Friday, November 25, 2016

Athya, my elf on the shelf

Athya, my elf on the shelf
It’s the day after Thanksgiving so that means Athya (pronounced Ath-ee), my elf on the shelf, made his first appearance of the holiday season this morning. There are no young children in my house and I don’t have grandchildren so he’s not a scout elf reporting back to Santa every night. His only job is to entertain me, and that he does. My boys will make fun of me for this one but I don’t care. Athya is only three years old but I’ve already declared him a family treasure!

Three years ago, I started noticing elf on the shelf photos on Facebook and thought it would be fun to join in. I found my elf at the local Target store. They didn’t have the standard version elf so I bought the plushee version—a blue-eyed boy. They also had girl elves so I bought one for my daughter-in-law, whom she named Lola. Athya and Lola get together sometimes to create a little mischief.

Athya was named to honor my husband’s Scottish ancestry—his grandfather was George Durie Athya, born on June 26, 1892 in Glasgow, Scotland. My little elf keeps me entertained throughout the holiday season and often at other times of the year as well. If it snows in the winter, he comes out to play. He’s traveled to work and Atlanta with me and he’s attended our family Christmas party in Front Royal. I’ve spent hours making clothes for him in the summer months; time in the fall making props and signs for him. My niece in Atlanta even made a sign for him last year. This elf is a lot of work!

Lola and Athya
My family makes fun of my elf but they get into the spirt too. I came home from running errands one December afternoon and my husband had set Athya up with a sleigh and Rudolph and his reindeer friends pulling a load of cinnamon pecans I had made earlier that day. Another time I came home and Athya was sitting on my bed with open pieces of candy and the TV remote. Once I woke up and he was hanging from the living room curtain rod. And another time he was sitting in my chair with my Santa hat on, holding a bottle of wine. My youngest son gave him clothes—a Christmas sweater, a camouflage shirt, and a shirt and sombrero for Cinco de Mayo. Last December, I opened the microwave and there he sat. So, don’t let them fool you, they like him too!

My elf has a blog, Athya the Elf, where I post his photos. He also has a YouTube video—The Christmas Elf made by a special friend of mine. In November 2014, my friend told me about the elf his daughter was hiding from his grandchildren so I told him about my elf. We exchanged a few pictures and then he asked me to send him more. On Christmas eve, he surprised me by sending a link to the video. I gave him a hard time because he mispronounced Athya’s name and called him a girl but I treasure the video. If you watch the video, you’ll hear the names of his grandchildren mentioned. After Christmas, he told me to be prepared to send him more pictures as he wanted to make another video for Christmas 2015. But God had another plan for my friend and he passed away in his sleep last November. That just made the video more special to me.

Athya has lots of fun planned for this holiday season. This little elf brings a lot of joy to my life, so yes indeed, he definitely is a family treasure!

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