Like a lot of people, we have an Elf on the Shelf. We have had it for a couple of years and each holiday season Norah gets more and more into it. The idea is simple--an elf comes to your house on December 1 (or in our case, December 7 when I finally found it in a still-packed box in the spare room), checks you out during the day, and then travels back to the North Pole at night and reports your good (or bad) behavior to Santa. In the morning, your elf is supposed to be in a different place to show you that he or she did in fact leave and report back to Santa that night. Norah named our elf two years ago when he arrived at our house, hence why his name is "Elfie."
Some parents up the ante and have their Elf set up in funny, naughty or precarious positions in the morning. With the proliferation of ideas on Facebook and Pinterest, I have seen elves drinking from beer bottles, noshing on a bag of marshmallows, fishing for goldfish crackers in the sink, etc. It's all very cute and I admire their tenacity. My kids, however, are lucky that Elfie just shows up in a different place every morning. On more nights than I would like to admit I woke in a cold sweat at 2:00 am, elbowing BVZ in the ribs and whispering, "did you remember to move that f'ing elf?"
The very first thing Norah would say upon waking every single morning was, "let's go find the elf." She threatened on many occasions to report my bad behavior to the elf. She would have long conversations with the elf in which she would express her desire for a gluten free make up kit and ask the elf to ask Santa what kind of cookies he preferred.
It's a sweet tradition and the twinkle in Norah's eye (and eventually Louis's, I imagine) is worth the 2:00 am cold sweats, no questions asked.