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Update: Since this story was first published in 2016, dad Alan Lawrence has continued posting photos of his family, and TODAY Parents has confirmed the very important news that the little leprechaun baby is still adorable.
One father's St. Patrick's Day tradition is getting us all into the holiday spirit.
Alan Lawrence, a dad of five who lives in Paradise, Utah, had so much fun turning his son Rockwell into the Elf on the Shelf in December that he decided to continue the story with other holidays.
Rockwell, 6 months old, has a great time playing the mischievous bearded creature thanks to some creative photo editing by his dad, who works as an art director, web designer and photographer.
The baby’s mom made the suit, but the facial hair presented a bit of a problem.
“We almost didn’t have him wear the beard because we couldn’t find anything that looked good,” Lawrence told TODAY Parents.
“When you search for orange beards for babies on Amazon, the results are not awesome. At the very last minute we ended up finding some fluffy fabric that looked perfect.”
Everyone in the family comes up with ideas for the series, Lawrence said. He holds the baby in the photos and then edits himself out. Each image can take up to three hours to create, with the final photo editing requiring the most time and effort.
“I am pretty meticulous about keeping the magic looking as real as possible,” Lawrence noted.
His favorite photo features Rockwell “beautifying” the family dog with a bit of green spray paint (the green fur is achieved with photo editing), with Lawrence tickled by both the baby’s and the dog’s expressions.
Another favorite is this washing machine photo, which is so realistic that some of his readers have been trying to figure out how the Lawrences were able to get the paint out of their washing machine afterwards.
“He doesn’t mind the suit, but is not a fan of the beard — he drools a lot and it always manages to get in his mouth,” Lawrence said.
Lawrence continues to chronicle his family on his blog and on social media. Here's Rockwell with his older brother, Wil. (Check out that gorgeous mop of red hair!)
And here's Rockwell as an adorable Elf on the Shelf this past Christmas.