When the magic ends | Klutch Photography | Vancouver family photographer

I remember it like it was yesterday, the first time the Elf on the shelf visited the Stoddard family, It was on Dec 4th, 2011 and after that moment my December has never been the same.

Back in November 2011I also remember when I first heard about the EOTS I was talking to a mom about this elf she bought for her kids and it would move from "shelf" to "shelf" in the night and keep tabs on her kids then report to Santa! The only thing that caught my attention was that it moved at night. Right there, I thought "I have to do this"! The ideas started from that moment on, the only problem was the world (at the time) seemed to be SOLD OUT of this red dressed, plastic white dude with brown hair sealed in a box called for $39.98 called The Elf on the Shelf!

Being a thrifter (a slightly addicted thrifter) I decided I would channel the universe and hopefully something usable would appear while I shopped that I could make my own ETOS.


The 6-inch 70's fairy/elf looking Spanish doll with a foam core body and a wired frame was in a plastic bag marked $0.99. That night I widdled an Elly the elf.

The adventures that were curated from that initial arrival on Dec 4th have been small and sometimes they've been utterly epic! Hours have been spent, lies have been told, shit got broken, messes were made, people were plotting, elves multiplied, kids were angry, mom was pretending angry, deliveries with people who were in on it and dropoffs with people that were in on it and oh so many amazing memories of the spirit of believing have been made.

December 4th, 2011-Elly the elf arrives in our house. Amara was three and Che' was six.

December 4th, 2011-Elly the elf arrives in our house. Amara was three and Che' was six.


My oldest turned 12 this year and we all know she knows but she wanted to never know and I wasn't about to take that away from her! So we have never ever talked about it. You know the Elf thing that is. She wanted her magic to continue and so did I.

This past may she asked if she could look at my Lightroom catalogue with literally 100,00 images in it. I was reading behind her in my office club chair when she bolts out of the room. I naturally thought "this kid needs to pee really bad" and I continued to read. Then I heard it, tears, hard sobbing tears...

OMG, my heart sank as I looked up at my computer screen only to see the images of another Spanish doll being converted into what is now Elly's sister Eve who joined us a few years back. I document everything and that deconstruction/reconstruction was right there on the screen. It was official, I closed the door on her magic, I rung the bell and couldn't unring it.  At that moment I made her magic end, unintentionally of course. She cried so hard that when her younger sister walked into the house to grab a glass of water she asked: "did someone had died"?  And in my mind, I was like "ya only the death of innocence Amara and the magic of Christmas"!  

I lied and said she missed her friends and Amara went back outside to play. I comforted Che' for 10 more minutes before I mentioned that she was now part of a special club!  She was now a member of the magic of Christmas club, she would now be my helper to keep Amara's special magic alive. Still sobbing, shook her head to say yes.

The next few days after that moment occurred she would take me aside and whisper questions to me about certain Elf adventures that were stumping her! OH MAN, that kid had questions, she had SO many questions, at times she looked puzzled and other times she was in AWE of what took place to make the magic happen. 

She is mended now and at peace but sadly I'm not. It has changed for me, now the magic is gone for one of my two girls BUT I will try to find a "different magic" now that the real one has ended... as all things do. We just reinvent our experiences and make new ones. Not better ones per say but new ones! Life is not static and I had a long run, a beautiful long run of real magic. One down, one more to go!

BTW-Che' and I are not talking about Santa. She literally is sticking her fingers in her ears and closing her eyes...I'm fine with that!

Dec 4th, 2017 Amara is nine and Che' is twelve.

Dec 4th, 2017 Amara is nine and Che' is twelve.


Here's just some of there antics over the years!

2017 Their arrival home!

2017 Their arrival home!






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