I first heard of this tradition last Christmas. I didn't really know what it was all about. I just knew that mothers were going a little crazy over this little elf doll. It was all over Pinterest and facebook. There were pictures galore of this little elf getting "caught in the act" of doing something. Whether it was naughty or cute.
My first thought was, "OK that's a little weird." This creepy little elf sits on a shelf in your home and watches your kids. Isn't it enough that Santa knows when they are sleeping or awake, and if they have been good or bad?
Then I heard more of the story, and read moms reporting how helpful it is during such a stressful time of year. They said it's a fun tradition to start with children, and gives them that extra edge to keep children in line.
So then I thought I would look into it. And decided not to purchase and elf due to the outrageous cost. Really?! $30 for a little elf doll. You have got to be kidding me! There was no way I was going to spend that much money for that!!!!
Then the weekend after Thanksgiving, my Mother-in-law sends me a text saying she bought one for my daughter. At first I wasn't sure I wanted to participate. I mean, that's just more work for me, right? So I thought about and decided I would give it shot. It couldn't hurt, and if it worked, well then great!! I could definitely use some help in the behavior department with my "Little Princess."
So that Sunday we introduced the Princess to her new Elf friend. Her Auntie read the story of the Elf to her. It was so precious to see her face light up and the book explained who she was and why she was here. And her reaction to the no touching rule was priceless. She was in fact holding the elf while the story was being read to her. As Auntie got to that part, she looked down at the elf, then turned and very gently set her down on the table and then folded her arms. She was so worried that she had already ruined the "Magic."
We then told her that it doesn't start until we get her home so she could still hold her if she wanted to. But she still didn't want to touch her very much after that.
Then came the part where Princess gets to name the elf. She picked out the name "Bianca", after a stuffed kitty she has. I thought that was an adorable name for the elf. But then just before we were leaving to go home she says she wants to change her name to "Pebbles." Because Auntie had brought up the Pebbles and Bam Bam dolls. So we told Princess she had until we got home to decide what the name would be, but as soon as we were home she could not change her name again.
So we now have Pebbles the elf roaming our house. Then I started thinking about the personality of our elf. Should she be a naughty elf, like so many others? Making messes and getting into things? Or will she be a good elf? Making friends and bringing presents?
Why on earth would I make the elf naughty? Isn't she supposed to encourage good behavior? How is her getting into trouble OK but not for Princess? What is that going to teach her? And why would I want to spend that much time thinking of the idea, setting it up, then cleaning it up and having to explain to my four year old that she is not allowed to do what Pebbles has done? NO THANK YOU!!
So our elf is a nice elf. She is kinda boring and just sits in different places around the house. I don't have the time or the energy to make all of these cute and creative "situations" that everyone else comes up with. I'm lucky if I get her moved by the time Princess gets up!! And I have already forgotten once. I had to tell Princess that she liked the spot and didn't want to move yet!
But I do have to say that she has helped out. I just remind Princess that she is watching and reports to Santa every night. That usually gets her attention!! And she loves looking around for her every morning. Luckily she is only four and finds simple things funny, so I don't have to get to creative!
I started out thinking the Elf on the Shelf was a little weird and creepy. But once I saw the excitement from my Princess, I realized this could be the beginning of a sweet and fun family tradition. Something I had very little of when I was a kid.
What do you think of the Elf on the Shelf tradition? And what do you think about the "Naughty vs Nice" ideas?
|Princess meeting her Elf|
|This is where she found her the first morning.|
|She found Pebbles watching TV with Belle|
|This one really worried Princess. She was afraid little brother|
would pull her down and ruin her!