Elf on the shelf

Image kindly supplied by Liz Wood of Liz wood Photography www.lizwoodphotography.co.uk

December is finally here and we can now start to get ready for Christmas, and all that traditionally entails. In recent years many families have found their usual Christmas routines, the putting up of the tree, the arguing over the colour scheme and the eating of copious amounts of Roses chocolates, joined by a new one.

Elf on the Shelf.

If you’ve not heard of the craze that has, without doubt, swept the nation, then let us enlighten you. This “toy” Elf is sent, from the North Pole, at the beginning of December to help Santa keep an eye on the children in the home, to ensure they remain on the “nice” list. It’s psychological torture at its best.

If you are fortunate enough to have an Elf come and stay with you for the month, there are certain rules that must be followed. Your Elf must not be touched, for fear that his or her magic will disappear. The Elf cannot move, or speak whilst people are around; however, is free to move around the home during periods of peace and quiet.

The idea of the entire episode is of course to enhance the festive frivolity (whilst having the added bonus of encouraging children to behave), but not everyone is down the plan.

The Villainous Interloper View

Christmas is a hard enough time of year without having to worry about moving a toy Elf around your house, always choosing a new and exotic (yet out of reach) location. The internet, and more specifically social media sites, are awash with images of elves in hilarious predicaments, which ups the ante when it comes to keeping up with the Jones’. Do any of us need that kind of pressure?

Not only that, but the whole idea of the Elf moving in the first place is because she (or he) has to return to the North Pole to update Santa on what has been observed. They then return in the early morning (in the new location) to continue with their spying. What happens if, heavens forbid, you forget to move your Elf? Will your child be traumatised by the fact that they weren’t good enough to warrant a report going back to Santa?

Equally, what if your child was not good one day, and the Elf does move? Are you suggesting that, as far as Santa is concerned, perhaps their behaviour was not really that “bad”? What if you are setting them up for a lifetime of believing they can get away with things, as long as the Elf doesn’t see? Do you really want their behaviour to be determined by what an inanimate doll thinks is acceptable?

The Enhancer of Magic View

Of course, for everyone who hates or fails to see the point of The Elf, there are plenty who see it as a great way to enhance the Christmas experience. The Elf can help encourage children to embrace Santa, and all the magic that encompasses, whilst adding a bit of fun to the home every day.

Not only can it give parents a creative outlet in dreaming up new and inventive ways to display your Elf, but it gives children something else to look forward to in the morning. The joy and anticipation of having to find the Elf each new day is very exciting, and quickly becomes a longed for experience that you will remember for years to come.

Assuming you are organised enough not to wake, in a cold sweat, at 2am because you haven’t moved your Elf, you may even find it quite a lot of fun. Many adults find themselves having competitions among friends to capture the naughtiest Elves on camera – wholly unsuitable for the children, but quite a good giggle over a glass of mulled wine!

Hey, us parents have to get our kicks where we can!


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