Twinkle is Back

It’s December first, so it’s Twinkle’s time of year. Twinkle is Emily’s Elf on a Shelf for six years now. I worry this year might be the elf’s last year of magic.
Emily is pretty dang smart. It’s my parent’s duty to think so, but so does everyone else. Not only is she smart, but she’s a skeptic too. I blame myself for that one.

I tried to make early Disney World feel real, but it was way too intense for her. We went on Rise of the Resistance, and I would convincingly tell her to dodge lasers and watch out for stormtroopers. She was only three and exited the ride filled with terror and tears running down her face.

After that, she didn’t want to go on any rides for a long time. So, I went in the other direction. Everything is make-believe and it’s all just a show. I would show her the art behind a movie or the voice behind an actor.

She appreciated that approach a lot more. But, it made her a skeptic. “That’s not real” and “That’s fake” are always her first impressions. Parenting is hard.
With Twinkle, the magic is still real. She wants to believe an elf comes to the house every night, hides, waits to be found, and reports to Santa whether she is good or bad.

I think she just wants to believe, though. I am not so sure she will next year. Her brain moves fast, and she has more in common with an eight-year-old. So this year, Twinkle is going to make it tough. The gloves (or elf hat) are off, and the hiding places will be difficult to find.

As an aside, in another episode of Grandpa Joe is out of it, he touched the elf. There is one singular rule when it comes to elf on the shelf. You don’t touch the elf. I don’t expect Grandpa Joe to know elf rules, but he never fails to lack self-awareness.

Last night, we set up Twinkle on the tree and wrote a letter in rainbow glitter. The message let Emily know Twinkle is back and how much she missed her. Under the tree was an advent calendar with some treats.

Emily excitedly wakes up bright and early. She finds Twinkle and runs to wake everyone else up. She tells Grandpa Joe to close his eyes so she can show him a surprise. Emily walks him over to the tree and tells him all about Twinkle. He reaches for the elf. Emily and Kelly repeatedly yell, “Don’t touch her!” and while Grandpa Joe has tons of time to pull his hand back, he doesn’t. He grabs the friggin elf.

She should instantly lose her magic and become a regular doll by all elf rules. We explain it away by saying Twinkle knows Grandpa Joe doesn’t know the rules, so she gets to keep her magic. But, still, classic Grandpa Joe. He had to touch the elf.


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