Let’s chat about Elf on the Shelf

There are not many fence sitters with this one.

You’re either a staunch advocate for the magic of Christmas to be further morphed into a Facebook ‘like’ farming frenzy, or you just sigh and scroll on by the numerous daily posts from the usual suspects.

Only recently I realised parents had children believe the charade of the Elf is real, that the doll actually comes alive at night and causes creepy chaos.

It took a while to sink in.

Apparently, it’s also meant to report back to Father Christmas on children’s behaviour …so there’s an added layer of surveillance to Santa’s naughty or nice list.

I think what really makes me recoil from the rigmarole is the expectation that I not spoil the exercise for other children.

I would actually be mortified if I slipped up to an Elf on the Shelf believer, and this in itself makes me resent the doll and its shenanigans.

Furthermore, it poses the conundrum of what I tell my children!

When they come home from school to tell me what so and so’s elf did last night and ask why we don’t have an Elf, am I supposed to play along so they don’t blurt out the blatant truth to their friends and I effectively avoid being known as the bah humbug Mum?

Or do I parent my family according to my own values and beliefs, and be straight up honest? Because let’s face it, it’s a long bow to draw, an elf….on the shelf……that moves itself.

I confess, I have done the latter.

Because that is what felt right to me.

I hope my children are able to tread the fine line of listening to classmates excitedly sharing stories of their naughty elf at home and not insist that the doll is moved by their parents.

But I can’t police how they reveal the truth of their world to their closest confidants.

And if you are an Elf on the Shelf die-hard and are upset because my kids haven’t played along, well….. sorry.

I’ve never danced to the beat of someone else’s drum and I’m too old to start now, my legs don’t have the strength to keep up with the next fad.

How about you Bec?

What do you make of the latest layer on Christmas?

Nat, I think you should have had a warning at the start of this column, “kids if you’re a believer, stop reading and look away now!!”

Talk about killing the spirit of Christmas in one sentence.

It’s all just a bit of silly fun isn’t it?

I mean, how much harm can one little ‘ol elf do?

……..HAHAHAHA got you!!

I am not a fan of Elf on the Shelf.

I just don’t have time to “remember” to do something else.

I’ve lost track of the number of times the tooth fairy got “held up in traffic” because of my memory.

My list each day is already too long, and thinking up creative ways to keep my children amused about a magical elf is just not something I can get into.

And there are actually rules for this elf…I mean really?

Apparently each elf should have a name (although that seems fair).

He or she should also have a few different wardrobe options (is this really necessary?).

During the day, your elf shouldn’t move, the mischief is always made at night, when your kids are asleep.

How convenient, right?

An “elfie” can get involved in everything from marshmallow baths, sprinkle snow angels, Spiderman’s webs, and even magic tricks.

All I hear is mess that I have to make and then clean up, and time I’ll never get back.

I guess the traditional purpose of the elf to silently watch over your kids as they go about their daily activities and report their “naughty” or “nice” behavior back to Santa could work favourably for the parents?

If I take this more practical approach to Elf on the Shelf I can see it in a much more positive light.

Jingle, (that’s my fictional elf on the shelf’s name by the way”), wants you to clean your room. Done.

Elf on the Shelf says it’s a tech-free day today. No problems.

Elf on the Shelf would like some help around the house. Name it!

My home would be a showhome in no time.

But from a kids’ perspective the holidays wouldn’t be much fun if all they were doing was cleaning and being nice to each other while not watching TV.

I guess that’s another point for Elf on the Shelf.

It’s supposed to add a little bit of excitement, intrigue and fun in the weeks before Christmas.

Although I’m not a fan, I’m not going to be the grinch and ruin Christmas.

So if you’re an Elf on the Shelf family, enjoy, maybe you can have your elf doing good deeds for others, or spreading kindness.

No doubt the possibilities are only limited by your imagination.

Interestingly, none of my girls have asked why we don’t have an elf on the shelf.

I’m now hoping they still believe or else that present from Santa may just not make it down the chimney!

On a side note, Nat, we need to come up with the next fad and make our fortunes.

Then we can retire in style.

Elves aside, enjoy your Christmas however you and your family see fit, but just in case Jingle is watching, I’ve been good, I promise.

Merry Christmas from Bec and Nat.

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