This time of year, there's always a pesky, fun-loving, mischievous guest who shows up in my house uninvited (kind of).  Does he or she come to your house too?  This character is about a foot tall, weighs almost nothing, dresses in red and white, wears a funny hat and constantly has an entertaining/annoying smirk.

Yes, yes... I'm talking about...THE ELF ON THE SHELF!

jaime elf

"Love" started making daily (hopefully) appearances in our home last year when my daughter was three years old.  This is Love's second year cursing... uh-em... gracing our home with her presence.  She shows up in the silliest of places and likes to make messes.

jaime elf 5

So far this year, she's already overslept once (oops!) and was in the same spot from the day before when my daughter woke up.  But our genius, hard-working, quick-thinking elf (hee, hee) didn't miss a beat and made the trip to the North Pole while my daughter wasn't looking - leaving this note and "magical" elf dust to expedite her return.

jaime elf 4

It never fails I forget to think of our elf as I go about my day, only for her to come to mind at two a.m. just as I'm climbing into bed.  Boy... I sure am happy she doesn't need my help flying back to the North Pole and then finding a new location to hide in our home!!!

And what thanks do I get for thinking of this lovable little elf??  She rolls my Christmas tree!

jaime elf 2

I'm sure my love/hate relationship with our short, Santa-obsessed guest will grow on me over the years (oh gosh, how many more years of this elf do I have ahead of me?) and perhaps my memory will improve and, coincidentally, Love won't oversleep anymore.  But as long as Love the elf continues to make my daughter laugh, smile and look around with wonderment every morning, she will be welcome in our home year after year after year after (oh gosh) year...

Here are some of Love's escapades from 2012:

jaime elf 3

So do you have an elf visit your home?  What have been some of your favorite surprises from the elf or unique hiding spots or biggest messes?