The Elf on The Shelf: A New Holiday Tradition
A few years back when my oldest was born, my mother-in-law gave us an Elf stuffed animal and a book called The Elf on the Shelf that went with. Little did I know then, the crazed frenzy that would hit in the next few years from this little toy. Seems crazy, but for the past few years, this little Elf has been the sanity check for most moms and dads too, who are trying to keep their kids well behaved during the holiday season.
Many do know what I am talking about, but for those who don’t, you may be asking, how can a small elf toy keep my kids from misbehaving? Better yet, you may be asking what is the Elf on the Shelf?
For those not familiar, The Elf on the Shelf is a toy Elf and book set, which is written by Carol Aebersold. Before, one begins to even use the Elf with their child or childen, they are supposed to first read the book as a family. The book explains the Elf is sent by Santa to find out who is being naughty or nice. The Elf is supposed to return each night to the North Pole to let Santa know who has been good or bad. And then finds his way back home to start all over the next day continuing this journey each day and night until Christmas Eve. The Elf is supposed to possess magic powers, but is not supposed to be touched.
Read My Blog Post About Our Family Elf:
- I Need That Damn Elf Now; Yup It It That Time of the Year
“That is it, I need that damn Elf now!!” That was me the other night after my girls were again having their 1,234,567,890 meltdown of the day.
The reality, here, is this was created for the sole purpose of parents trying to make sure their kids maintain good behavior for the holiday season. The old adage, that many generations, have been heard saying and thus even a song was created about, “Santa Claus is Coming to Town” with the very famous lyric, “He knows when you are good or bad” for years and years now. With this latest fad, the parents move the Elf each night to a new hiding place in order to keep this charade up. In doing this, it creates the illusion that Santa is watching through his tiny helper the “Elf”. Therefore, the kids have someone on this inside so to speak watching their daily behavior and reporting it back to Santa Claus. So, if they do want to be rewarded on Christmas morning, they better be good for goodness sake!
Buy the Book That Started It All for Blogger, Jen:
How This Craze Swept the Masses:
Most of us are on Social Media Networks, including Facebook and Twitter. On the sites during this time of the year, your feed most likely will be inundated with Elf on the Shelf antics from many parents, who are just trying to keep little Sally and Johnny from acting up.
Many will post pictures of crazy Elf antics daily. Bloggers have written whole posts on this and there are even whole Blogs, such as Elf Shaming dedicated to the Elf on the Shelf.
One blogger (Jen of People I Want to Punch in the Throat) actually became famous last year for her controversial post on critiquing another bloggers Elf on the Shelf post. She went on to write and publish her own book on Amazon from this.
How You Can Use This Information
If you are a parent and never tried this, try to keep it simple. I have seen and heard some crazy things being done with the Elf on the Shelf and for the sake of this article try to keep it family oriented. Also, as a mother and the one who does most of the housework, I refuse to make more of a mess than it is worth.
Quite simply, I will not have our Elf doing anything that requires that I have to clean up after him, such as have him write all over my photographs, have him put food and crumbs all over the place, have him dirty anything that needs to be cleaned with a mop or any sort of cleaning products.
I have enough things to do throughout my day that I, for sure, am not adding to my never ending list of chores. More power to you if you are willing to do this, but I will not be suggesting these kind of activities here.
Five Creative Things I Have Had Our Elf (Named Gingerbread by my older Daughter) Do:
- Sat him on the top of the Christmas Tree along with our tree topper and said he is our new star of the day.
- Had him sit on top of our spice rack and told my girls he is spicing up their lives
- Sat him on our rocking chair and told them he was rocking their world.
- I have a KitchenAid mixer and had ours hanging from it and said that he was mixing things up
- Put our snow globe in his lap and let them think he was trying to make it snow for them.
The holiday season has just begun and these are just a few of the things I have done so far. This is really the first year that my kids have been old enough to play along with this game, so my list is still fairly short and still winging it at this point. They are young though and think at this point, it is pretty easy to convince them. I am sure as they get older, I will have to be a bit more creative, but I guess that is a bridge I will have to cross then.
At this point though, I am able to keep it quite simple and am thankful for that. But I will admit, I do not see myself ever being the type to indeed make any real messes with this Elf even for creativity’s sake and to keep the charade going for children who are too smart for their own good.
And for all those out there, I wish you a very, happy healthy holiday and hope if you try this that you will have some fun with it, too!
Watch a Clip from The Elf on the Shelf
About The Author:
Janine is a freelance writer and mom of two. She is known for being a stay at home mom to two beautiful little girls right now. Life can totally get hectic and has learned to perfect and improvise all day and night too, because of this. You can checkout her profile and more of her family related articles here.
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© 2012 Janine Huldie