December 11, 2012

To Elf, Or Not To Elf?

With only two weeks until Christmas, its probably safe to say that The Elf on the Shelf will not be joining our family this year. My daughter's still a bit young anyways. But what about next year? Will we be future "Elf on a Shelf-ers"?  I'm just not sure.

While the Elf on the Shelf is extremely popular right now, I'm still on the fence about whether I want to introduce this tradition to our family.

On the one hand, I reeeally want to plan funny pranks for our mischievous elf to complete during the night. (i.e. Dry erase mustaches on the glass panes of photo frames? Hilarious.) But really, at only two and a half, my daughter's favorite part would be the daily hunt to find the elf's new location.

The part that I'm not too keen on is the book's heavy emphasis on the elf's nightly reporting to Santa of the child's misdeeds. Whether you view this aspect of the tradition as a bribe or a threat, the result is the same: a child's month long preoccupation with good behavior and the subtle implication that gifts can be lost or earned based on one's conduct.

I want my child to feel loved and to know that she is loved always. It doesn't matter if she's the worst kid in town, I would still love her. And I give because I love. Its a parallel to our heavenly Father, who gave us the gift of forgiveness through His Son even while we were still sinners. It's the story of the first Christmas (and Easter) and God's unending love for us - that's the message I want to teach my child this season.

I'm not opposed to secular traditions, and I'm definitely curious about Elf on a Shelf. I just want to be sure to introduce this tradition in a light hearted way that emphasizes love, rather than discipline. Maybe that means we'll skip the retail boxed kit in exchange for a non-licensed elf and a carefully worded  story told by mom and dad.

Will we embrace the Elf on the Shelf craze next year? The verdict is still out. The creative side of me is rooting yes, but I still have some concerns. I guess you'll just have to wait and see!  :)

Where does your family stand on the Elf on the Shelf debate?


  1. I think Elf on the Shelf is SUCH a fun tradition, but if you disagree with some of the story line then go for it! Make up your own & have fun with it! Heck, it'll give ya something to blog about too ;)

  2. I can see where you are coming from! Kids can easily get caught up in the wrong reasons for the season, I was thinking the same thing when I was reading my son the story thinking, maybe there's a way to incorporate Christ into this. Buy my son was scared to death of the Elf so it didn't matter anyway! LOL Hope you have a Merry Christmas!

  3. I struggled a little bit with this as well. We ended up doing the elf but didn't emphasize any of the reporting back aspects. It was fun for the girls to hunt him down each morning and that was about it! :)