Why does Elf on the Shelf catch so much flak?
Meet Buddy. He is our family’s elf.
Unless you have been living in a cave for the past few years, you probably know who these little elves on shelves are. These little elves get plenty of praise, but they sure do catch a lot of flak!
That joy was sapped last Christmas because of a villainous invader whose very presence was meant to enhance that Christmas experience, not destroy it. That villain was the Elf on the Shelf.
Parents use Elf to scare their children into good behavior, and that is not a very nice thing to do.
I agree with these comments (to a certain extent). Just like any toy created with good intentions, it can be misused. Elf on the Shelf is not intended to replace the meaning of Christmas and it is not nice to “scare children into good behavior”, but who says you have to invite a spy elf into your house to change the meaning of Christmas?
Couldn’t you just as easily choose to create a tradition of a fun-loving, silly, crafty, and creative elf that brings your family closer together, inspires creativity, imagination and wonder?
Most evenings, after the kids are in bed, my husband and I sit at the kitchen table chatting and finishing our daily paperwork together. BORING!
However, during “elf season”, we share hours of laughter scheming up creative stunts and pranks for our silly elf to do that we know will make our kids chuckle.
Don’t get me wrong, we have our moments where we are snuggled into our warm, cozy bed, just about to fall asleep, when–€#@$!–we remember that we forgot to move Buddy!
However, the moments spent together as a couple inventing, creating and watching our children hoot, howl and belly laugh as the witness the elf magic far outweighs those “oh $hit” moments.
As the parent, YOU get to choose how you invite this tradition in your home.
The true JOY of having an Elf on the Shelf is not in frightening your children to behave. It is in creating lasting, happy memories for your children and your family.
At our house, Buddy Elf, does not “keep tabs” on the kids. He doesn’t need to. Our children know the house rules and our family’s expectations for behavior. When they misbehave, it is our responsibility to discipline. Not Santa Claus or Buddy Elf.
In our home, Buddy Elf is a source for creativity, imagination, laughter and fun for my husband, my children, and me. I guess you can add grandma and grandpa into the mix too.
Just this morning, my mom, who is staying with us for a few days, poked her head downstairs and asked, “Where is Buddy?”
“Why?” I responded.
“Well, I guess I am just as curious and excited as the kids are to see what he has been up to!”
We all have a wonderful time “playing” with Buddy.
Childhood is so short. It’s just a small blip on the radar screen before reality sets in. The magic, the wonder, and the curiosity dissolve so quickly.
What is wrong with diving in and fully embracing those years of mystical, magical, playful youth?
What is so wrong with creating opportunities for laughter, imagination, creativity, and fun?
Our world needs MORE fun, MORE laughter, MORE wonder!
Say what you want about Elf on The Shelf, but in my home, Buddy Elf has created magical, happy memories and a tradition that we will continue to cherish for years to come.