I guess traditionally (if the Elf on the Shelf has even been around long enough to have a 'traditionally'), the elf's last day is supposed to be the 24th, but our card from Santa said that Banofee requested he be allowed to stay one extra day to say goodbye to the kids. (Santa always leaves us a card saying thanks for the cookies and whatnot.) So today was our last Elf on the Shelf day for the next eleven months. Santa also said in his card that they would be allowed to hug him goodbye without taking away his magic. The kids were relieved to finally get to touch their elf but sad to let him go. They were actually kind of emotional about it.
Banoffee left in style though. (Idea taken from here.) He packed up all the things he accumulated from his time here: his superhero cape, his oven glove, whisk and apron, his http://blog.scottandlori.co.uk/2013/12/on-perfect-lazy-snow-day.html, his paper chains, his playing cards and red dry erase marker, and his new white undies. He even packed the toilet, but the girls are very concerned about this, and I might need to unpack it for him. Also, they are not sure they want him taking Jaguar's truck all the way back to the North Pole either.
We had a great time with our elf this year. I'm delighted we've started this tradition. There are a lot of EOTS nay-sayers out there, but I don't have to listen to them. This Christmas season was filled with magic thanks to Banoffee, and he really brightened my spirits too. I was feeling very bah-humbug about Christmas until Banoffee came along. I may not be able to always put in as much hard work into making Banoffee's stay each December quite so entertaining, but for this year, I needed it. Thanks, Banoffee, for bringing this family some Christmas cheer.
The night before last, I actually forgot to do something with Banoffee for the second time. I came home from my high school Christmas sort-of-reunion thing exhausted and crashed out on the bed. I never thought twice about the elf. Scott covered for me the next morning, saying that since it was Christmas Eve, maybe he had something really special planned for later on. When Scott took the girls out for ice cream so the Pyjama Fairy could come in, I also took care of some elf business. Banoffee got into the fridge and left a message for the children:
It originally said 'Merry Xmas' but Scott saw it and was like, 'No! Eggsmas!' so I turned the eggs over and rewrote on them.
We didn't say a word about it. A few hours later, Fifi realized Banoffee was missing. They searched everywhere for him. Scott used some 'helpful suggestions' that led them to opening the fridge and finding his message. They thought he was hysterical.
Our Advent Activity for Christmas Eve was go to the Candlelight Service at church and then set out food for Santa and his sleigh team.
I've never seen the girls go to bed so fast and so willingly. They couldn't wait to get to sleep so that Santa could come and leave them lots of presents.
And he sure did.
I also wanted to suffocate myself under my pillow when Fifi carried Jaguar into our bedroom at 4.30am to wake us up to open presents. We sent her back to her room only for her to return seven minutes later asking if it was time now. We sent her back to her room only for her to return thirteen minutes later asking if it was time now, this time bringing Lolly with her. We knew we'd been defeated so at just approximately 5am, I put on the kettle and we opened presents. The kids, as anyone can imagine, had the best, best, bestest time EVAR.
We later had chocolate gravy breakfast at my mom's and opened presents there, and then later had Christmas dinner at my aunt's house where we had more food and presents. It was a wonderful and utterly exhausting Christmas day.
As my mom pointed out, it's now only 364 days until Christmas!