It’s not that I’m too lazy to move the Elf on the Shelf around my house each night. Or that I don’t want to come up with creative ideas for the Elf on the Shelf each day. A daily alert on my phone and a quick Pinterest search can solve those problems. So, that’s not why we don’t have an Elf on the Shelf in our home.
Several years ago, when I first saw the Elf on the Shelf in a catalog somewhere, I remember thinking it was a pretty cute idea. Something else to add to the magic of Christmas. A new family tradition.
And, let’s face it: there are days, especially once Christmas break starts, that I sort of want to play the Santa card. Santa is watching you, you better stop that right now. Or the idea of an elf reporting their bad behavior to Santa- it seems like a good way to get them to stop whatever it is they shouldn’t be doing, instead of having it all fall on mom and dad to put a stop to it.
But before I decided to buy one of those elves, I really thought about it. After all, if we started the Elf on the Shelf tradition, not only would it be something that I would need to do every day for about a month, it would most likely need to be carried on until my youngest stopped believing in Santa. That’s years and years of commitment. I didn’t want to start this on a whim and then be stuck with it unless I was really behind the idea.
So yes, I put a lot of thought into the Elf on the Shelf. I know a lot of you have an elf who arrives the day after Thanksgiving or soon thereafter. I enjoy seeing the creative photos that you post with your elves. And I laugh even harder when you post the “elves gone wild” pics, depicting what your elf gets up to when the kids are asleep. I don’t have an issue with other families having an Elf on the Shelf and making a fun family tradition out of it.
But, it’s not for my family.
Much as I love the holiday season, with all the parties, treats, movies, lights, decorations, and most of what goes along with this time of year, sometimes I get a little bothered by the commercialism of the season.
My family celebrates Christmas because we believe that we are commemorating the birth of Jesus Christ. If we didn’t believe this, we wouldn’t do the decorating and the gift giving.
Jesus was God’s gift to us. That’s where I look to for our Christmas gift giving tradition: God gave us an amazing gift, we give gifts to each other.
Here’s the thing- and why there is no room for an Elf on my shelf. God gave us that gift when we didn’t deserve it. Not a single person was “good.” We were all on the naughty list. He didn’t tell us there was a wonderful gift coming on December 25th, but maybe we wouldn’t get it if we didn’t shape up, so we better all watch out.
It was a gift of unconditional love.
To me, that’s what the spirit of Christmas is.
It doesn’t fit for me to have an Elf on the Shelf watching my kids every day and reporting their bad behavior back to Santa. My boys are getting what they are getting for Christmas because we love them, not because they are on the nice list(even though, to be honest- they really are. They have their naughty moments, but they really are good kids). It probably works that way in your house, too- no matter what that elf sees, you already know what will be under your Christmas tree(for the most part anyway).
So even though I know, I know, the Elf on the Shelf is just plain ol’ holiday fun(every one of my boys’ cousins has an Elf on the Shelf in their homes and I’ve been accused of being a Grinch for not having one), we won’t be adding one to our house this holiday season.
Last Week’s Pour Your Heart Out Highlights
- What I Can’t Have from Our Giggles and Grimaces: “I hate them. I hate the side effects. I hate needing them. I hate KNOWING I need them, most of all.”
- When Your Child Doesn’t Believe from Chasing Cloud 9: “And yet, part of me is incredibly sad that he knows the truth. It is just one more sign that my baby, my little boy, isn’t so little anymore.”
- Why I’m Blogging Like a Horse with Blinders On from A Cookie Before Dinner: “I got caught up hard and fast in what others were up to, instead of focusing on what I was doing.”
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