That lasted about three days. Elf on a Shelf, to me anyway, is the worst. That stupid piece of felt caused me nightly anxiety as we tried to find creative and funny things for her to do, and the kids found her in five minutes flat in the morning and wanted her to move all day anytime they left the room. Knowing that Cookie Cupcake (yes, Piper named her) was watching and reporting to Santa did not improve behavior, it only undermined our authority as parents. Basically, that Elf was a one year wonder.
I have zero love for Cookie Cupcake. She is going in the donate pile to torture another family.
I thought this was supposed to be fun.
What that silly Elf is really doing though is forcing kids to focus even more on getting presents at Christmas. Enough already, people! We made a conscious decision this year to focus more on family, more on giving, and way way less on getting. Last year, our tree was so full of presents, we actually felt nuts when we realized how much we had gone overboard. I was hard-pressed to find anything at Wal-Mart the kids didn't have. Yikes!
This year, we decided to cut the presents a lot. Only toys that require imagination or encourage learning, lots of books, some clothes. I'm taking each kid to shop for the other so that they can get excited about giving. Isn't that the whole point? As Christians, we want our kids to know the reason for the season. However, I think no matter your religion, the Elf is not helping.
I don't mean to Scrooge your Elf excitement. Sorry about that. I just don't get it.
I can only remember a handful of truly impactful gifts I received as a child. I remember getting my Barbie pool that had a slide and a Malibu Barbie. I remember the year we got a Super Nintendo from Santa.
The year I remember most was when we were running errands and Dad pulled in front of a house and told Bailey and I to run up and put an anonymous envelope on the front door and run away. The next Sunday, a family tearfully told that God had provided money that they desperately needed and my Dad never even looked up. That is giving. That is what I want to teach my kids.
Take that, Elf. Dad 1, Elf 0.
*Elf photo from here.*
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