Okay, so to fully understand what is going on around here I have to take you back to about three days before Christmas LAST year. We were in Alabama visiting the friends that we so quickly had to pick up and leave when Pat lost his job (right at the time that we received our approval to travel to China to get Rylee). So anyway, we were here introducing Rylee to our friends and one of them happens to fill Hanna in on how you go about getting an Elf to visit your home.
All you have to do is write a letter to Santa, leave some crackers and water out and presto - your elf arrives. She fills us in on these amazing facts two days before Christmas on our 9 hour car ride back to Myrtle Beach. I say "What? I have never heard of such a thing!" What I get back from her is "It's true Mom, you leave a letter for Santa, put out crackers and water and the elf will come! Then the elf will cover our house in toilet paper, put makeup on Daddy and do all sorts of crazy stuff while we are all sleeping! It's true, Ms. "A" told me so!" So, I do the only thing a good and loving Mother would do and I call said friend to find out the actual facts. Alas, with a big sigh I hang up the phone. Yes it has in fact been said to be true, these things have been told to my daughter and confirmed by the friends Mom (in case you are wondering yes, we are still friends). So my starry eyed daughter leaves out her note, the crackers and even the water the night before Christmas Eve.
The next morning she leaps out of bed, eyes sparkling in anticipation and runs down with the full expectation of finding her assigned elf there just waiting for her. Unfortunately what she found was not an elf, but instead a letter explaining that ANY and ALL available elves had already gone to other families (before sweet Hanna's request had come in) but she was assured that the next available elf would be hers! Slight disappointment followed but she understood, due to the lateness of the request and all.
Fast forward to this year and several letters have been sent out in the mail reminding Santa that she has been promised an elf and she is anxiously waiting it's arrival. I tell her things like "Hanna, if you get an elf and it messes up the house - who do you think is going to be responsible for cleaning it up?". "I will Mom" Hanna assures me followed quickly by another note requesting that Santa send her a "well behaved elf, please". Every few nights signs would appear in the Kitchen stating things like "Elves always welcome" and "We love Elves" and "p.s. Please don't mess up the house!"
Finally when Santa could take the pestering no longer - a preview of the coming elf arrived:
A picture of the elf, along with a note saying that "Holly" would soon be done working and would be able to join our family for an extended vacation. Holly, we are assured, is one of the best behaved elves that Santa has and she is looking forward to meeting and spending time with Hanna. Every morning she races out of bed to the kitchen to see if Holly has arrived. All the elf facts have now been reinforced by countless number of friends and in addition to that, elf sightings are frequently being reported in and around school.
Finally, FINALLY, she arrives! Hanna wakes me up with shaking hands to show me the note Santa left about Holly, along with snowflakes from the north pole. Hanna is beyond excited, over the top giddy about her new found friend. Even when she was discovered balancing over the fish bowl using a home made fishing pole (which prompted a big NO FISHING sign to be put up by Hanna)!
Rylee watches all of this with only slight interest. When Holly finally arrived Rylee's comment was "Dis you Elf-a-bet Hannaw finally today?" She studies Holly with her nose crinkled up and says "Oh." Nope, not to interested in elves here - she has other interests, like GINGERBREAD MEN!
Not to worry though - her thoughtful and loving big sis left another note! "Dear Santa, please send my sister and elf!" Hmmm... maybe Santa should have planned ahead a little on this one!