in some things. But on the other hand, it felt kind of wrong that here she was praying for something that I already knew was sitting at home.
When she walked in the door, I told her to look over at her keyboard, and her eyes lit up. She right away said that God answered her prayers fast. And then she asked me if I had bought it. Ack! I debated for about a half-second and then said something like, "You prayed for it, didn't you?"
Not sure where this will go or how it will (eventually) end up. But as I said on Facebook, she better not start praying for an iPhone or a little brother or sister, because she will sorely disappointed.