A number of years back, 2005 to be exact, a magical toy took over the industry and teachers and families both embraced the story of The Elf on the Shelf: A Christmas Tradition.

For those not familiar with Elf on a Shelf, your magical friend comes alive between Thanksgiving and Christmas and hides in peoples homes to watch over the events of the season. Then, once everyone goes to bed, the scout Elf flies back to the North Pole to report the activities of the day back to Santa – good and bad. Before the family wakes up each morning, the Elf hides in a new spot. There are times when the Elf will be mischievous and other times when he or she just hangs out doing regular Elf things. Pinterest and other social media sites have exploded with ideas on what your Elf can do and has quickly become thirty days full of creative adventure!

When my daughter Bella turned three, our Elf joined the Haude family and the Adventures of Adalaide began. She has chopped down trees, roasted marshmallows, eaten birthday cake and even parachuted in on Christmas Day with a trail of gifts behind her. However, the part we love best is the pure joy that Bella finds as she wakes up each morning with a jump in her step and races through the house with her trusty sidekick Chloe to see where Adalaide may be that day.

Experiencing the holidays through the eyes of a child is an amazing experience. While we may be stressing about our “to do” list, which can be quite daunting at this time of year, it also helps remind us to slow down and just breathe. The season is not about the perfectly decorated house, the fifteen dozen cookies you baked, or the endless parties you have attended. It’s about embracing the time you have, perhaps giving back to your community or reconnecting with friends and family. So enjoy this last month of the year and experience it as you never have before. Be awed by the lights, enjoy the cooler weather and be adventurous with your kids. It’s a time to create memories that will last a lifetime.

Blessings to you and your loved ones as you celebrate the miracles of the season. I don’t know about you, but I think I might just sit down and enjoy some hot cocoa with family and see what Elf Adalaide is up to tonight.