Yes, Elf on the Shelf. Some heads shake in disgust and some bow in submission due to the impending responsibility. My head does both, along with being held high with a smile on my face.
Our elf, Ziggy, was named by my three children. They chose it. They own it. They love it. They look forward to it every year. Every. Year.
I hear the criticism about how it takes away from the meaning of Christmas. No it doesn’t. We still celebrate God’s love and the birth of Christ and enjoy the company of friends and family. I hear the criticism about how it’s only a way for parents to try to get their kids to behave. No it isn’t. It works. It doesn’t work. “Santa Claus is Coming to Town.” “He sees you when you’re sleeping. He knows when you’re awake.” Same idea.
I hear people complain about that stupid elf they see everywhere. I hear people complain about how it’s just another way for someone to earn money. I hear people criticize the mischievous elf. I hear people complaining that the kids will never remember the elf or appreciate the hard work the parents put into it each day. I hear it’s an unnecessary waste of time and effort. I hear blah blah blah blah blah. Opinions. We all have them.
I also hear the positive experiences with the elf. I SEE the joy on parent’s faces. I SEE the joy on kid’s faces. I SEE the joy on my own children’s faces. That makes it worth it.
Today is the day after Thanksgiving. The day that the elf traditionally makes it’s re-appearance. My children have been asking about Ziggy for a few weeks now. They are excited. They look forward to it every year. They look forward to finding Ziggy every morning. It doesn’t matter if he is naughty or nice. It doesn’t matter if Ziggy is in the same place as he was the day before. That frequently happens for many reasons. It mostly happens because Ziggy just LOVES that particular spot. Not because Mommy or Daddy forgot to move him or are running out of ideas. No. That’s not it. He likes that spot.
The screams of excitement that came out of my son’s mouth when he saw Ziggy in the window this morning was pure joy. It was then followed by more screaming for his sisters to come downstairs to share in the excitement that he found Ziggy. I overheard them talking later about where they think he might show up next. (Thanks for the ideas kid)
Criticize all you want. Ask “how does she do it?” all you want. Ask “why do you bother?” all you want. Ask “where do you get all these ideas?” all you want.
I’m going to keep on doing it. When my oldest realizes how this all works, I’m going to keep on doing it. Even after my youngest realizes how this all works, I still might keep on doing it. Why? I’m having fun. My husband is having fun. My kids are most definitely having fun. They still talk about things that Ziggy did 3 years ago. They re-visit these memories every year.
So what’s the point of this post? This post won’t change opinions. This post won’t be a pep-talk for you to go out and get an elf. This post is just a sincere way to show you why I do it. I will continue to share pictures of our elf. Enjoy it. My kids will.