Well the elf has arrived at our house. He’s not THE Elf on the Shelf – he’s Chritopher Pop-in-Kins, which is just a different, less snitchy version. We all know I thought I’d never do the elf because I’m kind of lazy about Christmas things like that. But I actually think I love this little guy! I know my boys are only 5 and 2, but N in particular is so smart, so practical. When he asked me to help him tell K who Santa is last week, I actually felt silly trying to get them to buy that he is magical and has flying reindeer and can go all over the world in one night. I keep waiting for him to call b.s. on me, but he doesn’t. And now with this 12″ pose-able elf – it requires such a complete suspension of reality to believe that he is anything more than plastic and wire.
That is the truly fantastic, amazing thing about children. They believe with everything in their little bodies. Magic is so very magical and mysterious and wonderful, and they behold it with the light in their eyes shining so brightly, so free of skepticism. No one has told them yet that there are impossibilities. I sure as hell am not going to be that person.
You run into those adults who for some reason don’t like to let kids be little. They feel like it’s their duty to tell little ones how it really is – how cruel and un-magical life has been to them and surely will be to every child they cross. And there are older children equally eager to squash the glow of little minds. I feel sorry for them, because I know it comes down from someone having taken away their glow too early as well, but I’d also like to protect my boys from these walking rain clouds.
I don’t want to know at what age that light of belief fades against the force of disillusionment. Right now, all I want is to see them run down the stairs to see where little Christopher the elf has posed himself each morning, and I want to give them liberty to believe all the wildly implausible stuff that Christmas gives to little children. They won’t get to keep that fleeting gift for long, and once it is gone, it won’t return again until they have children of their own to share it with them. So I thank N and K for that – for giving me back the gift of that childhood Christmas magic in spite of life’s efforts to demystify everything that is bright.