Wednesday, November 18, 2015

Well, I Did It...

Out in the world, Christmas is already everywhere.  The stores are festooned with decorations, the malls are setting up the Santa Clause habitat and I saw some decorations on the city street lights today.  I happen to really enjoy this even though I do also love Thanksgiving and don't overlook it.  There is even a cornucopia in our house!  Yes, a horn of plenty!  And it will be on full display with gourds and pumpkins and my turkey Beanie Babies from the 90's until after next week.  Of course, people are irritated that it's "too early" for Christmas but hey, it's five weeks away (yes, I have overheard people in stores saying this within the last week) and I don't think that is too early to start anticipating such a fun time of the year. 

In this spirit, and also because I have the Amazon Prime trial that I previously mentioned, I found myself looking at some "Holiday (of course they wouldn't dare say Christmas) Hot List" and the recently popular "Elf on the Shelf" was on the list. 

If you use social media and have any friends who have small children, which is almost all of my friends on social media, you have seen the Elf on the Shelf show up around Christmas the last few years.  I don't know who came up with this idea but I wish it were me because now I would be rich.  I also don't know when it started but I remember imploring my co-workers with kids to explain it to me back when I had a job in 2011 after seeing it all over Facebook. 

It comes with an elf doll and the story, which apparently tells of how the Elf on the Shelf is sent by Santa and each family has their own.  I'm not sure when he or she arrives but it is either right after Thanksgiving or on December 1st.  They give it a name and it becomes a tradition that returns year after year.  He sits in the house and moves to a new location every night so the children know he is watching and reporting to Santa about if they are naughty or nice.  I think this is why it is so popular.  It is a way to invoke Santa to get good behavior from your kids. 

Of course, parents started having a bit too much fun as they repositioned their elf every night and soon social media was filled with daily documentation of elf antics.  Here are a few examples I found on Pinterest (not from people I actually know). 

Some are cute ways to go above and beyond setting it on shelves or in the Christmas tree branches like this one where the elf is reading to other toys:

200 Elf on the Shelf Ideas:

Or hiding in the fridge wrapped in a blanky...that's very cute!

Elf on the Shelf in the fridge wrapped up in a towel. Because he misses Santa and the North Pole:

But then there are these types of ideas, where you make a huge mess in your own house. And I'm sure the kids are cleaning that up...not!

Day Four:

Funny Elf on the Shelf Ideas (30 Pics) I used to have a green elf like this - bought him in a market in Sydney over 30 yrs ago... didn't know the story - thought he may have been a leprechaun! Wonder where he is now?:

No thanks.

And then there are these types of scenarios, which look labor intensive and like kind of a waste of time:

Elf on the Shelf idea - Elf makes his very own Christmas tree:

But anyway, the weeks to come will hold lots of people showing off their superior elf positioning abilities and also lots of people complaining about how annoying those other people are and people who hate the whole tradition because it takes the focus away from the true meaning of Christmas.  Remember the years before the Internet when you could just do something because you felt like it and never had to know what everyone else thought?  This is the new world of parenting!  Lucky us!

I decided impulsively to order this thing because I always imagined I would be a mom who tried to make Christmas a special time of year.  I loved advent calendars and green and red paper chains with a star or a cross at the end and church and school parties and holiday basketball tournaments when I was a child almost as much as the big day itself and this is kind of the same idea. Also, I like the idea of my kids believing in the magic and goodness of Santa for the few short years we have before they develop the logic to figure things out. 

Oh, and of course I want the easy way to encourage good behavior!  So this package should be arriving today.  I promise I will not do daily updates about what I come up with for the Elf every night but I might do a few!  And one might be this:

20 Elf on the Shelf Pics That Will Make You Laugh Out LoudI don’t think that’s what they meant when they said ‘make sure you brush.’:


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