Why My Shelves are Elf-less.

Yes it is only October; however, yesterday on Facebook, someone posted the first of what will be hundreds of articles touting new and exciting ways to pose your Elf which sits upon your shelf. 

Then at Costco today I discovered that their shipments of new books and dolls had arrived, as they were prominently spread across the end of the book aisle. 

And first let me say BRAVO to whoever came up with this idea and then decided to market it because it is a juggernaut, and I’m sure has made many, many people very wealthy. 

But alas, when you come to my house in December, you will not find any Elves on any shelves and here is why.

A few years ago, I did buy the book with the Elf (probably from Costco). I was so excited to read the story to my daughters and have them name the Elf. But as I read the story, I started to have some trouble with the message. Shelfless Efl

So, this little Elf is going to hide in our home and watch you everyday. Then fly back to the North Pole and rat you out to Santa if you aren’t good?!?! WTH kind of message is that for a young child? And why would they want to be friends with this little Elf that has been sent to monitor their behavior and possibly stand between them and toys on Christmas morning? 

The whole thing just seemed a little off, but I went with it. 

I hid the little Elf and they delighted in finding her each day. But I really started to dislike her! First because I would constantly forget to move her and my mornings were filled with explaining to a 3 and 2-year-old that the Elf must have been so comfortable hanging from the light that she just decided to stay there. And then I just really got tired of talking about the Elf ALL the time! 

Why are we so focused on this little Elf? What does any of this have to do with Christmas? Or behaving properly? 

I heard from one mom that she would put the Elf in a special bag and send it to school with her son so that he would behave at school. HUH!?!?! 

My kids are expected to behave because that what’s you do. You aren’t only good because the Elf is going to tell on you and you won’t get any presents. You are good because that’s how you should behave. And if you don’t behave then there will be dire consequences. Otherwise, what happens in January – November? Or does the Elf just stick around all year-long to report back to St. Nick. 

So, last year our Elf was swamped with work up north and couldn’t make the trip down to spy on the kids. However, I did feel a little guilty when other kids’ Elves started showing up, so she did pop in for a random day here or there just to say hello; but Santa really needed her help in the workshop. And my kids were totally fine with that. 

And because they liked finding some hidden treasure each morning, I decided to use something less commercial and a bit more connected to the true meaning of Christmas: My kids search each morning for the three wise men from the Little People manger set. I move them each night (or sometimes every other night when I forget) and we talk about them traveling to see the birth of baby Jesus. All the fun, none of the creepy, little Elf sent to rat you out to Santa. 

And you know what? Christmas is just as magical and my kids are just as happy. 

So, this year I encourage you to think outside the box with the book and elf inside and come up with a tradition for your family that is all your own. 

Love and Light – Emily 

Check out more of my writing on my blog www.pleasesendmorewine.com or on Facebook: Please Send More Wine. Instagram :@pleasesendmorewine Twitter: @plssendmorewine

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  1. Kate
    2 years ago

    I, too, struggle with the “being good” so you don’t get told on/make Santa happy/etc. I love the magical age where kids believe in Santa and the Elf- but I do not want my
    Kids to think my happiness (or Santa’s) happiness is dependent on their behavior. My joy comes from something much deeper. god (and mommy and Santa) are disappointed in bad behavior/choices but we are never disappointed in people! We give gifts because we love, even if behavior choices are poor ones. It’s not about doing good work, it’s about love! Great post! Loooove the nativity idea. I got one last Easter for our elf to bring this Thanksgiving! Ha!

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