12.02.2013

The Elf on the Shelf is SO DUMB.

I've been keeping quiet about this one because some of my very favorite people do it, but OH MY GOSH I think the Elf on the Shelf is so stupid. For those of you who don't know about this awful trend, here's the gist. You "adopt" this elf who keeps an eye on your kids during the holiday season and supposedly reports back to Santa to let him know who's been naughty and nice. The "fun part" is that you pose him doing silly / naughty things, which is ... funny, I guess? I don't know.

There are two main reasons I hate this.

Lies on lies on lies

You're already lying to your kids by telling them Santa exists. Then to that, you add this extra lie, with all kinds of intricacies and complications. The elf can't be touched or he loses his magical power. The elf can't move while the people in the house are awake. You have to be a good little boy or girl or the elf is going to tell on you. 

Can we just stop lying to our children? I know, I know — I'm not a parent so I have no idea what I would do if I was and blah, blah, blah. But on top of the Santa lie, I definitely wouldn't go to the extent of getting a fake toy elf and pretending it was real. 

Maybe it wouldn't be so bad if the kids were in on the joke — 'Where are Mom and Dad hiding the elf tonight?' I wasn't sure if kids actually believed it or not until I asked my mom (who has a part-time job at a daycare) about it today, and guess what? A lot of them totally do. Even, Mom said, mature kids. Smart kids. Ten-year-olds. 

Seriously, guys. Let your kids grow up with some sort of grasp on reality.

The time, effort and waste

People put SO MUCH EFFORT into the Elf on the Shelf, and I'm so annoyed about it. There are entire blogs dedicated to ideas for it. Parents think they're being so creative and post pictures of the elf's adventures on Facebook every day and it's just like ... can't you do something more productive with your time?

I've even seen parents on Facebook (and commenters on blogs) get stressed out about it, and for what? If it stresses you out, don't do it. Duh. I saw a comment from one parent who often forgets to move the elf, and then has to create even more lies about it. If you don't have time for it, don't do it!

There's also the waste. It seems like the elf is always creating messes. Wasting toilet paper, toothpaste, wrapping paper, food — the list goes on. I don't see why you would want to waste the money or the resources just to make the kids giggle and / or terrify them into being good.

If this is how you want to spend your time, feel free. I just think the time could be spent doing something else with or for your kids and making other holiday traditions. Kids already believe so many things we lie to them about — Santa, the tooth fairy, the Easter bunny — why add one more?

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