Yes folks, we've gone commercial and embraced the new "tradition" of "The Elf on the Shelf."
The story goes that any family can adopt an elf to act as a scout for Santa. The elves patiently hibernate in their boxes (at Borders!) until brought home and given a name by a child, which bestows upon it its magic powers. The elf dutifully watches the child's behavior all day, then flies back to the North Pole every night to give Santa a report. He's back by morning, resting in a different place than before he left. The only rule is that kids can't touch him, as this will cause the elf to lose its powers and not be able to see Santa that night. Each morning there's a hunt to find the little guy to make sure he returned safely.
Joseph named our elf "Johnny Duddle." Which sounds bizarre, of course, unless you know that Johnny is a real person, an author in fact, who wrote one of our favorite books, "The Pirate Cruncher." Any time you ask Joseph to give someone or something a name, it is always Johnny Duddle. Wish our elf could make a pitstop and let Mr. Duddle know he's got a big fan.
Johnny can be anywhere in the morning - the mantle, a bookshelf, the bathroom, perched on a vase. Just remember, he's watching!!!