Do you have an Elf on the Shelf? Do you even know what I'm talking about? Chances are, if you have kids in elementary school, you do. My kids, it seems, got too old just around the time the ugly little Elf made his appearance on the shelves at Target, Barnes and Noble, and everywhere else you look.
Elf on the Shelf is a trollish looking doll that shows up at Christmas time in the homes of small children, and, while they are sleeping, he causes all sorts of mischief and mayhem and it's just HILARIOUS. Apparently.
Not everyone is a fan. For instance, this blogger. And who can blame her, really? Who has time for this? Don't we have enough to worry about during the holiday season without adding this creepy elf creature? And, from what I hear, he isn't very cooperative. For example, he's top-heavy and floppy so it's hard to get him to, say, wrap around the bannister, or strike a particular pose. You'd think for all the money they're making, they could put a little sand in his butt and some wires in his arms and legs so he is at least versatile.
I'm just going to admit it: if my kids were younger, I'd probably totally be doing the Elf on the Shelf thing. I'd be doing it up right, too. That Elf would be the most mischievous creature around and the things I'd come up with! I'd stress myself into a frenzy every night creating a new, riveting scene. And this is why I'm glad we're past the Elf stage.
Because, seriously? I have a hard enough time with the Advent calendars. First of all, my kids still insist on having those cheap, cardboard Advent calendars with crappy chocolate in them. You get to open a cardboard door each day and consume a smallish piece of icky chocolate stamped with a festive holiday design. Then, as if that's not enough, I also have to fill the wooden Advent house we have. It's adorable and I love it - it's like a big gingerbread house with 24 little doors and windows that open to reveal......well, whatever the hell you can fit in that tiny space, times four since I have four kids. Every year I'd knock myself out finding smallish treats (that were also Christmas-oriented) to fill the Advent house. Plus candy. Always the candy. Some years I'd even include little notes, telling what our plans were for the evening, or announcing a special outing. This year there's candy. And that's enough. I'd put money on the fact that my kids probably don't even know what Advent is, but the mere mention of the word has them salivating for chocolate.
I love the Christmas season, but it can get over the top. All the traditions that we feel we MUST uphold in order for the holiday to seem "right" can make us crazy. We knock ourselves out decorating, shopping, baking, hosting, wrapping, special-eventing, and year after year we just keep adding things on, thanks to some maniacal marketers who seem to think decorating the tree and hanging up stockings just aren't tradition enough. We need an Elf on the Shelf.
I seriously contemplated buying one now that my kids are older, just so I could desecrate his little Elf name by making him do naughty stuff that would seem hilarious to teenagers. Pose him in a tiny doll bed with a naked Barbie. Splay him out on the porch with several empty beer bottles strewn around. Wrap his puny little hands around a game controller and draw dark circles under his eyes to show he'd been up gaming all night. They should make a recordable Elf so I could make him talk back in a sassy voice. I could prop him up in front of the computer after I'd created him his own tumblr page. Watch his cheesy grin from the front seat of a Barbie motor home, keys dangling. Put him in the kitchen sink with some GI Joes for some hot tub action. Have him take up residence on the couch wearing flannel pj pants and eating peanut butter off a spoon. Teenager Elf! He's so festive! Of course, he would post all of his shenanigans on Instagram. Hashtag, awesome!
But I'm secretly glad I missed this rite of passage with my kids. I don't think they missed out; if anything, they didn't lose any sleep from seeing his creepy little face in their dreams. Have you SEEN the Elf?