There are so many posts these days about the Elf on the Shelf and while I tried to resist the urge to weigh in so as not to be redundant, I couldn’t do it. The tiny creepy-faced elf is stirring up conversation all over the blog world and I want to say my piece. Bottom line is, I am not a fan of this tradition. I learned how to get to the point quickly by last week’s haiku challenge but since I am not limited by syllables here, I am going to digress.
The last six years have been filled with adding and tweaking traditions and memories to our family, especially during Christmas time. I have dropped some of the traditions from my childhood, possibly to the chagrin of my mom. For example, she always gave us Christmas pajamas on Christmas Eve as our one gift to open. I dropped this tradition two years ago because my kids wore the Christmas jammies that one night and never again. Wearing Santa pajamas in June just did not work for me. So, in the interest of indulging my fussiness and not wasting new pjs, I let that one go and instead let my kids open one fun gift. Another tradition I am considering changing is the Christmas ornament gifting. I always put it in their stocking, as my mom always did for my sister and I, but this year as we were decorating the tree, I came across last year’s ornaments that were never opened. While it is fun to rediscover them, I’d rather them hung during the year they are purchased. I suppose we could just hang them on Christmas morning, but I’m one of those people who feel the holiday is over at the end of Christmas day; I’m not into letting it linger for very long. I leave the tree up a few extra days but it doesn’t get the same doting. I need to come up with a solution to the ornament giving habit without letting my kids open too many gifts before Christmas. That tweak may have to happen next year.
As for new traditions, one we recently added is the Elf on the Shelf. I didn’t write his given name last year in the story book and alas, we forgot, so my daughter renamed him “John” this year. Elf John barely made it out of the box and if it had been up to me, he would have been shipped back to his maker in the North Pole. Last year, we made a big to-do over Elf “Whatever his name was” and my son had no clue what he was while my daughter was kind of scared of him. I really can’t blame her, he still creeps me out. But, we enthusiastically went on with it. My husband and I had fun with it for about three days. Then, we forgot one night and I woke up at 2am in a sweaty panic. This happened a few times and I’d rush out to move him without much thought as to where and he’d end up boringly sitting on a shelf with a look like, “Really?!?”. Other times my husband would spend too much time placing him in “unique” locations. One of those unique locations was in the corner of the ceiling in the hallway so that Elf “Who knows what” was kind of looming above. It was weird. We made it through the holiday moving Elf “Can’t remember his name” all over the house while my son was oblivious and my daughter showed only mild interest.
This year, I began my argument against No Name Elf early. I stated my case that the tradition is silly and nonsensical, that I didn’t want to lose sleep or wake up in a sweaty panic this year, that my intention this year is to simplify and having to move a little toy all over the house every single night when my daughter could have cared less was NOT simplifying or adding joy to my life. But, I lost. My husband knew how to win me over by saying it would be wasteful
NOT to use the Elf since we bought him after all. In the end, he said “let’s do it one more year and see how it goes, maybe the kids will be more into it!” I reluctantly agreed and delegated the moving of the Elf to my husband. So, the Elf came out and was dubbed John by my daughter.
Day 1 he was on the mantle and I remembered to move him that night. My daughter looked for him the next morning but quickly moved on to other things. Another point against John the Elf; I was keeping score to fuel my arguments for the next year. Then, this morning at 5am I awoke in a sweaty panic wondering if Elf John had been moved. I got up, noticed he hadn’t and in a sleepy haze moved him tallying one more mark against him in my head. After texting my husband about my sweaty panic and how that was one tradition I did NOT want to create, my daughter woke up and yelled from her bed, “mom!!! I’m getting out of bed to go find the elf!!!” Crap! Point for John.
She ran out and excitedly went looking for him and laughed and laughed about where he “had landed”. She began asking questions about him and where he goes at night and other such wonders. It warmed my heart and gave Elf John a fighting chance. My husband responded to my earlier text saying maybe John could spend a few nights in the North Pole rather than visit every day which I thought was brilliant until I saw the magic in my daughter’s face. Looks like Elf John is here to stay, for better or worse.
- He’s here! Elf on the Shelf arrives (thebritishrule.wordpress.com)
- Christmas invasion: Elf on the Shelf returns (photos) (al.com)
- Are You Doing Elf On The Shelf? (new102.cbslocal.com)
- The Elf on the Shelf (arealrealhousewifeofclarkcounty.wordpress.com)
- The Elf On The Shelf Invasion Has Begun (theoliversmadhouse.co.uk)
- The Elf on the Shelf: Blessing or Curse? (choppingpotatoes.wordpress.com)