Do you have an Elf on the Shelf? How do you feel about him? Does he bring stress to your house? Or joy? Both?
I think it’s time I introduced you to someone.
Meet Dingle. This is the original Elf on the Shelf.
Dingle existed long before the Elf on the Shelf commercial racket, as Charlie Brown would say, came to be.
Dingle transcends his physical body. I grew up with him, and now he lives at our house and my two brothers’ houses at the same time. My brothers’ elves might look different, but they are still Dingle. He’s magic like that.
Growing up, Dingle was our elf. I didn’t know anyone else who had their own personal elf, but I didn’t question that. All I knew was that Dingle was watching me, and if I was “extra good” he’d leave a surprise in my stocking. Before Christmas.
This made the days of advent a little extra magical and exciting. You never knew when a special something would end up in your stocking, and each day I’d check, feeling my stocking for a bulge, seeing if Dingle had delivered a small present.
Dingle is one of the most memorable and favorite Christmas tradition from my youth. The tradition continued when Tim and I were married and then when we had our children.
Dingle is different than the elves that the other kids have these days. He doesn’t fly back to the North Pole every night and move around our house making messes or ending up in silly places. He mostly stays in one place.
Until he brings a gift. When he’s in a new place, you know he’s brought a little something and you better check that stocking!
The joy I remember feeling when Dingle brought me a surprise before Christmas? It’s times ten when I see the joy on my kids’ faces when they realize Dingle has moved and there’s a gift waiting for them in their stocking.
My brothers and I often wonder why we didn’t market the elf we grew up with. Were our entrepreneurial brains turned off? We were sitting on a multi-million dollar business and didn’t even know it!
It’s a little strange having an elf that behaves differently than every other family’s elf. But we don’t mind, really.
My nine-year-old, Meghan, recently asked, “Why doesn’t Dingle look like the other elves? And why doesn’t he move every day like they do?”
I just shrugged and said, “I don’t know. Dingle chose us.”
She smiled and said, “I’m glad he did.”