I know, I know… I’m committing a serious bit of Christmas Scrooginess by saying this and I sure feel like the only mom out there who DOESN’T do this, but…
We don’t do the “Elf on the Shelf.”
We have one. It was a very thoughtful gift from a family member and we just haven’t taken it out of the box. I am sure if we cracked it open, we’d fall in love with the little impish face, and think gleeful thoughts about what mischief the elf can get into. But no.
I’m sorry. This is wrong on multiple accounts. Hey, kids! The Elf pooped in your cookies! How fun!
We are not Elf fans. And when I say WE, I really mean “I.”
(Unless you are talking about the movie, “Elf.”)
7 reasons why we are never, ever, ever, doing “Elf on the Shelf”:
7. It’s creepy. Seriously. I have an issue with dolls that move on their own, even if there is only an illusion of the doll moving. Don’t ask me about “My Buddy.”
6. It teaches that one (meaning kids) should only behave because someone is watching them. Maybe I am being overly cynical. However, it does remind me of that Rockwell song: (I always feel like) Somebody’s watching me. And he was questioning his paranoia in that song.
5. It creates unneeded competition among parents. Check out Facebook and Pinterest. All sorts of messes and mischief the Elf can get into… all one upping one another. I can hear it now:
Suzie: “I’m glad I remembered to move the Elf to the top of the Refrigerator this morning!”
Donna: “Isn’t it fun! Our Elf TP’d the Christmas Tree before tracking flour footprints all over the granite counters after making a snow angel!”
4. It creates a subculture of having to create whimsy all throughout the year. Have you heard of “Dino-vember?” Me neither, until last month. And it’s a thing. And these people broke vases and smashed eggs ON PURPOSE to get the effect?! My control freak nature shudders.
What really gets me about Dino-Vember is the reason the parents gave for doing this… that essentially technology and modern times are sucking the imagination/ creativity out of kids. Now, I don’t disagree per se, but at the same time… wouldn’t giving your kids a bucket of legos (and not the uni-tasker “Friends” or “Star Wars” versions) do the same thing? Or maybe encouraging their imaginations by prompting them to do something with their dinosaurs?
3. It’s one more thing to do during an already cramped time of year. On top of having to run the household, I have to also remember to get packages to the post office, email people to let them know that their packages have arrived, and get extra baking and sewing done. You also want me to remember to move the Elf. (One could just draft/ download Elf mischief/ moving calendar, I guess.)
2. I’m not cleaning up after an inanimate object that I am pretending to have sentient nature. Listen, I am having hard enough time keeping things clean and orderly behind 5 people. There is no way that I am going to PURPOSEFULLY make a mess to clean up.*
1. I’m lazy. I have a hard enough time remembering where I hid Baby Jesus.
*From what I understand, the original action of the Elf was just to move from place to place, for the kids to find in the morning, a la “I Spy.” SO the mess making mischief is not mandatory.