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
Um...no 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?