Why we ARE an Elf on the Shelf Family

Why we ARE and Elf on the Shelf Family


We are an ardent Elf on the Shelf family.

To those who know me, this comes as no surprise.

We all look forward to Buttons coming back, and it is a highlight in our countdown to Christmas.

However, there are an increasingly number of negative posts against the Elf on the Shelf and I feel someone needs to defend family fun!

Isn’t it Creepy?

“The elf that watches you all day and reports back to Santa.”

We have never ONCE told the kids that the elf is watching them and reports back to Santa. We have never told them that the elf is real.

We have never told them that Santa is real either, for that matter.

They believe what they want to believe.

Isn’t it Manipulating Children’s Behaviour?

“The Elf won’t come back if you’re bad. And don’t touch it, because he will lose his powers.”

If we told the kids that the elf wouldn’t come if they were naughty, the elf wouldn’t even get out of the box!

They also know that he’s not magical. I hardly think they believe in it. One morning, the 6-year-old tried to explain to the 8-year-old how we had set up one of the “tricks”.

“STOP!” said the older child. “It’s more magical if you don’t.”

Isn’t it anti-Christian?

Since when is having fun with your family against Christianity?

Who has time to come up with Ideas?

That’s why PINTEREST was invented. I have a board with literally hundreds of ideas pinned.

Just look from there and take someone else’s idea. In 4 years, I think we might have created our own idea less than 5 times!

Work smart not hard!

Isn’t it too Stressful?

I admit, that when we started the Elf on the Shelf 4 years ago, we set the bar pretty high. Now, each day we have to try to come up with equally as funny ideas. But, that’s our choice. You can play hide and seek. You can do easy things. It doesn’t have to be complicated.

But why would I want to?

Here’s the thing… if you don’t want to do it, THAN DON’T!

I enjoy doing the Elf on the Shelf. I personally think it’s a lot of fun! It is not stressful for me.

However, when I look on Facebook at the cakes you decorate, the beautiful crafts you’ve made, or the gourmet meals you’ve cooked, I just want to cry. 

To me, that’s what is stressful!

It all comes down to what you find stressful and what you enjoy doing. If you don’t enjoy doing it, Don’t DO It!

If your elf is one that reports back to Santa, loses magical powers if touched, and goes on strike if the kids are naughty, then that’s great! Do what works for you.

If you don’t do the Elf, that’s great too.

So, while you are worrying about how to explain to your children why there is no elf at your house, remember it works both ways.

Come February when we are shoveling 4 feet of snow, and you are posting pictures of your trip to Disney or a Caribbean island, I will be trying to explain to my children why we can’t afford to go like seemingly everyone else in your class. 

As Scrooge said in the Mickey Mouse version of  the Christmas Carol, “I will keep Christmas in my way and allow you to keep it in your own.”


2018 Update: After doing the Elf on the Shelf for 6 years, my kids have finally admitted (what we knew all along) that they no long believe in the elf! However, we are STILL going to keep up the tradition! 

Instead, I will take the EVEN dates and they will take the ODD dates, and we will have fun taking turns making Buttons perform antics for the family! I can hardly wait to see what they come up with! 



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