We slyly pulled out the book for bedtime, and after Brent read it to her, we pointed out that Buddy was already here. She spotted him hanging out in her lamp.
"How'd he get there, mama?"
"He's so silly!"
Then this morning she gasped in delight when she spotted him in the living room.
"He's on the bell! Buddy!"
We had a lot of fun staging adventures for him last year. We'll see what kind of mischief he gets into, although I didn't realize how early Thanksgiving was this year. We have a lot of nights for him to get into trouble, so I'm not sure how often I'll get more elaborate than moving him from place to place. Tonight at bedtime Em wondered aloud, "I wonder where he'll be tomorrow! Maybe in the decorations!"
Meanwhile, I woke up this morning and made a solid decision not to take personal offense to friends' comments about how "creepy" this tradition is. As you can see above, Em is obviously not scared or scarred by his presence. I may not change anyone's mind about it, so I'm not going to bother putting anymore thought or energy into trying. Our gal loves it. I don't mind doing it. And I don't fault any parent who doesn't want to do it for their kids.
'Tis the season to be jolly about our little friend.