• 63°

A Christmastime spy in the sky

I, by no means, have any more parenting knowledge than any other father out there. Depending on the age of your children, I may have less. However, after six years, I’ll offer just one piece of advice: If you don’t have an Elf on a Shelf, get one. Now.

If you’re not familiar with the concept, the Elf is basically a spy for Santa. He watches your children and makes sure they’re good.

If they’re not, he narcs them out to the big man himself.

Last year was our household’s first to host the elf. Now, we have two. We called in reinforcements.

The Elf, dressed in a red jumpsuit and hat, is about the size of your hand and comes with a little children’s book that explains his or her purpose.

The child gets to name the Elf, but is not allowed to touch it. A helpful hint to those who do not know: the Elf always lands on something out of the reach of children, like a high shelf or atop a picture frame.

Lizzie’s elf is named Walter. Walter is like a warden. Much like The Captain from “Cool Hand Luke,” he will have no shenanigans.

This year, with the addition of baby Bradlee, Sally the Elf came along with Walter.

Their presence in our house this Christmas season has influenced Lizzie’s decision-making process.

You can see it run across her mind: “What would Walter do?”

Walter and Sally fly from room to room. Every day, when Lizzie gets home from school, she looks for them. Every night, before she goes to bed, Lizzie looks for them, again.

She likes to know where they are at all times. Whenever Lizzie enters a room where Walter is perched, she makes eye contact with him, kind of like how two gunslingers make eye contact in those old Clint Eastwood movies before one of them gets dealt with.

The thing I most like about Walter and Sally is that, much like Santa Claus, they see and know all.

And what Walter and Sally don’t see, I can tell them.

Walter has become a mediator that we have thoroughly enjoyed having in our home. All kidding aside, it’s been fun to watch Lizzie interact with Walter, and you can tell she’s enjoyed what has become a new Christmas tradition. And just like any other Christmas tradition, all good things must come to a temporary end.

In a little less than a month, Walter and Sally will catch a ride back to the North Pole with Santa.

I’ve already written my letter to Santa asking that they be permanently reassigned to my house, but my expectations are that they need to report back with his other elf operatives for a debriefing and will promptly return after Thanksgiving 2011.

Jason Cannon is the editor and publisher of The Demopolis Times.