Okay, I’m going to talk about something that might be incredibly touchy in my neck of the woods. In fact, I might peeve even more people than I did when I blogged about half-birthdays (which I thought was really funny, I might add…)
Anyway, has anyone even heard of this Elf on the Shelf phenomenon? Well, Google “elf on the shelf” and you can find out everything you want to know…and from a tiny animated elf, no less. Simply put, Elf on the Shelf is a little elf that you purchase (of course you have to buy it, silly) who keeps an eye on your kids during the holidays. Elf is the one who “knows” what your kids wants for Christmas and reports back to the big guy. He sits on a shelf and lords over bad behavior with a discerning eye. And in my ‘hood, Elf on the Shelf also pulls off shenanigans during the holidays – turns milk blue, puts the Christmas tree on the roof, turns over tables and chairs.
I mean, it’s an absolute scream…in fact, I want to scream just thinking about it. And I really wanted to scream when my kids came home and demanded to know why OUR FAMILY didn’t have an Elf on the Shelf.
“We don’t celebrate Elf on the Shelf at our house, kids.” I said while taking some freshly baked HOMEMADE cookies out of the oven. “And the last time I checked, it wasn’t a major holiday. Talk to me when the banks are closed and the school are out for National Elf on the Shelf Day and I’ll reconsider.”
“Well, (insert here the name of every kid my kids know) has an Elf on the Shelf,” respond my sweet children, practically in unison.
And I’m thinking, do I respond with response that it appropriate for a first and third grader? Or do I respond with a response that only my dear friends would tolerate (and just barely)?
This is my response for a first and third grader:
“Everyone has different family traditions, including Elf on the Shelf. Our family has some wonderful family traditions at the holidays.”
“Like what?” they demanded.
“Besides, tell me how Elf on the Shelf adds value to the real meaning of Christmas…which, in case you’ve forgotten, has nothing to do with Santa, elves and presents.”
“I know,” mumbled my first grader, clearly defeated by infallible logic. “It’s about Jesus, and Mary and Joseph and the angels and the wise men. And Jesus’ grandfather, God.”
Well, he got that very nearly right and that’s all I needed.
But here is my inappropriate response to a request for Elf on the Shelf…
Why are people messing up the curve on Christmas? In this world of stuff, stuff and more stuff, why do we need an Elf on the Shelf? Why do we need another “legend” to perpetuate at Christmas? Is the centuries old tradition of Old St. Nick not adequate in today’s world? Doesn’t he do enough? Is Rudolph getting stale? Is Hermie passé? What about Frosty – doesn’t anyone care about how he’s doing? And how about the legend of the candy cane, and of bells ringing and of coal in stockings (really, that one’s outright dead and buried). And now I gotta think about Elfie (who even has his own Facebook page, and I’m not kidding)?
Aren’t we all so overwhelmed with the holiday season that we’re looking for things NOT to do? And now, I have to ‘splain to my kids why we’re NOT adopting Elfie and making him a beloved holiday tradition. Just one more way I am failing my family, I suppose.
All right, girls, lemme have it. I know many of you love and espouse your Elf on the Shelf and that I’m just one giant Ebenezer Scrooge. All comments (nicely written) welcome….