The True Story of Chippy Lost & Found Journey

Elf on the Shelf

The True Story of Chippy Lost & Found Journey 

Red poinsettia

"This closet is sheer chaos," said Katelyn's mom as she started lifting clear totes filled with Christmas babels, holiday trinkets, ribbons, ornaments, as well as other Christmas goods of plenty. 

"We'll donate a portion of this & take what we can sell to the home consignment store, Home Again," uttered Katelyn as she maneuvered through a building pile of plastic bags & holiday pillows. 

Taking a deep breath, the 2021 closet purge began. Katelyn & her mom shifted through {what seemed like} endless totes filled with once cherished decor that seem to have lost its luster over the years. Together the two grunted, hoisted, tossed, & organized household items, but mostly seasonal decor. 

Nothing was safe. "What about this?' Mom said to Katelyn. She was holding a slightly sparkly plush penguin with a silver bow around its neck. "We can sell it," Katelyn said. In the sell bag, it went with many more items. 

This continued as the two stored what they were keeping in the mounding pile of cleared-out bins, donating some items, & filling the car with bins to take to consignment.  "We have two of these, Home Again will take this" Mom said to Kately holding the white & red box containing a Christmas Elf.  His name is Chippy. 

Busy, only looking up for a second, Katelyn waved her hand in approval as she stuffed more unwanted seasonal items in bags that were to leave the house. 

After two hours of agony, the car was loaded, the closet was cleared & items were dropped off to donations as well as to the second-hand store. 


Fast forward a few weeks, Holly Berry, Chippy's sister was out as Katelyn was photographing her for an upcoming photo project. 

"Where's Chippy?" Mom said. "Well, you donated him to Home Again," said Katelyn. "My God! We did!" Cried, Mom. "We have to get him back!" 

You see, Chippy wasn't like the other elves, purchased online or from a big box store. Chippy was a gift from the author{s} of The Elf on the Shelf, Chanda Bell & Carol Abersold.  In fact, so was his sister, Holly Berry. Together, they were ten times more magical than the other elves as they came directly from their maker, they possessed authentic magic from The North Pole. 

Not only was Chippy authentically magical, but his family was also Holly. Now, that the elf family was broken & only magic could mend it. 

As if she just witnessed an avalanche, a shiver went up Katelyn's spine, "I'll text Home Again," "Hopefully, she hadn't sold Chippy." After a few text messages were exchanged, the elf hadn't been sold. It was agreed that Katelyn could stop by the shop to pick Chippy up the following day. 

Maybe Christmas magic was on their side? 


Heading to the shop, Katelyn weaved in between isles full of objects new & mostly antiqued that once filled insides of people's homes.  While it was visually displayed with an artistic eye, these items once furnished living rooms, someone's bedroom, trinket display cabinets, & no-doubly, attics. 

"Ah, Katelyn. I am so sorry. I forget" said the owner of the shop. "I brought the elf to my house for my daughter to buy for Christmas" she finished. "What about the little elf close in the box, do you want those back too?"

Annoyed that her elf was in someone else's home & not back with her, Katelyn said, "I just want Chippy back." In reality, she wanted it all back, but Chippy was the most important. 

"What good are the clothes without the thing?" Gruffed the shop owner's dad, a partner to the storefront. Feeling stupid to have put Chippy {& herself} in this situation, Katelyn didn't say anything, but bit her lip, from inside her mask & hoped that extra Christmas magic Chippy had would come into play.

"Okay..." "Can you stop back in tomorrow?" said the owner. "I will have the elf then.

The next afternoon, Katelyn came back to the shop. The owner brisked past her & picked up a square-shaped box wrapped in many-many plastic bags.  It was obvious she was disguising the box from her children's eyes. Barely saying "here" the owner handed the boxy bags to Katelyn & huffed away. Clearly annoyed that this elf wouldn't become her children's elf. 

Her annoyance didn't phase Katelyn. There were plenty of Elf on the Shelf toys at Target. What matters is that Chippy was on his way home--where he belonged. 

Elf on the Shelf ideas

After what was a tense few days, the power of Christmas Magic came to be. Chippy received the best bath he ever had, his clothes freshly laundered & pressed. A warm living room with plush throws, soft twinkle lights, & his sister, Holly welcomed him home. 

Elf on the shelf in a blue tee-shirt
Chippy the Lost & found Elf on the Shelf 

Clothes for Elf on the Shelf
Chippy, the Elf on the Shelf 

Chippy was home! Right, where he was supposed to be. 

Happy Holidays & Merry Christmas!  

Follow on Instagram @katelynchef & @katelynchefphotography_ 

Chippy the Elf on the Shelf