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Elf on a Shelf?

I am amazed with all of this “Elf on a Shelf” stuff. I’ve had an elf in this house for 25 years! Our elf, though, is Jule Nissan, a twist on a Scandinavian legend. OUR elf is a year round little guy, who is quite the grumpy elf. Jule Nissan does not like Christmas, does not like making toys, does not like other elves, and does not like people. 25 years ago, Jule took a liking to our house and our animals and jumped off Santa’s sleigh to live in our attic. And so the story begins.

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Jule Nissan loves animals, but he is not crazy about humans, especially children. He is a trickster, loving to hide things from the humans in the house. Whenever something in the house is lost or cannot be found right away, it is Jule Nissan who hid it or moved it. Such mischief! Jule Nissan makes VERY rare appearances, always where you would least expect to find him (and always where children cannot reach him). His appearance always is followed by a quick disappearance. When my children would come to find me to tell me they saw him…he would be gone! I would see him once in a while as well, but he would disappear before the kids saw him.

Our elf isn’t all naughtiness. He is very, very good with animals, and can calm them down when they are upset or sick. Jule Nissan also takes them treats. He is so much happier in our attic than at the North Pole. Unlike other elves, he is not big on sugar or cookies. Jule Nissan’s favorite thing to eat is Oatmeal. Now, on Christmas Eve, when one leaves cookies and milk for Santa, and carrots for the Reindeer, one can never forget the importance of leaving out oatmeal for Jule Nissan. If not…Jule will be very upset, and open all the gifts, and hide all of Santa’s presents! Wouldn’t that be awful?? So a bowl of oatmeal is left along with the other yummies, just for Jule! Yes, we continue the practice even today. We have friends whose grandchildren spend every Christmas Eve here…and they now place the oatmeal and the other treats.

My children LOVED telling everyone about our elf. They thought it was really neat to have one since none of their friends did. Their friends had never heard of such a thing, an elf loose in the attic! So what is my point? Well, I have always sought to make holidays, ESPECIALLY Christmas, a magical time of the year. I decorate …. actually I basically REdecorate the house. I love magic and mystery and anticipation…Christmas is the time of year when anything can happen. The elf was always so special, so fun to talk about all year. xmas eve 09 the elvesElves have been a theme in my life forever. Our house was always decorated with elves for Christmas. See photo of some of my childhood elves? I still have them, obviously.

So…did I miss out on a great opportunity? It never occurred to me that anyone else would want an elf. Of course, our elf does not report to Santa. Who would have thought that a little tattle tale elf would be so popular? It is a cute idea, but I wonder at the ubiquity of it. Are all of them the same? I haven’t seen the movie…I’ll have to watch it. Maybe I should have written a Christmas book! My story would probably be scary though! Food for thought.

I love hearing about original Christmas customs!

 

Read more from Tam Warner Minton on her blog, Travels With Tam

Tam Warner Minton

I am an avid scuba diver, underwater photographer, amateur historian; interested in all people and cultures. For me, the unexpected is usually the norm! My motto? Live life on purpose and with passion and do what you can to make a difference in this world, no matter how small! Contact me at travelswithtam@gmail.com

Tam Warner Minton

I am an avid scuba diver, underwater photographer, amateur historian; interested in all people and cultures. For me, the unexpected is usually the norm! My motto? Live life on purpose and with passion and do what you can to make a difference in this world, no matter how small! Contact me at travelswithtam@gmail.com

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