“Pinky swear,” I held up my hand with my pinky finger extended. “You have to pinky swear that you will bring Sally Snowflake back next year. You have to pinky swear that you won’t lose her!”
“I pinky swear! I promise!” Princess Sweetie Pie avowed solemnly. With that, the deal was done. She held up her tiny hand to mine and we locked pinky fingers giggling.
Everyone at the table burst into peels of laughter. The enthusiasm and earnestness of Princess Sweetie Pie was infectious.
A few days before, while putting the finishing touches on the Christmas table, I found my Elf On The Shelve miniature plastic figurines that I bought on Amazon last year. Even though they were on the Christmas table last year, too, Princess Sweetie Pie was a whole year younger (25% of her lifetime younger) and had not fully embraced the magic of The Elf On The Shelve story. This year I decided to put the figurines down by Princess Sweetie Pie’s place setting at the table to see if she would notice. Notice she did!
Half of the adults were in the kitchen helping me put the finishing touches on Christmas dinner. The rest were helping the elderly relatives and the young ones find their seats and get seated. Suddenly, the staccato rhythm of little feet running, in shiny black dress shoes, click-clack on the tile floor and Princess Sweetie Pie rounds the corner from the dining room thrusting her arm forward holding the female Elf On The Shelf figurine.
“Look what I found at my place! The Elf On The Shelf! I have to have her! Can I please have her?” she exclaimed excitedly.
“If you take her home, we won’t have her for next Christmas. She needs to stay here so that we can put her on the table next Christmas.”
“But I have to have her! I just have to have her! Please?” Leaving her here was not an option in Princess Sweetie Pie’s mind, because, she had to have her!
“Let’s talk about it at the table when we are all seated,” I propose. Princess Sweetie Pie scampered back to the dining room, her newfound treasure in her hand.
Once we were all seated and said grace, she started in on me again.
“Please, Auntie Carole! I have to have her!”
“If you take her home with you, you’ll probably lose her and we won’t have her for next year. She needs to stay with the rest of The Elves On The Shelf,” I reasoned.
“I promise, Auntie Carole! I’ll take good care of her! I promise I won’t lose her! I promise I’ll bring her back! Please?”
How could I say no to an almost four-year-old’s logic and break her heart at Christmas?
“Okay; but you have to pinky swear! Pinky swear!” I lifted my hand towards her with my pinky finger extended and we sealed the deal.
The next morning, I found Sally Snowflake on the table, forgotten and left behind.
(other posts about The Elf On The Shelf)