When my husband was a child he had this old tree ornament on his Christmas tree that was a gift from his grandfather when he live in Germany. It was a quirky little elf that his mom would use during the Christmas season to keep the kids in check.
‘’The elf is watching’’, she’d warn them.
My husband and his sister grew to love the weird little elf, and as an adult he wanted one of his own, for our family tree. Then a little phenomenon called ‘’Elf on the Shelf’’ started.
While it isn’t the exact same thing, it’s sort of similar. We have tried to find a small elf ornament like my husband had growing up, always coming up empty handed. After all, his was purchased by his grandparents in the country with a mecca of all things Christmas. Until ‘’Elf on the Shelf’’ started in North America, elves weren’t a very popular Christmas decoration as a whole. I see way more Santa’s and Snowmen than I do elves, even to this day.
I think I am the only one of my friends and family, with a child, who is not yet partaking in the ‘’Elf on the Shelf’’ phenomenon. Most of me thinks it’s weird and creepy, while part of me thinks it could be really fun. I don’t know if we should give in and buy one for next year or not.
I struggle with using something like this as a ‘’threat’’. I expect my child to always behave well, not the last month of the year and not because an elf is watching her. So I don’t know in what manner I would use the elf if not for this reason? How would I explain his (or her) arrival and why they’re there if not to ‘’watch her’’?
The other issue I have is that I have friend who has children who have developed a huge fear of the elf. One little boy was having problems using the washroom thinking the elf was ‘’always watching’’. He was a bit better after mom explained he didn’t watch all of the time but it still instills a bit of a creep factor to me given that it is a physical presence in the house and not a hypothetical (like Santa).
In having said all this, I really love Christmas and the magic that kids bring to the season with their beliefs. I love seeing their eyes when you even speak of Santa and the sheer innocence that comes with it all. While part of me thinks this Elf capitalizes a bit too much on this unassuming innocence, part of me thinks we could have fun with it as a family. That, and it’s cheaper than flying to Germany in search of the perfect elf tree ornament!
So if you have an Elf do you like it or do you wish you’d never bought into the insanity? I want to hear everything before I decide if it’s worth buying into! Are you for or against the Elf on a Shelf?