An elf on a shelf. You may not have one at your home, but I am sure you have seen them, or at very least, heard about them. We see images of them plastered all over social media, often times being displayed in the most precarious poses. I have been listening to many of my kids prattle on and on about the silly antics these crafty little elves are having in their homes. After hearing the various adventures these elves were having, I thought it would be fun to continue the game on the bus, with my students. I decided to go out and get my very own Elf on a Shelf. I wanted to find the one that we have all become familiar with. You know which one Iam talking about, he is the one with the permanent smirk plastered on his face and has an expression that makes you wonder what he has been doing. Do you think I could find THAT elf? NO!
I was unsuccessful in my search to find “The” Elf on the Shelf, but I did manage to find one I thought would make a…viable…umm…alternative. HA! More like a phony, fake, imposter, poser (input your favorite term), they all work, and all of them are applicable. Anyway, I purchased my imposter elf, whom might have been mistaken for one of Pinocchio’s siblings. The elf’s nose is almost as big and long as his ears. He has a white beard with white eyebrows, a big puffy hat with jingle bells as tassels, and the tips of his elf boots are adorned with bells as well. The expression on this elf’s face, however, has more of a drunken stupor look, than the mischievous one displayed on the, shelf elf. I decided to place him in a spot he could be easily detected, on the student mirror, inside the bus. The elf appeared to be looking out toward the students with his arms draped over the mirror and his feet dangling below the mirror.
The first students I pick up in the morning are my high school kids. I am uncertain if any of my high school students even noticed our new stowaway or if they were simply uninterested. Likely, the later of the two since no mention of the elf was made. I was more interested, however in the reaction of my younger riders. I was about seven stops into my elementary route before any of my kids noticed our new addition. Sally was the first to notice our new rider. She quickly pointed the elf out to her seat partner, prompting the rest of the gang to check out what was piquing the girls’ interest.
The elf had the reaction I was hoping for — sheer delight. I anticipated the first question one of my kids asked me about our elf. “Where did he come from?” Sally asked me.
I responded with my predetermined story about where the elf came from, by telling Sally that I had not seen my elf in many, many years. Then, out of the blue, he showed up on my bus and planted himself on my mirror, looking much older than I had remembered. 🙂
I may have been prepared for her first question, but I was completely taken by surprise by her second question. “What’s his name?”
Yikes! I had not thought of that. A name? They have names? I told them he did not have a name and asked if they would help me choose a name for him. I was immediately bombarded with myriad of suggestions, though I was driving, so I could not listen to all they were saying. Once we arrived at school, we got on with our elf naming task. Once I heard all of the children’s suggestions, I narrowed the field of choices down to my favorite three and by show of hand we landed on our elf’s name.
Meet Gandoph, the school bus elf.