Joy has returned to our home...

and this... this is Joy...

Joy is our Elf of the Shelf.  She (yes... SHE) joined our family last year and after reading her story Zoe named her Joy.  We're very happy she's back to visit us again.  She magically appeared tonight.  We think it's because Santa came to town for the Madison Santa parade.  Santa must have dropped off the elves while he was here.  We were very surprised that when we came home from the parade... there was Joy.

Joy has a VERY important job.  She spends the weeks before Christmas with us... and each night she uses her magic to travel to the North Pole to let Santa know how Zoe and Ana are behaving.  Joy makes it back to our house before we wake up... and she picks a new place to sit and watch.

Zoe is extremely serious about Joy and the work she does.  Last year... if Zoe was behaving badly... all anyone needed do was remind her in a whisper "Oh no... I hope Joy isn't seeing what you're doing... she's sure to tell Santa."  Suddenly Zoe would stop whatever she was doing (usually whining or crying or occasionally having a fit over some preschool type drama) and would give a glance in Joy's direction. It's amazing what a little elf can do!

We've all been looking forward to Joy's return.  Hopefully her magic is just as powerful this year!