I always knew my kids would be best friends: playing, laughing, hugging, sweet children.  Hmmm?  Not sure what happened.

They do have many wonderful moments, but behavior this year has reached an all time pinnacle of naughtiness.

Though there is hope!

Usually this hope comes just after Thanksgiving, but I’m wanting to break him out early this year.

We named him Pip.

He truly does have magical powers.  Pip switches locations every night.   In the morning, my kiddos all race to see who can find the little red guy first.   Now, the best part–he watches, then reports EVERYTHING to Santa.

And my children become angels!  Or at least cut back on their minion ways.

Dani (7) and Evie (now 6) are old enough to know that Pip is a mere doll, but they are what I like to call–true believers.  They want to believe so badly that they do believe.

Yet!  There was an incident this week that even a true believer couldn’t refute.   As my girls were supposedly cleaning their room, but actually reading a toy catalogue, they discovered this.

“We knew it.  You and Dad just bought Pip!  He’s not real!” Dani proclaimed.

This took me off guard.  I stared at the toy catalogue for a minute, debating over my next crucial move.

“Who do you think put Pip in there?  Santa, of course.  He wants all children to have their own elf.”

Dani mulled over what I was saying and did exactly what a true believer does, “Oh yeah.  Santa would do that.”

Evie agreed.

Grumpy Grateful Mom Goal:  Trying to resist breaking Pip out of his box in October.


  1. What a great answer! Yes, Santa would do that.

  2. I love that they still believe. I don’t look forward to the day mine start to doubt all if it. I’m just hoping it is a long way away.

  3. I love this! Maybe you could do a pumpkin one…and it could be the great pumpkin and be in control of candy consumption after Halloween?

  4. Hahaha! I’ve got to get me a Pip! I’ve never heard of him and his magical powers. I really must go hunt for him now. 🙂

  5. Oooh, good save! Ours is named Tulley. And we’ve been talking about him lately too. But he won’t show up until around Thanksgiving.

  6. Oh too cute!!! I have only one true beliver still and it really is precious!! I love the elf idea that’s really too cute!!

  7. LOL Yes you are so right Santa would totally do that!! Brilliant.. I must get us one of those!

  8. I love that Elf! I saw one last year on another blog, but I never had one myself, so I’m definitely going to be hunting him down this year. It’s such an excellent idea 🙂

  9. Love it! Santa would totally do that!

  10. The elf idea is a good one! I wish I had thought of that when my kids were younger! My son is 10 and still believes in the Tooth Fairy, but no longer believes in Santa!

  11. I LOVE the Elf on the Shelf and I think the name Pip is so cute. Santa told us this year he’ll be sending us our very own elf since Adaline will be nearly 2 1/2 and old enough to enjoy/understand it this year. I can’t wait to see what she names him!

    Santa certainly would advertise the elves since he definitely wants every family to have one. Santa isn’t allowed to do things without permission from the parents, otherwise he’d just send an elf to every house. The charge is to cover the cost of having the elf away from the toy shop during the most busy season.

  12. That is definitely something Santa would do!

    My kids get along like yours do. I really need my own elf!

  13. That is cool. I’m going to have to get one for my hubby and have the elf play naughty tricks on him…..lose the keys, put salt in his drink of water…………oh the possiblities are endless.

  14. Oh Man! I love that idea. maybe I, too, will have to buy a “Pip”

    We are still debating on “the truth” with out 8 year old. Whenever he asks questions we turn them back on him. “Mom, is santa REALLY real.” “Well, what do you think?” That kinda thing. He’s gonna find out sooner than later but I’d rather it be later. He’s the kind of kiddo who would NOT hesitate to ruin it for everyone else. Little bugger. 🙂

    I’m glad you were able to persuade your children for now. That’s good.

  15. I need an elf like that!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  16. of COURSE Santa would do that! ha!

    I wish Elf on the Shelf would have been around when Christen was little! Actually, I wish I would have thought of it myself! 😉

  17. My friend does this as well.. and I LOVE the idea!

  18. Ok that is sooooooo cute!!!

  19. What a brilliant idea – I think now the key would be to find something that’s not so easily found in catalogs, haha

  20. I’ve debated on that one. I know many parents who want to start threatening Santa around Halloween time. The stores already have Christmas stuff out, why not your house too?

  21. Wow Pip mighta come in handy years ago! I have never heard of such loveliness!

  22. I NEED Pip in my life!

  23. adorable!

  24. I’ve so heard of other people doing this. i even thought of getting one myself last year, but my step-daughter is only with us every other weekend so I haven’t completely decided pro or con about getting one yet.

  25. Nice recovery!

    I want to try the Elf this year!

  26. We contemplated getting an Elf on the Shelf 2 years ago, but the real ones FREAK ME OUT! So creepy looking! Not to mention they are ridiculously expensive. So last year when Hobby Lobby had all of their Christmas stuff for 50% off (around this time of year) we found our very own elf that is dang cute! He didn’t come with the story book, but for the difference of $25 it was worth it!

    Our kids named him Candy Cane and he worked like a charm last year and they’ve already been asking when he’ll be back. I can’t wait for Thanksgiving, because we could use some real behavior modification that only a magical being could bring!

  27. I think I’m going to get this for Ryan this year.. not sure Reese will understand but she’ll figure it out in years to come. Smart thinkin’ girl– I would have probably said, oh, crap.. you’re right.. and shrugged my shoulders .. i love that your sweeties still believe! I wanted to believe for so long and even when I saw hard proof, I still wanted to believe it was real.

  28. What a cute idea! I wish I would have had that when my kids were little! You are a clever mom to come up with a response so quickly. 🙂 As far as mothers go… you are definitely a pro! Thanks for sharing your cute life… I love following along. It helps me to appreciate my teenagers because I realize how fast it goes by now when I read about you and your little ones. So thank you for that.

  29. I wish I would have had an idea like that! So cute! My kids all know Santa isn’t real anymore…takes the fun out of it. I asked my 15 year old if Christmas wasn’t fun anymore because he knew about Santa…he thought for a sec and said “I like getting presents!” So I guess it doesn’t really matter…but now that the mystery is gone I can’t hold it over their heads any more!

  30. LOL! Thats awesome. Cant wait til Elf on the Shelf starts working over in this hosue

  31. Oh, my gosh this was cute. I love the Elf idea and will pass it on to my children.
    Blessings to you for the bright smile you brought to my face.

  32. We bought that for my nieces last year! I’m so excited to break him out in the condo!

  33. Bravo, and quick thinking on your feet! I really like that one. Wish I had thought of it to sell;) I’ll tell my sister about it, who could probably use it desperately.

  34. You know, I had never heard of this until I was in the Hallmark store the other day and saw the little boxed set with a story book and an elf. It was really cute and I wondered if it would work. I still have no clue if it would work on my little monster, but it might be worth a try!

    I love your girls’ reactions, by the way. How cute!

  35. Way to be thinking on your feet!

    We have never implemented the “Elf” strategy, but I hear it works miracles!

  36. This is genious!! I’ll have to remember this one.

  37. I only have one child who that might work with, but it kinda creeps me out. haha!
    I like your blog look. I had an option to try out one of the new blog templates on Blogger, but it froze and now I can’t figure out how to get back. 🙂 Doesn’t matter much since I’ve had to almost abandon my little blog.

  38. When I was growing up, Santa always sent an elf to our house too. His name was Jingles. 🙂 I actually inherited him (he looks just like yours, only much smaller) and we’ve carried on the elf tradition with our kids too. My youngest (10) is no longer a “believer”… darn it all!!!

  39. Do you think the idea of Pip would work on a 13 and 15-year?

  40. I am jumping on Amazon right after this. My girls are still believers as I tell them that I still believe and that the Christmas spirit would die if we all doubted Santa Claus. I hope it works with Ash. She has started to take her little sister, Bean, for granted. If I can’t make it clear…maybe our own little Elf on a Shelf will 🙂
    Thanks for this!!!

  41. I’m with Kazzy. I need one that will work on a 13 and 18 year old 🙂

  42. Now that is just genius!!!!

  43. Awesome answer! hahaha. And it is true. Because Santa needs all the help he can get. There are many children out there. 😉

  44. Phew that was close! My 7 year old still believes too

  45. What are the odds? Glad you think fast 😉

  46. Crap! That was a close call and quick thinking! I hope Pip does his job again this year so you can have some peace.

  47. —My mom has a little elf like PIP. He kind of freaks me out. :)))

  48. This is a genius idea! Whatever works!

  49. Nice save! I’m going to try the Elf this year with mine too.

  50. Hilarious! Great comeback. This is a cool idea.

  51. Good idea! LOL…

  52. Read this post and the comment reply from someone from the company (if you haven’t already)


  53. Sounds like a brilliant idea! How about June?

  54. I still don’t have one of those! I need one. Maybe he should make an appearance at least once a month. I love that your daughter said that that would be something Santa would do! Just tell them that a secret camera is hidden inside the doll and that’s how they watch them on those video screens in Polar Express!

  55. You are a genius!

  56. Really? I saw that lil guy…prob in that catalog haha….was debating on getting him 🙂 looove your quick coverup! There is nothing than a child believing! I’ll be so sad when they don’t!

  57. I need a Pip! LOL my kids would admit me. ROTFL

  58. I think a need a Pip. I could use an extra set of eyes around here.

  59. OH MY GOSH! Same exact catalog!!! I guess I got my price wrong. Absolutely ridiculous. I love your quick thinking. I’m ashamed of what I did. (I haven’t told anyone this) – I had ripped the page out. The next night at dinner Ryan brought it up. I told him to SHOW me in the catalog. When he couldn’t find it anymore I told him that seeing it must have just been his imagination. Now I’ve made him think he’s gone crazy. Well done Ali.

  60. That is really funny that they found his picture in the catalog! Your response was perfect! We just started using the Elf on the Shelf last year (we named him Brian) and it was great. I can’t wait to get him out again right after Thanksgiving. I reminded a misbehaving John just a few days ago that even though Brian isn’t here yet, he’s still watching from the North Pole!

  61. HA! I know that age well–they’re clever enough to have doubts, but like you said, they want to believe so they embrace any evidence to the contrary. 🙂

    He looks so jolly and happy–I want a Pip!

  62. I’ve always loved those fun little elves! I can see why you’d want to break it out early!

  63. You’re not the only one with naughty children! Yes, what *did* happen to those perfect little angels I imagined before I became “Mommy?”

    I was at Sam’s Club last night, and all the Christmas stuff is out and it makes me want to start SHOPPING! And BUYING! I hope we find a hidden cash stash soon…

  64. Good save! You’re a quick thinker. I would have blown it. But I agree with you .. when they want to believe, they will do what they can to make it happen.

  65. I love posts like this cause then I know I’m not crazy – we’re all dealing with our kids’ crazy behavior! Pip starts working in October for sure.

  66. Ahhhh what a clever way to deal with the shenanigans! Maybe it will help!

  67. I wish we had this idea around when my kids were little….. it’s a cute one and you are a quick thinker on your feet with the girls and the catelog. I would have blown the whole thing!

  68. Stephanie says:

    we do elf on the shelf too! ours will get a name this year last year Maggie was too little 🙂

  69. I am TOTALLY stealing this idea! How cute! Not cute that they almost blew the cover of that elf though. That was close, Momma!

  70. Santa would totally do that. Way to think on your feet! Ok, if you need Pip to have a sidekick, go over and read this post at Wonder, Friend about her little witch Hazel. This may be what you need to cure some naughtiness!


  71. OMG, I’m totally using that response. My boys are the same, they behave so well for Chink (or Elf).

  72. Good save! I applaud you for your quick and thoughtful comeback!

    My boys are 5 and 7. I should have started the Elf-on-a-shelf tradition years ago. Lord knows my kids could use a little Pip to keep them in line. But if I introduce the elf this year they might not buy it. They’d be all where was the elf last year and the year before? Hmmm…

  73. You are lucky. I am raising a bunch of cynics. My #2 girl declared Santa wasn’t real when she was just 3 and has been on a crusade to rid all children of “the Santa Claus lie”. And my kids still lose all control as soon as they see Halloween costumes and don’t calm down until the day after Christmas. I am currently living in a madhouse.

  74. Hehehe too funny!!! They’re becoming wise 🙂

  75. I think my kids need their own Pip this year. Oh, the bickering…UGH!

  76. We have the Silly Elf … I love what they do in Australia–because Christmas is in the middle of the summer, they tell the kids that those little plant fluffball things (do you know what I mean?) are Santa’s little watchers. I got sad I couldn’t do that until I realized that I could have at least a little while of “best behavior” in the summer ….

    Am I making any sense tonight? I just read over this and I’m afraid I sound like I’m a few cents short of a dollar … oh dear! I’m tired!

  77. I have a green one of these from when I was a kid…looks exactly like this but green. Has it been around that long? I brought it out and told my kids and it freaked my son out so much that he was petrified of it and wouldn’t enter the room it was in. So much for the elf on the shelf around here…lol!


  1. […] Leave a Comment It’s been a rocky start to the Christmas season.   Our Elf on the Shelf, Pip, even left us for about a week.  He was appalled by my children’s overly mischievous […]

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