Love it or hate it, the Elf on the Shelf is back!
I’ll admit it. I didn’t want to do the Elf on The Shelf. Nope. Not for me, and I have about a thousands reasons why. Then… something happened.
I was walking the aisles of Target, and I had gone past that darn Elf in the box so many times. Finally, Worth (my son) and I stopped and looked at it. I picked up the box and he seemed a little interested. So, I let him hold it while we shopped. I still wasn’t sold. I mean, I own a business (which was BRAND NEW at the time,) I have a husband, a home, a two year old… all blessings but all very time consuming and each have a huge responsibility tied to it. Did I really need another thing especially this time of year? While all these thoughts were racing through my mind the strangest thing happened. A boy around 12 years old saw my son holding the box, and he smiled so big. He knew what that box had inside. He looked at Worth and then at me and said, “are you getting him the Elf on the Shelf?” he asked eagerly. “I think so. I’m not sure just yet. Can you tell how it works?” I asked him. I really didn’t understand the whole concept yet. The boy’s face lit up and he told me and Worth all about the Elf. Although the boy was 12 and old enough to fully understand how “the elf works,” he spoke of it with such joy and was excited for my 2 year old. It was hard to leave that conversation and not be excited. I was thankful he told me how it worked and how much the Elf meant to him.
Not 2 minutes later after thanking the boy and walking on, a lady caught up to me. It was the boy’s mother. “Ma’am, I saw my son talking with you about the Elf on the Shelf. Sad to admit this, he’s the baby in the family and I still do it for it him. He loves it so much… and honestly, I love it more. It has created some of my favorite Christmas memories. I hope you have as much fun with as we have.”
ummm… sold. Did the Elf on the Shelf people plant this family in store to sell me on it? Because if so, it worked. I bought it… and then I stressed about it. I mean, social media had already done me a HUGE disservice about talking about what a pain it was. OR you had the people who went all.stinking.out with their Elf who is flying from the ceiling on it’s way to save the lives of the child’s other stuffed animals who were being bullied by the army men. Ummm, let me be really clear here, I. Am. Not. That. Mom. I love seeing your pictures of your heroic elves, or your elves that make a mess during the night by spraying a whole can of shaving cream on the mirror creating a fine-art portrait of Santa Clause himself. I love it, but our elf just isn’t that creative. And here’s the thing… Worth still looks forward to seeing his Elf every single morning.
To help myself not play the Elf on the Shelf comparison game, I made some guidelines. I completely and totally changed my way of looking at the Elf. Instead of making him an “additional” thing to do, I simply made him apart of our day. Here’s how:
- First off, it is not about what the Elf is doing. It’s about the hunt. It’s not about what the Elf has for you. It’s about finding him. It’s a game first thing in the morning. Just move it.
- Let the Elf help with everyday task you already need to do. “Oh, look! The Elf picked out your clothes for today!”Have the Elf get credit for everyday things. Maybe the elf is holding a banana saying, “make sure to eat your fruit for lunch.” Seriously, it’s that simple and it may help to get your kids to try new things.
- Have the Elf gift your child with things they already get anyways. Anything that I might be buying that is extra comes directly from the North Pole and is given to him by the Elf.
My son always gets the following things before Christmas:
- A couple Christmas Outfits (I got him this from Amazon and our Elf gave it to him today.)
- Christmas Pajamas
- A few Christmas books (people, don’t give your kid Christmas books on Christmas. No one wants to read about a holiday right after it has passed. Christmas books are great to give from the Elf right after Thanksgiving.)
- Think about what is going on the next day and have the Elf say something about it. Leave a note that says “Make sure to open wide for the dentist!” if your child has an appointment. The elf can simply hold his/her toothbrush.
- Go to the dollar section at Target and buy some things that your child will enjoy but are super cheap. Buy 5-10 things for the Elf to give your child. I get into this bag of goodies on days when you don’t even want think about the Elf. Move him, grab a small gift, done. No thinking involved. If there is anything left over on Christmas, it goes in the stocking.
This is our second year of doing Elf on the Shelf, and I’ve got to say, the mom and 12 year-old boy were right; it really does make for some great memories. I highly recommend getting this because it not only comes with the Elf but also a book. The book is so cute and explains all the conditions of the Elf.
Moral of the story: don’t let a stuffed elf stress you out. Enjoy this time of year, mom. They’ll have even better memories if you are enjoying them too.
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What to do with the Elf on The Shelf | Some Guidelines
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