Lilian loves this little guy...but I do think this may be the last year she believes fully in him. Granted, that would be okay. I started this whole thing with the idea in mind of a Christmas game of sorts, a fun little tradition that would be something special for Lilian seeing she is so much younger than her siblings and kind of missed out on some of the fun things we did when the other three were young and excited about Santa. However, I never pushed the whole "Chester watches you throughout the day and reports back to Santa each night, so you better be good" angle. I never really intended for her to believe so fully in his magical realness. But when Chester first showed up four Christmases ago, Lilian had a lot of friends with elves and I didn't want to ruin that....Lilian is not the best at secrets. So though I didn't push it, I also didn't deny it.
Lilian has been asking a lot of questions this year...not only about Chester but also Santa. And that makes sense because this was the age that her brother and sisters figured things out. So I sidestepped some questions this year not wanting to really drop everything on her right during the middle of the Christmas season. But I'm pretty sure that next year if we do Chester, she will fully know that it is me hiding the little guy and creating the mischief he gets into each night. At least I'm hoping she will still want to continue on with the tradition just for the fun of it. Because I tell you what, I've certainly enjoyed it!
So for posterity sake (and for Lilian down the road because she enjoys seeing these pictures) here's our third season of Chester, our elf on the shelf.
*Making Minions out of the bananas.
*Messing around with the bandaids.
*Building a tower out of the Christmas stories.
*Holding a Santa balloon.
*Listening to some Elvis Christmas on vinyl.
*Reading in 3 Nephi 1:13-21 about the sign of Christ's birth in Bethlehem.
*Hide and Seek in the toilet paper rolls in the bathroom.
*A game of chess with Lilian's stuffed monkey with chocolate kisses as pieces.
*Bowling with pinecones and an ornament.
*Mapping out all the different places the family was during this week....the majority of us in Utah, Bryan on a business trip in New Jersey and Rebekah in England.
*Doing an iron cross of sorts in the midst of the family pictures in the hall.
*Stringing Christmas lights around the sink and toilet in the bathroom.
*Climbing a tree (or plant, really) in the kitchen.
*Reading "The Night Before Christmas."
*Silly clown-like noses on all of us.
*And on Christmas Eve morning Lilian awoke to find a note from Chester thanking her for another season of fun and a stuffed elf that she was allowed to hold and play with while he was gone.