This will be our third Christmas with our Elf on the Shelf. When we received our Elf on the Shelf as a gift from my mom over three years ago, it seemed like a fun holiday tradition.
I didn’t think about the impact my decision to do Elf on the Shelf would have on other families. I didn’t think about much, other then how much my children would love it. All season long I see Facebook post and blog post and open letters about Elf on the Shelf. Criticizing. Making fun of. Putting down.
I want my children to focus on the reason for the season. Then focus on that. Focusing on bashing how others choose to celebrate isn’t very merry at all. It is creepy, it is too much work, I don’t want to use it as behavioral modification.
I get it. The Elf on the Shelf isn’t for you. That is okay. It is for me and my family though. And that is ok.
We don’t use our Elf for behavior. We don’t use Santa for behavior either. In fact, just yesterday Quinn asked me if he was naughty, would he still get presents? I told him Santa would always come. That he didn’t have to worry about that. That he was a good boy and if he did something naughty, it was a bad choice–he was still a good boy.
A family recently started dinovember. The idea is that plastic dinosaurs come to life when you are sleeping. Really the concept is similar to Elf on the Shelf. I saw the idea featured by the Huffington Post (You can read that here). I read the article and got a real kick out of the fun things the dinosaurs did, but the real take-home for me was the last paragraph.
Why do we do this? Because in the age of iPads and Netflix, we don’t want our kids to lose their sense of wonder and imagination. In a time when the answers to all the world’s questions are a web-search away, we want our kids to experience a little mystery. All it takes is some time and energy, creativity, and a few plastic dinosaurs.
Childhood is fleeting, so let’s make sure it’s fun while it lasts.
All I thought to myself was YES! YES! YES!
We all need to stop taking everything so seriously. There is room for religion and fun. There is room for everyone to celebrate in their own way without criticism.
For those of you who feel that Elf on the Shelf or other fun antics take away from the meaning of Christmas, I would have to disagree. Creating excitement and wonder and joy is the whole point of living! I would argue that a family with lots and lots of holiday traditions is a closer knit family. A family with love and care pulsing through its veins.
To all you Elf on the Shelf families–please do not feel like you need to defend or justify your choice to have fun, play and create magic.
This post isn’t meant to offend. It is just to remind everyone to lighten up and let a little fun and magic in your heart.
I apologize that some of the pictures are dark. I don’t remember to snap one, until I go to move him when the kiddos are in bed. Without further ado, here are a few things are elf has been up to, since he appeared December 1st.
Elf on the Shelf in the Christmas Tree.
Elf on the Shelf hiding on a bookshelf.
Elf on the Shelf taped to the wall.