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The Elf on the Shelf: DIY version

I'd never heard of The Elf on the Shelf until yesterday when my 3rd grader came home and informed me that everyone in her class had their very own elf. AND her classroom had its own elf as well, for pete's sake. What the? I was quickly brought up to speed on The Elf on the Shelf and how Santa sends an elf to each home to keep an eye on the kiddos and reports back on behavior status each night. Every morning he's in a different spot in the house because of all the traveling and moving about he does, so part of the fun is looking for the elf each day. OK, then.

This 'tradition' is totally product-driven, of course. (Or is it? Is this a tradition that you grew up with?) You can buy the official Elf and its accompanying book, but my daughter said she didn't want that elf. She wanted an elf that was unique in all the world. (Yes! Score one for independent thought.) Hmm, maybe I could get behind this bit of holiday magic if I didn't have to buy something to make it happen. So last night my daughter wrote Santa a note asking for an elf, and lo and behold, Pretzel arrived this morning.

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Pretzel looks very similar, no -- identical, to an elf that we've long had in my family. Uncanny! I'm surprised the children didn't comment on the likeness. Regardless, they could not be more THRILLED with our new addition. Will Pretzel help curb the endless bickering we've endured of late? Will a pair of all-seeing, all-knowing eyes bring a bit more peace and love to our home? We can only hope. And this mom is willing to put out marshmallows (Pretzel's favorite food) each day just to find out.

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