Our Christmas just wouldn’t be the same without Peter, our Elf on the Shelf. But I know many out there do not like or even detest the little guy. I’ve heard the following reasons: 1) he’s creepy or 2) he’s too much work or 3) Santa already knows whether you’ve been naughty or nice, so the elf is simply redundant. I ran across this blogger’s post expressing her disdain about Elf on the Shelf; she doesn’t mince words in titling her post “Why I Hate the Elf on the Shelf.” Here’s why our family LIKES Elf on the Shelf and for that, I have to give you our history with Peter.
Our elf arrived in November 2008 when my kids were 7 and 3. (He climbed in my luggage on my way home from a girls’ weekend in Savannah.) So he has been visiting our family for the past 6 Christmases. My kids delighted in naming him and every day thereafter would gleefully search for him. My son writes him notes–some for him to deliver to Santa and some just for Peter. Sometimes our elf is creative (like making reindeer food or snow angels or driving the Barbie Jeep to school) but most of the time, he’s just hanging out somewhere in our house.
So I’ve tried to come up with some guidelines for anyone contemplating an Elf on the Shelf or second-guessing their decision to have this family tradition:
1) Make your own rules on how you want it to work. There are wickedly creative and crafty ideas out there on Facebook and Pinterest on what you can do with your elf, but if you are going to forget every night to move him, then maybe ratchet down your expectations. Not all elves are created equal after all-case in point: Buddy the Elf.
2) Don’t worry what others think. These are your Christmas traditions and you’re in charge of making them. If you think Elf on the Shelf is a fun way to make memories with your family, then do it. If not, then opt not to. It’s that simple.
3) It’s not rocket science, so don’t stress about it. Christmas traditions at their purest form should be enjoyable and not bring a lot of worry and angst. For heaven’s sake, let’s quit being petty or judgmental. If parents take a little time and effort to make Elf on the Shelf exciting, then we shouldn’t condemn them! Geez! (There seems to be a lot of Elf bashing going on out there-and by extension, bashing of parents who would deign to participate in this activity. For this, I say, see Rules 1 and 2.
Finally, another mom on BlogHer really nails it in her post, “Why Can’t a Mom Love Elf on the Shelf at Christmas.” So I’ll just point you to that as one last bit of reading and end by saying, “What she said!”