Grinch shares the true spirit of the season –
Story and photos by Patricia Beech –
Students arriving at Peebles Elementary, Thursday, Dec. 15, were greeted by the ever-elusive Elf on a Shelf who returned to the school for a second year of seasonal fun.
The Elf, braving the bitterly cold morning, perched atop the school sign and waved at students as they arrived at the school. Each day thereafter, he was spotted in various locations around the school before making his final appearance Wednesday morning in the school’s concession stand. Children entering the school gathered round the sleeping Elf hoping to discover his true identity.
The Elf’s alter-ego is the hottest topic and best kept secret in the school.
“The kids love the mystery of it,” said PES Aide Brian Seaman. “They all talk about who the Elf could be, and when they arrive at school their faces are pressed against the bus windows looking for him.”
While many of the PES students believe that Seaman himself is the Elf, he denies it emphatically.
“When they ask if I’m the Elf, I deny it vehemently,” he says. “If some goofy adult playing the Elf on the Shelf or Santa Claus brings joy to children, that’s really what’s important, it doesn’t matter whose behind the costume.”
PES Aide Cynthia Rader, who makes a yearly appearance as the Grinch, says bringing a sense of fun to the holidays is an important role for adults who work with children.
“I think it’s good for kids to see adults in positions of authority cut lose sometimes,” Rader said. “I have a choice and a chance to do that by dressing up like the Grinch.”
Rader says she hopes to share the true spirit of Christmas with students by talking about the Grinch’s transformation.
“The Grinch hates Christmas, he hates the people, but then the people make him change his mind and cause his heart to grow bigger,” she says. “The magic of Christmas transforms him and at the end he is full of love.”
Seaman agrees that creating a caring and fun environment during the holiday season is beneficial for both the students and the adults at PES.
“It’s a wonderful thing to bring joy to children,” he says. “Many of these kids have very little at home, and it’s really important to show them love and give them your time and interest – especially at Christmas time.”