Friday, December 21, 2012

The elf on the shelf...

As a christian I aim to teach my child that Christmas is a date chosen to celebrate the birth of Christ. Although it isn't the actual date that Jesus is born, it has now become the popularly recognised day to remember his birth. These days it seems that Christ is gradually fading from the whole picture of Christmas, instead the focus is all on gift giving, Christmas trees, string lights, reindeer and of course good old Santa. Now the cherry on the top of it all is the newest Christmas trend; the elf on the shelf.  For those that don't know much about it, I just posted an article on the topic here. But basically it is a book and toy elf that watches over the home and essentially "spies" on the kids to keep them in line. At night he flies off home to the north pole to update Santa on what the kids have been up to that day, then he returns in the morning but always in a different part of the house than the day before. This is supposed to be a fun tradition to repeat every Christmas and it helps keep children in line.

I don't know about you, but the first time I saw the elf, I was a little creeped out, there is just something about his face that seems almost sinister. And if I'll be honest I don't really understand why parents need yet another lie at Christmas? Is Santa not enough anymore? Suddenly Santa feels the need to have 24 hour surveillance over these kids to get an accurate report of every single thing they say and do.  It just seems like such a cheap ploy to  trick kids into behaving better. I guess the moral of the story is that good behaviour should only be exhibited when there is a spy watching and a promise of a reward? 

I was at the supermarket the other day and I heard a mother telling her son to behave because Santa wouldn't bring his gift otherwise, and then the little boy, who couldn't be more than 4 years old retorted that the elf was at home so he couldn't see what was going on at the store. That is how kids are, always trying to be one step ahead. This kid had figured out a loop hole in the system, he would be "good" at home but then be a terror when the elf wasn't there to witness it. There are many other flaws with this toy such as the fact that since it is a relatively new tradition, not every home has an elf. How do you then explain it to your child when they realize their friends don't have an elf but still get toys from Santa? And what if they catch you moving the toy at night or someone accidentally touches it in their presence, since the rules state that touching the elf will void its magical powers? Many kids these days ask more and more questions about how the things work and won't just accept the answer that it is magical. You will constantly be forced to keep making up more lies to protect the authenticity of this disturbing little elf.

I think this is the creepiest, most unnecessary Christmas tradition to date. 


  1. such a creepy and disturbing product!

  2. p.s it says a lot about the current state of parenting (or lack thereof)!