Why Every Parent Has a Love/Hate Relationship with Their Elf on the Shelf

They say Christmas is the most wonderful time of the year. But, if you’re a parent who has welcomed an Elf on the Shelf into their home it’s anything but wonderful. I know, I know. We do it to ourselves, so we shouldn’t complain. But, we do.

This is the time of year when parents everywhere search for new and interesting places to position their elf so that their kids will really think that this freakish looking doll with a perma-smile actually flew all the way to the North Pole and came all the way back each and every night. This is the time of year when parents lie in bed feeling as if they forgot to do something only to awake in a soaking night sweat when they realize they forget to move the dang elf.

In case you’ve been under a rock, the story is that these elves do Santa’s dirty work. If Santa was the Godfather, the elves on the shelf would be his soldiers. Every day they are Santa’s eyes and ears. They see everything your kids are doing. From the good stuff like setting the table to the downright nasty stuff like when your kids use each other as a tissue. When the kids go to bed, the elf goes back to the North Pole to tell Santa what he saw. Then he flies all the way back and parks it in a new spot in your house.

Rinse. Lather. Repeat.

For the entire Christmas season.

In my house we start December 1st. The torture lasts 24 days.

God forbid the elf stays in the same place for two days. That would mean he didn’t go back to report to Santa. That would be bad. There’s also a catch. No one can touch the elf. If someone touches the elf, he loses his magic. This means he can’t report back to Santa. This means you have failed as a parent. Just kidding.

I have to give kudos to the creators of this torturous, addictive, but fun little creature. Kids eat this up! When our “Sweet Abigail” arrived this morning it was better than a Peppa Pig marathon on steroids. There was squealing and jumping and clapping. I’m sorry, did Jon Bon Jovi just enter my kitchen? Oh no, silly me. It’s just our elf.

My youngest daughter stared up at her in awe. She tried to have a conversation with her but soon realized it was useless. But, that didn’t stop her from continuing to tell Sweet Abigail what she wanted for Christmas. I quickly told her she had to be good or Sweet Abigail would tell Santa not to bring any presents. She didn’t question one word that came out of my mouth…for once.

My older daughter was just as happy to see our old friend. For her it was better than finding a dollar in a winter jacket. This was Sweet Abigail. This meant the Christmas season has officially begun in our house. Joy to the world!

During dinner time the girls were talking about where they thought they would find Sweet Abigail next. Thank God, because I know I am going to run out of ideas! But then my older daughter asked me if Sweet Abigail got hungry because she doesn’t eat all day. Good grief Charlie Brown! Is the mystery fading? Is she starting to doubt our mythical creature? Not a chance. I quickly told her Santa feeds her very well when she goes back to the North Pole so there was no need to worry.

She ate it up like apple pie on Thanksgiving. Crisis averted.

See what I mean? Kids believe in Elf on the Shelf just as much as Santa Claus. All kidding aside, it is fun to watch their innocence. Why wouldn’t kids believe that there is a jolly old man who brings toys to all the kids once a year? Why wouldn’t kids believe that there millions of elves that take the red eye back and forth to the North Pole every night? The answer is they have no reason not to…unless we mess it up for them…or unless they grow up. Bah humbug! We all know they are going to grow up one day and look back and laugh at their elf on the shelf days. When they do, we’ll all be wishing we could hide that dang elf for one more night.

 

 

 

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