Monday, December 10, 2012

Did You Know There's an Elf?

Did you know there's an elf? Did you know there's an elf on a shelf and he sits there talking to himself?

Did you know there's a mama? Did you know there's a mama in a pajama who doesn't understand all the shelf elf drama?

So, now we get past the cute and only slightly plagiarized from the adorable book Bedtime Mouse part where I confess my horrible parenting.

My children do not have an Elf on the Shelf.

And it's not even for a good reason beyond I just don't feel like doing it!

You see, I think the Elf on a Shelf is incredibly dumb. Actually, I have to try really really hard to see the appeal of any of the "lying to my children" aspects of Christmas. Kristina asked me how Santa knows she's been good. My best answer was a slightly exasperated "because he just does".

But getting back to the elf.

The Elf on Shelf comes out every December for families which are not mine, and every night the crimsonly clad creepy creature moves around the house to prove it's "aliveness" and "watching of the children" to get them to behave.

And I just have so many moral issues with this.

(Clearly my own parents failed in their parenting of me by not elfing it up so I would do such with my own offspring for the sake of nostalgic tradition.) 

The blatant lying to your children aside, there's the part where you are convincing them to be good by making them paranoid that they won't get stuff. You are artificially inflating the wanting of toy crap to an even higher than it already was AND teaching them that their only motivation to behave is because a doll might see you being naughty.

And even if that was the preferred method of parental enforcement for you, why on earth would you relegate it to only be a one-month-a-year thing? Make them freak out because there's a gnome in your home and he's watching you every second of every day forever, so you better behave, or else you won't be allowed to live here any more.

Just for the record, there is no gnome in our home sort of scare tactics being used on my children.

(For now...)

We do not elf in this family.

And it's probably for the best, as I'm quite certain I would totally be THAT parent.

Luckily thanks to the internet, I now know I would not be alone in my horribly inappropriate for small children shelf elf antics. 

[Note to self: bring this tradition into the house when the girls are teenagers to make sure they have appropriately developed senses of humor]


  1. I'm so glad these creepy things were not around when my daughter was younger! However, now that she's 15, I can see the potential for inappropriate fun with them.

  2. DUDE! Elf on a Shelf is a tradition! A recently invented, mass produced, fear mongering narc that teaches your children they should only behave when promised loot. GET WITH IT!

  3. I saw one last week that was the topper of the year. It was Elf and a Justin Timberlake doll reenacting a certain SNL skit...

  4. Marty - I am looking for a book and low and behold your blog turned up. You have quoted: "Did you know there's an elf? Did you know there's an elf on a shelf and he sits there talking to himself?" Do you have a copy of the "Did you know there's a mouse?" book? I had one for my children when they were toddlers in the early 80s, would love to have a copy, however, I cannot remember the correct title or the author. If you can supply that information, I would be eternally grateful :) Claudia Thomas