The newest Christmas tradition in the Pitcher household is "The Elf on the Shelf."  Our niece Braedyn and Brynn had the "Elf on the Shelf" appear at their house recently.  My daughter Tara has been hoping that a "Elf on the Shelf" would appear at our house as well.

If you're going "Elf on the Shelf,"  what's that?  Have you ever wondered how Santa could know if you're naughty or nice?  It's been a secret for a very long time but now we know..  Santa sends the friendly elf to scout for him.  When the Elf appears at your place, you quickly must give it a name.  Braedyn and Brynn named their elf "Sparkling Snowflake."  Tara named hers "Suzie."  Every night while Tara is sleeping, Suzie would fly back to the North Pole and report to the jolly man.  There's only one rule: You can't touch Suzie because she might lose her magic.  You can talk to her but she can't talk back.  She stays around till Christmas Eve when her job is done until next year.

According to my daughter, you can't "buy" the Elf,  it just shows up at your house.  The nice thing is that if "Elf" does show up it comes with a book with instructions.  When Suzie showed up, she was sitting on the book.  I was fortunate that I had heard some of the rules ahead of time because I couldn't touch Suzie because she would lose her magic. I had to wait till the next day to read the book.  When "Elf on the Shelf" goes to Santa and comes back, the elf usually comes back to another location in the house.  Suzie has been on a dresser in her room, in my room and I've been told that Suzie is in the family room by the loft today.  Sparkling Snowflake once came back to a shelf in the refrigerator.  I hope she wasn't in front of the milk, because no milk to be had that day.

Suzies magic is already working.  The first day that she showed up in Taras bedroom, she cleaned and picked up the entire room.  I even heard her run the vacuum cleaner.   She also gave Suzie some toys to take to Santa to wrap and bring back.  Tara wanted to give them to needy children, that wasn't in the instruction book (she just wanted to do it.)

The most exciting part (at least for me) is, where will Suzie show up the next day.  Tara has been clearing out spots for Suzie to stay.  Shes also been giving Suzie advice.  Places not to go because the cats go there, don't go to the playhouse out back because we might not find her, etc. It's been an exciting adventure everyday so far and we look forward to more for the rest of the holiday season.  Welcome to the family, Suzie.