Elf on the shelf


December is now up on us, and with it comes the most wonderful time of year. The time when trees go up, twinkly lights get switched on and everyone indulges in a cup of festive cheer. If you’re anything like us, your cheer may taste suspiciously like Prosecco (oh I do love a nice glass of Prosecco).

This festive month often brings with it a swarm of visitors, trying to get their annual hugs and catch-ups in before the fat man heads down your chimney. Admittedly, some visitors are perhaps more welcome than others. I’m going to leave the obvious mother-in-law joke here, and head straight on over to your resident Elf on the Shelf.

The reality is parents fall in to two camps: those who love this adorable little scamp and welcome him with open arms, and those who want to set fire to him. So, we thought we’d try and settle it once and for all; is the Elf a parent’s friend, or foe?

Reasons to hate the Elf

  1. Whilst bribery is a standard weapon in the parenting arsenal, there are many who feel telling your little ones a magical, omniscient being is constantly watching them and is in charge of how many presents they get this year sounds a bit … well, harsh. The Elf hasn’t been around long enough to know for certain how many children have needed therapy in later life, but there is a chance the statistics could be shocking.
  2. As beautiful and charming as The Elf’s story is, the major drawback of the whole charade is that after he leaves each night, he returns the next day in a completely different location. That means you, parent who clearly has so much time on their hands, must remember to move his little red-felt backside. Every. Single. Day. And you will wake up at 2am with cold sweats, panicking in case you’ve forgotten. Do we really need the extra pressure?
  3. Thanks to the popularity of The Elf, and the pressure from social media, Elf Moving can become a competitive event. You might think that hiding your little pal on top of the tree is OK for day 3, and day 8, and day 15; however, Mary’s Mum toilet papered the whole tree, and created a zip-line made out of string tinsel. Wails of “Mummy, why is our Elf so boring?” are only going to make you drink more cups of cheer.


Reasons to love the Elf

  1. Our pal the Elf is there for one reason, and one reason only – to report back to St Nick on the good (and bad) goings on in your peaceful (or otherwise) abode. Kids playing up? No problem, the Elf sees and hears all and will make a detailed recommendation to Santa. Hey, no judgment, a parents got to do what they’ve got to do to retain harmony (and a tenuous grip on reality).
  2. OK, so it might seem a tad creepy that this little guy is here to spy on your kids, but the truth is, they don’t see it that way. Children see their Elf as a loved one, returning after 11 months in the North Pole. Your Elf is their direct link to Santa for a few short days, just another way to bring a bit of magic, love and laughter in to their lives. Surely that’s worth a little bit of extra effort?
  3. One day your child will come and ask the question every parent dreads: “Is Santa real?” Those three words will send fear hurtling through your body like very little else on earth. Should you decide to go with the truth, and ultimately admit the real reason The Elf moves daily, you will discover one thing. The relief that you don’t have to play this stupid game anymore, you don’t have to come up with daft places for him to hide, or adventurous and mischievous things for him to do will soon pass. And you will be left with an overwhelming sense of loss – loss of The Elf and the magic he represented.

So which camp are you in?


If you are doing Elf on the Shelf this year, pop over to our facebook page for some ideas on things your little buddy can get up to.