13 December 2011

The Elf on the Shelf

Last week at school a little girl on the playground tugged on my sleeve and told me she had a secret to share. She pulled my face down to her and whispered into my ear, "Santa is coming to my house!"

"Really?!" I responded. She just looked up at me with the biggest grin. Of course I promised not to give away her secret.

This sweet moment reminded me how magical Christmas is for children. Believing in something magical makes the holidays all the more special and exciting. I remember when I believed in Santa Clause. In fact, I was afraid of him. I was so worried that he would find me awake on Christmas Eve (too excited to fall asleep, of course) that he wouldn't leave me any gifts. (I was also nervous about a strange magical old man coming into my house at night.) When I shared this story with my class one child said, "But Miss Kat, you don't have to be scared. Santa's nice." This reassuring response warmed my heart.

Many of my students also believe in Santa's elves. Several have The Elf on the Shelf at home and come in to school with stories of how they found their elves hiding in silly places. You see, the elf is one of Santa's helpers sent to children's homes to keep an eye out to see who's "naughty or nice." He moves around at night and can be found in a new place each morning. But you can't touch him or he loses his magic and has to return to the North Pole. So with all the excitement about the Elf on the Shelf I decided to adopt an elf for our classroom!

Tomorrow my kiddos will be surprised to find our very own Elf perched somewhere in our classroom. I'm so excited to see their reaction!

It's common that as people grow older they stop believing in magic. One of the best parts of working with children everyday is seeing that the magic still exists for them. Sometimes it's fun to just believe.

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