I remember as a child, Christmas and the build up to it was my favourite time of the year. All the sparkly lights, the music, the exciting food that seemed to only appear at this time of the year and of course the presents!
My Gran once told me and my siblings that some of Santa’s Elves would leave The North Pole and travel to different parts of the world. Their job was to watch boys and girls and see if they are behaving so Santa can have an accurate “Naughty & Nice” list for Christmas Day. I remember, as a six year old, this felt so magical. You couldn’t see the Elves. They watched from afar so you never really knew if they were about or not. Once when we were visiting my Gran in the summer holidays and we were all fighting with each other, she told us the Elves were watching and we stopped fighting, terrified we would not receive gifts on Christmas.
So as you can see the Elf on The Shelf idea is not a new one. For those of you unfamiliar with it – you buy, in my opinion, a creepy looking Elf doll and then place it in different places around your house each night. The children are not allowed to touch or speak to the Elf and during the day he does not move. All the mischief happens at night when the children are sleeping. He then watches for naughty or nice behaviour from his new spot.
Last year, with Finlay being four, I decided to partake in this new fashionable trend. As the famous red Elf on The Shelf creeps me out I decided to buy a friendlier, soft plush elf from Festive Studios. I got prepared by looking for ideas on Pinterest and Google.
It began well with the Elf partaking in different activities each night. One night he was hiding in the Christmas tree, the next he had lined up everyone’s shoes like a train. But if I’m being honest Finlay was not interested. Each morning I had to ask him if he had found the Elf and was disappointed when he shrugged his shoulders and said “Nah not yet”. Did he not know how much work I had put in? And how I was nearly asleep when I remembered I hadn’t moved the stupid Elf and had to jump out of bed and find a new hiding place? I would see fellow friends post their ideas on Instagram and they were amazing, which then made me feel inadequate in my mum duties that my hiding places were nowhere near as creative. I soon realised I wasn’t having to remind Finlay the Elf was watching his behaviour. You see Finlay is generally a well behaved child, who dislikes doing wrong, to the point if he does something bad he will come and confess. He gets that from me!
With all of this swirling round my mind I began to think what was the point of this Elf on The Shelf?! Am I only doing this because it’s trendy? To have cute photos on Instagram and show others I’m part of the crowd? Sadly the answer to these questions was yes. Now don’t get me wrong the Elf on The Shelf might work for other children but it was pointless for mine. There are plenty of mothers out there who love the creative aspect to it but for me I felt the only thing I was creating was mess which I would enviability have to clean up myself. The whole idea was stressing me out and sucking the fun out of Christmas for me.
This year I decided not to bother having an Elf. I was intrigued to see if Finlay would ask for one, as he is now in school and his friends might mention they have an Elf. But nope so far he has not mentioned an Elf. I may sound like a Scrouge but the Elf is just not for our family. And if we ever do need to threaten the kids to behave I think I’ll just use my Gran’s story. To all those parents out there who partake in the Elf on The Shelf I applaud you and enjoy looking at your photos on social media! Only 1 more week to go!
Merry Christmas everyone.