Elf on the Shelf.
I heard about it and I loved the concept. ”WHAT FUN!” I exclaimed. (disclaimer, I don’t remember what I said, but I liked the idea)
We’ll get an elf, he’ll do all kinds of funny things every day and the kids will have to find him and be amused. Super fun and amazing Christmas tradition.
The kids love it. We’re only on day two but they run around the house in the morning searching for him and giggling at where they find him. I got woken up this morning to “MOMMY! The elf is listening to MUSIC! HA HA HA HA HA HA!” My usual morning self replied with “hilarious. go away. I’m sleeping.”
The elf is a hit. Except I’m feeling a bit guilty about it all. Why?
1) The kids knew about Santa, the Easter bunny, etc from before they can remember being told about them. They take it for granted. New fictional person to believe in? Requires a lot of blatant lying! Especially because they can plainly see HE’S A TOY!!
“Why can’t he move?”
“Um, Santa says so”
“Why can’t he talk”
“Santa told him not to”
“Why does he look like a toy?”
“I don’t know, ASK SANTA!”
“Oh! I know, Santa probably gave him magical powers to turn into a toy during the day”
“Yes! That sounds right. You’re so smart!”
“How can he see and hear what we’re doing if he’s a toy?”
“We’re going with magic again on that one, ok?”
All this lying is making me slightly uncomfortable, even though it’s all in fun. Especially since “don’t tell lies” has been a common theme in our house with the three year olds lately.
Cue a little MOM GUILT!
2) I use Snowflake as a huge threat.
Ok, so this isn’t new. Every year we all do it with the magical power of ‘Santa knows all’. But doesn’t it make you all feel a bit guilty too? And also angry when it doesn’t work?
Don’t these kids know Santa might not bring them presents if they keep acting bad? No, they probably know “Santa” will gives them presents anyways because “Santa” would have been heartbroken if “he” hadn’t gotten presents as a kid, and plus, can you imagine the tantrum “Santa” would have to put up with on Christmas morning??
But I digress. This is me 50 times a day now.
“Ohhh snowflake! (Really, who lets small children name ANYTHING. Other name choices included “ceiling” “lamp” and “ironman”) Look who isn’t listening!”
“Snowflake. You getting this? Child not getting dressed. Child making mommy frustrated. Child goes on list. Report to Santa!”
“You want Snowflake to tell Santa about this? Do you? Are you sure?”
So you’re lying, you’re threatening, and you’re right pissed when one of your kids doesn’t take it seriously. Christmas spirit at its best.
Happy Holidays everyone. And go get an elf, the kids totally love it!