The Elf on The Shelf—behavior modification at it’s finest. This elf shows up sometime before Christmas, and he (or she) reports your child’s behavior directly to the Big Man at the North Pole. The Elf magically flies to Santa at night to report only to return to your home by morning. To make this appear real, it’s up to a grown up to move the Elf around.
This thing has totally changed my kid’s behavior. I haven’t had to take away TV Time or even give my patented “Mama Side-Eye” since Buddy the Elf (creative, I know) showed up on Black Friday. Sometimes I think I might bring Buddy out early (like maybe in July—too much?), but then I remind myself : he’s totally creepy. Watching. Judging. From the tree, or the dining room table, or wherever else I can think to stick him.
That brings me to my next issue…finding places to put Buddy (and remembering to move him). There’s no feeling quite like waking up in a panic at 6 am, wondering if you’ve moved the elf…Did I? No? Great, now I’ve ruined the magic of Christmas. Oh, wait, no, I did move him. Remember? He moved from the left side of the tree to the top. Whew.
Some people, who I’ll call slightly (ok, really, REALLY) over-zealous, go all out with their elves. They toilet paper the Christmas tree. They “bake” cookies overnight and leave a huge mess. They go “fishing” in the toilet (for goldfish crackers. Um, gross!). They shaving cream the bathroom mirrors. I have a hard enough time coming up with 27 places to stick this thing. Who has the time do all that, too? Not this mama.
Who’s cleaning up all those messes? (Hint: it starts with an M and ends with O-M.) As for the fishing in the toilet…someone must have forgotten that the Elf can’t be touched while the littles are around, or he loses his magic. I don’t do any of that stuff, and we still teeter dangerously on the edge of destroying Christmas by somehow wronging Buddy.
Besides, logically, how does the Elf being bad help my child learn to be good? If she put her panties all over the Christmas tree (real elf idea, people!) and Santa STILL came, then I think that Mr. Claus and I need to have a little chat.
There are dozens of web sites dedicated to creative Elf ideas. I can only hope that my daughter never finds these, because she’ll see what a terrible Elf Mom I really am. Our Elf is probably the laziest one out there. Seriously. In two years, I think the biggest thing he did was build some Legos. My husband suspended him from a fan in my favorite bra once—which is the ONLY thing Lily remembers. (THAT was a fun story over breakfast with the extended fam…) He hasn’t driven the car to McDonald’s, dyed the dog green, or eaten a bag of chocolate.
Do you have an Elf? What does he do at YOUR house?