December 18, 2017

“Elf on the Shelf” Fun or Frustrations?

elf on the shelf

By Julie Samrick

It seems one of the bigger mommy controversies of the 2012 holiday season is whether or not to own an “Elf on the Shelf” ( I am just beating myself up for not thinking of the idea first- what a killing the mom inventor has made!) 


Some believe these toy elves promise more magic to kids at Christmastime, as they are the eyes and ears that report back to Santa about which kids are naughty and which ones are nice.  The elves can also move about and play funny tricks, much like leprechauns do on St. Patrick’s Day.


There are just as many parents who are in the other camp- at the very least they seem like just one more thing to do or that they don’t want to get too far beyond the reason for the season and that Santa is enough.  There have been extreme reactions by other moms who feel the elves are, well, just plain creepy.


There is a post circulating around the web that makes fun of what the author calls “overachieving elf on the shelf moms” and that has really heated up the debate.  Read it here


Though it’s funny, it’s gotten some people making some good justifications for why they have elves, like mom of two, Kali, who said, “This is our third year with Buddy the elf. I don’t do the crazy stuff – but he reports back to the north pole each night and comes back to our house in a different spot. I enjoy the excitement my boys have in the morning with their sweet innocence of believing in the magic.”  


We don’t have an elf yet, as my kids still haven’t asked for one, but it’s been interesting to see the strong emotions while the verdict for me is still out. 


Tell me, why do you or don’t you have an “Elf on the Shelf”?

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  1. Hi Julie! This is our first year for the elf. I too put it off the past couple of years. After much clamoring for an elf…Santa finally gave in and sent us one. After he has been here for a week, I wonder what took me so long to get him. The kids have been minding their manners, helping out around the house and being kind to one another. There are times when they forget and they quickly remember when they spy the little guy on the shelf. They truly get it and my only question is…how can I get the elf to stay year round? I will truly be sad when he is gone. I’m hoping that this behavior just sticks. Could I be so lucky? Who knows. The way I see it…his presence in our house is reminding the kids what the season is all about…being kind and good to each other. Yeah, maybe they feel like the reward will be there in the end under the Christmas tree on Christmas morning, but I do hope that throughout it all they learn that being kind to one another feels a whole lot better than not.

  2. Forgot to mention…I don’t do those crazy things that other moms are doing like baking cookie in the middle of the night. That is absurd!!!!

  3. Good to know, Faye. You’re helping us see the true benefits of having an elf (without it driving parents crazy! :) )

  4. I have done the Elves for the past 3 years. Although sometimes they do get into a little bit of mischief, it is GREAT to have them around as a reminder to do chores & behave.. I think its a GREAT idea & we love our 2 elves. The kids are so sad on Christmas Eve because they know that Lexie & Bentley will be gone the next morning..

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