I thought I would do the Elf on the Shelf thing this year, because everybody was so into it last year, and then I snatched it up for 50% off at Target after-Christmas clearance last year. Well, it has not been the biggest hit thus far (Day 2).
Starting right after Thanksgiving, we read the book to the kids to get them used to the idea of it. Parker was kind of oblivious (he doesn't get it, he's just grasping the whole Santa concept) and Drew went into the fetal position, sobbing in Dave's arms at the very THOUGHT of this weird elf in his house. I emailed his therapist, thinking this was some kind of adverse autism thing, maybe a splash of anxiety, you know..... something. She was kind enough to give us lots of suggestions for how to make it work for Drew so that he would be okay with it.
Now (in retrospect) I'm thinking it wasn't really much of an autistic reaction at all, it's just the reaction of a smart kid because this thing is FREAKY. He's not old enough to really understand the point of it, so all he sees is very strange activity going on. Fair enough.
One of Cass's suggestions was to see if Drew would be okay with having the elf come just for Parker. And he was mostly reluctantly agreeable with that (as he is MORE than happy to throw Parker under the bus for any reason whatsoever). So I told him, the Elf is coming on December 1st, just for Parker. And he goes, "is it REAL, or is it PRETEND??" He was very concerned about this.
The elf appeared on the mantle, perched on the "Wish" word. Drew stared at it for a second then pointed to his brother and said, "PARKER." But he didn't cry or anything. We had to choose a name. They had no suggestions at all, just blank stares. See? They really just don't GET it in the foggiest. Drew eventually wanted to call it Pinky, because his current favorite stuffed animal (a penguin Pillow Pet) is called Pinky. Dave said, "no, we can't have 2 Pinkies; how about Finky?" So they were vaguely confused and were like whatever, okay.....
(Parker later suggested "Time" as his name. This, coming from the kid who has sort of named his Pillow Pet "Hurt." I'm thinking he has no idea the point of naming something.)
So then, Day 2...... Finky relocated to inside a wreath. We had to remind the kids to even look for him. They were so not interested. They kind of look around with that expression that you might have when you've just seen a spider, and then it disappeared, so you're kind of looking around in all the corners going " Where DID IT GO?????"