We added a new member to our household over the weekend, at least for the season.

Colin had been curious about “The Elf on the Shelf,” so this year, I decided to get one and picked it up over the weekend. He was both excited and a little creeped out by the idea when I showed him.

We sat down and read the storybook that comes with it. In the story, you hear the rules — like no touching the elf — and that naming it brings it its magic. So, after we read the story, I asked Colin what he wanted to name him. After a few minutes, he came downstairs, announcing he wanted to name our new household member “Pug Elf.”

Colin carefully placed the box in our upstairs hallway so he could check on him through the day. He worried about the elf being secured down by the twisty ties, but I assured Colin Pug Elf’s magic would allow him to escape when it was time to go report to Santa.

That night, once everyone was in bed, Pug Elf made his first journey and set up shop nearby, on a shelf in the hallway. He only moved a few feet that night.

I was barely asleep when I felt a tap on my shoulder: “Mommy, the elf moved!”

The next night, the elf moved and set up shop next to Colin’s alarm clock. Once again, I was woken up in the middle of the night to be informed the elf had moved, and it was in Colin’s room.

He was not a fan of that. He said he felt creeped out by the elf being in there, especially while he was sleeping and had a hard time getting back to sleep. Rest assured, Colin, Pug Elf has taken note.

When I returned home from work one night, I went to plug in the outdoor Christmas lights and the lights in our village; however, the lights to the village were already on. Both boys denied plugging it in, and I was certain I had unplugged them the night before.

“Mommy, the elf did it!” Colin exclaimed.

The next couple of nights, I made it through the night without being woken up to information on the elf’s movements. But first thing in the morning, Colin is ready to try to figure out where the elf had set up shop.

Colin wanted to run a couple of experiments, too. He had heard of and watched YouTube videos of some of the mischief elves can get into as they’re moving around at night. So, for two nights, as we slowly put up and decorated our tree, Colin left ornaments out to see if the elf would hang them for us. Sure enough, both nights he did, and his most recent location is nestled into our tree.

I’m so happy to see that Colin is still excited about the magic of Christmas. It seems like kids grow up so fast these days, and I want to hang onto these moments of awe and wonder as long as I can. So thanks, Pug Elf, for helping keep the magic of childhood alive.

— Features Editor Tracy Goldizen can be reached via email at tgoldizen@ottumwacourier.com or followed on Twitter @CourierTracy.

Tracy Goldizen is the Courier's features and magazine editor, leading production of the award-winning "Ottumwa Life" and the Courier's other magazine offerings. She began work with the Courier on the copy desk.

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