Jingle Tales: Countdown to Christmas
This Christmas, I am in charge of crafting the hiding spots for our family’s Elf of the Shelf. This is a Christmas tradition where a little stuffed elf is positioned in your home to scout out the good/bad girls and boys, later reporting back to Santa Claus. Each day, the elf is hidden in a new place for the child to find it! There is only one believer left in the Piasentin household--my little sister, Evanna--and I want to make this Christmas one she won’t forget. Our Elf’s name is Jingle, and this Christmas, Jingle and I are going to turn the quotidian into the magical.
The night before the first day of December, I salvaged Jingle from a pile of Christmas ornaments and began to brainstorm ideas. I decided on a simple hiding place: wound around the hanging lights above our kitchen island. Since it was his first day back from the “North Pole,” I added a little note around his neck, saying, “I’m Back!” Evanna was quick to spot him, and considering the warm flush on her cheeks, I’d say Day 1 was a job well done.
On December 2nd, I decided to switch things up a bit. Taking inspiration from quarantine and Pinterest, I put Jingle carefully into a jar with a label saying, “Quarantine House.” This was by far one of Evanna’s favourite hiding places. I had placed the jar right next to her bed, so she was quite overjoyed when Jingle was the first thing she saw! This idea was also instrumental in teaching Evanna how important quarantine is (because if Santa’s helper was quarantining himself, you better bet she would too).
On the 3rd day, I put Jingle in a bowl of cereal, a string of cheerios around his neck. This one took her a bit longer to find, as I had placed him on top of the fish tank, which is a bit above her reach.
On day 4, Jingle braved the outdoors! I made a little snowman out of marshmallows and chocolate chips, and on a chair on our front porch. I made a little winter wonderland scene! I thought it was cute. Evanna thought it was cruel. She used this opportunity to exercise her 1-touch policy and bring Jingle in from the cold.
On December 5th, I positioned Jingle in our upstairs bathroom, holding the toothpaste. In the sink, I wrote, “Brush your teeth” with the toothpaste. This idea is credited to Pinterest, of course. Since Jingle was telling her to brush her teeth and not my mom, Evanna was more than eager to obey.
On December 6th, I went all out. I brought Jingle into the downstairs bathroom and sacrificed a whole roll of toilet paper… I made snowflakes out of paper and taped them to the ceiling of the bathroom. Then, I placed Jingle among the rolls of toilet paper and strung lines of it across the bathroom. I even taped it across the door, trapping him inside! I wrote with a black marker on the paper, saying things like, “Merry Christmas!” and “Jingle Bells!” After about ten minutes of searching, Evanna found him. However, this was the day I learned to hold back a bit on my hiding places. Why? Evanna mentioned that Jingle’s handwriting looked an awful lot like my own. My mom later told me that this was why she typed out notes. It was a close call, but I learned how to cover my tracks better.
To mark the first week of December, on the 7th, I decided to create a simple but cute masterpiece. I filled a bowl with water, and in it, put two googly eyes, two sticks, a carrot, and three black buttons. Then, I typed out a note that said, “I brought you back a snowman!!!” I am happy to report that Evanna loved this one.
The coronavirus has certainly resulted in many cancelled activities throughout 2020, but Christmas is not one of them. By keeping the Christmas spirit alive in my “Quarantine House,” I have successfully brought a smile not only to my little sister but my entire family! No one is immune to joy, after all.