I KNOW that the fact that I have said this, is going to send lots of people shouting “BUT it’s fun, and it helps children get excited about Christmas, and makes them behave if they think the elf is watching and it’s all part of making magic for Christmas”
Elf on the Shelf (I am not linking to their website) is a big thing in the US and other countries and has crept into the UK as a “Christmas Tradition”. The elf is meant to be Santa’s eyes and ears anywhere and parents are supposed to move him/her round the house, each night to keep the children on their toes. You name them, you can buy accessories for them, they even have their own iPhone app. Some parents make their elves naughty and they “get up to” all sorts of antics and some leave notes for the children they are watching, there are Pinterest groups, Facebook pages, and blogs all about him/her and his antics and ideas for what to do with your elf.
I am definitely bah humbug about this new tradition. I don’t know about anyone else, but I find the idea of telling my kids someone is watching them, a tad creepy. Apart from the fact that I don’t have time to move an elf around the house each night, for 24 nights, (and Layla would probably eat him, anyway, she likes to destroy and digest small toys of the Christmas variety, she is definitely bah humbug about Christmas) I think the whole thing is a bit daft really. It’s a whole new trend that is being heavily marketed and just adds to the guilt and insanity that has become Christmas….
I think my dislike stems from childhood trauma, my maternal grandmother had a dreadful picture on her wall, that she used to tell me was “watching me” and I now have a thing about being watched by inanimate objects.
I also, frankly DO NOT have the time, energy, or capacity to put the damn thing somewhere, every night, and create scenes or antics for it, or make up fun things for it to do, to amuse and entertain my kids. More power to those that do, but frankly normal life plus the chaos and extra busy that is Christmas means that keeping my children more amused as we countdown to the end of term and the Christmas holidays, by mucking about with a toy elf, is low on my list of priorities. I see all the fun on social media and I tremble at the thought of trying. I also feel rather resentful when people suggest that my children are missing out because we don’t do this thing that apparently is now a Christmas “must” along with advent breakfasts, expensive advent calendars, presents on Christmas eve, and all the other things. My kids don’t know what Elf on a shelf is and they are not missing out. I am rather relieved that they are happy and excited to eat chocolate beforebreakfast out of their advent calendars for 24 days in December, and that seems to be as good as it gets and needs to be for them, and me!
So, no Elf or other cute character getting up to mischief here… Who’s with me?
Creepy little critter, that just wants to add more crazy to the Christmas season, he’s not welcome in my house… 😉