Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Elf on the Shelf Vs. Christopher Pop In Kins

Verily, the Christmas season is almost upon us! Or at least, if you're a mom, you've probably been thinking about it. I know its not even Thanksgiving yet, but if you work from the 6-weeks-out-holiday-planning rule like I do, your Thanksgiving planning started mid September and has pretty much been finalized by now. To Christmas we go. Seeing as its only my second Christmas with a wee one, we havn't really adopted set in stone Christmas traditions for our family yet. One tradition I am planning on is an extended visit from one of Santa's elves, or in consumer speak, an Elf on a Shelf.

I heard about this tradition last year, on a tongue and cheek blog post on Psychology Today entitled "10 Holiday Gifts That Will Cause Your Child Lasting Psychological Damage". Super funny. Also, he's joking. I do not wish to cause my child psychological damage. Again, this is satire. Moving on.

The premise of the Elf on the Shelf is that the elf comes to your house before Christmas and watches the children, making reports on their behavior back to Santa. You're supposed to move the elf every morning to a new spot and have the children find him. There are LOTS of moms out there who heartily renounce the elf on the shelf as an evil and mean holiday tradition. I think its all in how you handle it. I have no intention of making the elf Santa's sheriff. I do intend for the elf to be a fun addition to the holiday season as a visitor in our house. There are so many things you could do. I read online that, in addition to having the elf play hide and seek with her child every morning, one mom has the elf do naughty things when her little one is naughty - and when her child is good the elf appears with small presents for him. Totally cute! I'm pretty set on doing it. I just don't know which one we should get.

The picture on the left is of the original Elf on the Shelf. He reminds me of some of the old 1950-60 era ornaments my mom had when we were young. I also find him slightly creepy. Additionally, I'm not especially pleased with the book that comes with him. As I mentioned, I have no intention of making the elf's visit threatening - and there is a line in the book I'm not sure I'm comfortable with. Here's the "problem" line:

Elf on the Shelf is watching you
What you say and what you do
Elf on the Shelf is judging you
Each and every Christmas thanks Big Brother. No need to make the Elf on the Shelf into the gestapo. As a kid I think I would have been a little intimidated by that line. Not sure about this one.

The other elf is Christopher Pop-In-Kins. The alternative Elf on the Shelf. Here he is in all his Pop-In-Kins glory.

While the other elf looks kind of creepy to me, this guy looks a little goofy. I have no idea about the book that comes with him. Also, where is his other ear?

I'm not crafty so there is no way I'm making my own Elf on the Shelf, creepy and goofy are godsends compared to what I might create. I'm going to order one of these guys sometime this week - which one do you think I should get? I'd also be interested to hear what other traditions people participate in for the holidays - what are some of the things you remember doing as a kid, or what things are you doing this year with your kids?


  1. Just curious, which one did you get? I'm looking to get one or the other as well. Kids have seen the new movie "Elf on the Shelf" and they have asked for him when I saw him online because they recognize him from the movie.

  2. We went with the Elf on the Shelf and he is great, our son loves finding him everymorning and the book does not have that paragraph I mentioned in it at all, so that was an internet myth. Go for it!

  3. That's great - Thanks! I ordered Elf on the Shelf but also ended up placing an order for Christopher because my son prefers him. Not sure how it's going to work if I have two completely different looking elves in the house. I kinda wish my son hadn't seen Christopher... :) Just waiting for them to arrive now.

  4. You'll have to let me know how it goes with Christopher Pop In Kins! You tell me which one you as a mom like better - plus, the more elves the merrier. :)

  5. We have Christopher because of the line in Elf on the Shelf book about saying your prayers every night. We don't pray in our house so I didn't want my child to think Santa wouldn't bring her presents because we don't do that!

  6. We've had Christopher for about 4 yes now and my kids just seen elf on shelf movie tonight. They said our elf isn't like that one ...they called the movie a fake lol they love their pop in kins..

  7. I have had Christopher for 5 years. I love the story. The children can't touch him or he loses his magic. Haha. He's soft as well!