I have heard so many people complaining about their Elf on the Shelf this holiday season, to which I would like to say, he is not a real person and he is completely under your control. If he is annoying you with his unreasonable demands to hide him in outlandishly creative spots, and he wants to come bearing gifts and treats for your kids, it is 100% your fault and you could probably do something about it. Also, in a matter of days he’ll be off to Florida or Cabo or wherever the elves go in the off-season, so really, just deal. You’ll be fine.
Also, picking apart a Christmas toy for its over-commercialization and the stress it adds to already busy moms during the holiday season is just too easy. And to say that the worst thing about the Elf on the Shelf is its message of “spying on kids” – really? Isn’t that Santa’s whole deal? I remember being a little wigged out when I first heard “Santa Claus is Coming to Town.” Oh, you know, “He sees you when you’re sleeping, he knows when you’re awake, he knows if you’ve been bad or good…”, followed by the screeching violins from the shower scene in Psycho? The Elf on the Shelf is just an extension of that, and part of the deal we make with our kids every December: you behave, and I will do fun stuff for you and shower you with gifts and I will take exactly zero credit for most of it. Now go to bed, I have to write “I LOVE YOU” in powdered sugar on the kitchen floor so you think you live with a magical flying elf.
In other news, I started to worry last weekend that the kids were getting a little too obsessed with all the stuff they want for Christmas. So we went to the grocery store today, and they each got $10 to buy things for people who don’t have enough food. My attempted lesson about giving back turned into a miniature (adorable) version of SuperMarket Dash:
In between the near misses with other shoppers, I think they actually got it. I steered them towards the canned food section, and J asked how homeless people get can openers, and how will they heat up the canned food, and what will they use to eat it? And he asked so earnestly and L was listening so closely that it was a lovely little moment in the middle of the grocery store. And the kids behaved on the way home, and played nicely while I made dinner, and then read stories under the Christmas tree and went to bed so fast. It was lovely.
And I probably owe it all to my spying little Elf on the Shelf.