There are kinds two people in the world: those who love the Elf on the Shelf, and those who HATE it with the passion of a thousand suns. I fall into the second category.
My Introduction to the Elf
Eight years ago I was headed into my first Christmas as a mom. My manager told me about the Elf and how you moved it from spot to spot to “keep an eye on” your kid for Santa. I loved it! It sounded so cute and fun. I had to get my hands on one. Then I saw the $30 price tag on that little guy at the store. I was working as a bartender and money was pretty tight, so I put my Elf dreams back on the store shelf. I needed to save my tips to buy actual gifts for my son and my family. He was only 9 months old anyway. I could try again next year.
When Christmas came around again I had pretty much forgotten about the Elf.
But then the Internet Exploded
It seemed like overnight people were posting what their Elf did daily. It was worse than food pictures, duck-faced selfies, and bad memes combined the way it happened.
Starting off innocently enough the Elf would do things like climb the Christmas tree or play games with Barbie or G.I. Joe. Soon with the growing popularity of Pinterest, that visitor from the North Pole would make a mess of flour on the counter, write messages in the bathroom with toothpaste, and make elf-sized cookies and donuts. This is way more stress than I could handle.
Around the time of Kid #2’s first Christmas I decided that I wasn’t even going to give it a try. While I am super competitive (yes, I am that mom sometimes), I was also very tired from having two tiny people and would probably forget to move the darn thing more often than not.
I Can’t Hide
It has been about 6 years since I made my Elf decision and my kids have only asked about it a few times total. Never terribly sad, just an “I wonder if Elf on the Shelf will visit our house” in passing. This year has actually been the worst. It is the first year that my kids have seen a large amount of commercials because we are cord cutters (no cable, just streaming). We recently added Sling TV to our streaming service list and the amount of Cartoon Network in my house is crazy, but it has led to them seeing commercials for things like Elf on the Shelf’s pets or whatever. My daughter even asked to go on the website to look at them.
Their teachers have frequently helped fill whatever void their tiny souls have from mommy not playing along with this game. I always hear stories about what the Elf did today or “so-and-so touched the Elf!” So I don’t feel bad about it. We do enough other holiday activities to keep them busy and in the spirit.
I Promise Not to Judge
While I am highly competitive, I try not to judge. If you run a pro-Elf house then more power to you! If you can remember to make that little guy (and any of his accomplices) move around and do fun things for an entire month then you, my friend, are a rockstar! Heck, I’ll even help you with these posts on welcoming and saying good-bye to your Elf, but I am going to ask that you don’t flood my Facebook feed with pictures every day of the shenanigans he/she gets into!