By Kristin van Ogtrop
Updated January 14, 2015
Monica Buck

Sometimes, truly, the best things do come from our readers. Check out this little bundle of joy I received from reader Gwen Guillotte.

Gwen, thank you! And we all feel your pleasure... and pain.

Twas 30 days before Christmas

And over at my house

I was hunched over the computer

Clicking away on my mouse.

Photo cards on order, Cyber Monday went well

I had even used the code for the 20% off sale!

My children were nestled, not quite in their beds

Passed out on the couch, in front of Disney channel instead.

I chose to ignore the mess ­what a sight!

And thought I just might turn in for the night.

When what appeared before my weary self

Right there in front of me ELF ON A SHELF!

“Oh no!!” I whispered (it was kind of a hiss)

“I just can’t add another TO DO to my list!”

His little face widened, tears filled his eyes

And I realized my reaction was quite a surprise

“It’s not you!” I hastened, “You’re such a delight!”

“It’s just­ I can’t play with you night after night.”

I had seen the pictures, I knew what was in store

This little guy could quickly become quite a chore.

“That’s not it” he said softly, “You’ve got it all wrong”

“I’m here for the children­ YOU just play along!

I hang out in your house and add Christmas cheer

And at night I got back to Santa and the reindeer

I report on your progress and behavior, you see!

And your children will behave, all because of me!”

“Our progress,” I thought, “that’s the last thing I want.”

Another measure of what we ARE and we AREN’T.

I tried another time “Elf, you don’t understand!

If only you knew all that I have planned!

Tomorrow, after work, I have more cash to spend,

I am going to buy wineglasses for a friend.

And Wednesday there’s dance class, then piano till 8

Prep for Christmas performances, so we might be there late!

I have to drop off dry cleaning, and when I get back

I was planning to paint my nails with Shellac!

The work that’s involved with you staying here

I won’t be able to do it ­I fear!

You swing and you dance and you hang from up high

All the photos on Facebook ­I could just cry!

You fish, ride on trains, dress up as a clown,

And don’t mention Pinterest because I’ll completely break down!”

He mulled all this over, and spoke up once again,

“You need me here, my dear friend.

It doesn’t matter what I do, or where I spend the night

There’s not a rule for how to do all this right.

Christmas is for peace, love and joy

Not about perfection or another silly toy

I’ll hang out right here, and help you to remember

Why you look forward each year to December

Instead of moving me from one spot to another,

Try to enjoy your role as a mother

There will be a moment, it will come very quick

When the children won’t be so into St. Nick

It’s perfectly okay to be still and be lazy

Instead of running around like you’re crazy

We’ll hang out together, each in our special places

And enjoy the magic, the smiles on your kids’ faces

Then I’ll go home, and hope you never forget

The Christmas you enjoyed was the best Christmas yet.”