I am a total sucker for silly, magical things. I went to the Denver aquarium specifically to see the mermaids (and the otters) and I love pretty much every form of anthropomorphism that ever happened.
So when a friend told me about the Elf House at Lake Harriet my response was somewhere along the lines of “THAT SOUNDS AMAZING LET’S GO THERE NOW OH IT’S WINTER.”
And I also decided I should wait and go with a friend who has a child because that’s less weird than a 33-year-old woman writing notes to an elf and hiding them in a tree.
The Elf House has been a Lake Harriet fixture for 13 years. It’s comprised a teeny tiny door at the base of a tree, next to a walking path on the shores of Lake Harriet. For years children (and now 33-year-old women) have been leaving notes, coins, and tiny gifts for the ‘Elf.’
Every few days the notes and gifts disappear and tiny thank you notes are left in their place.
So last week, my lovely friend Brandy and her daughter Serena joined me for an Elf House adventure. We parked at the band shell and walked along the path for a mile or so, till we saw the tree with the tiny door, complete with knocker.
We penned a note to Mr. Elf and as we opened the wee door we saw we had some pretty tough competition. A tiny book, a bag of hard candy, quarters, Crackerjack stickers? We should have stepped up our game – maybe we could have brought him a tiny hat? Or some chocolate coins? Or a mixtape? Elves seem like they’d be into mixtapes, right?
Regardless, Serena had a great time opening and closing the little door and tucking our note inside. As we headed back, a group of little kids rushed past us to get to the Elf House, each pulling out a little treat to put inside. It was so sweet!
I’m tempted to go back a second time, with more friends and their kiddos. This time we’ll bring a better gift. (Which is obviously a Pixies mixtape.)
Does your city have any weird, magical landmarks? And more important question: what would go on a mixtape for an elf?