Defending Elf on the Shelf

This year I have noticed a lot of “Elf on the Shelf” bashing on social media sites and feel like my little buddy Elf won’t feel welcomed when he makes his arrival. Some say he is creepy, others mention that the pictures of him in different spots become overwhelming, and then others think that his being used as a tool to “watch” children is not good parenting.

Our Elf is welcomed with open arms to our home every December and is as much a part of our Christmas tradition as Santa is.

And it is just that, a tradition.

Here are the positive reasons we welcome Elf into our home:

defending elf

The Magic. We don’t use Elf to control behaviour or to “report” back to Santa, he’s part of the magic of Christmas and our tradition. He comes every December 1st to begin our celebration and leaves just before Santa’s arrival.

The Morning. Every morning our daughter’s face lights up while she searches the house for Elf and his new hiding spot. She looks high and low for the trouble he might have gotten in this time. Where is he now? How did he get there? What is his message?

Relaying Messages. Messages such as good work at daycare, or when she was potty training we congratulated her on her hard work. Leaving notes telling her how many days until Santa’s arrival or just fun little notes from Elf.

Practicing Restraint. Our daughter knows she can’t touch Elf but she  has asked several times if she can just touch him once, that’s when we take out the book and read it again, reminding her that his magic will go away if she touches him.

Fun. As parents it’s fun for us to create new places for Elf to hide, trouble for him to get into, and new games for him to play while our daughter sleeps. Knowing that her face will light up when she wakes up and sees what Elf has gotten into makes it worth it.

While we still discuss and celebrate the arrival of Jesus and the true meaning of Christmas we also share in the magic of Elf and Santa, the fun he brings, and our daughters imagination.

We are an Elf on the Shelf family and proud of it.

Do you have an Elf on the Shelf? How does he fit into your home? 

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14 Responses to Defending Elf on the Shelf
  1. Lindsay
    December 1, 2013 | 9:21 pm

    We have Judy Anne (our elf) and we feel the same way — our oldest 2 are 9 now and starting to question whether Santa is real or not… Judy Anne has actually helped, because we’ve given them the option to either believe in the magic and spirit of Christmas, or test it and see if she disappears, which would ruin it for their younger brother.
    While they complain… I know that searching for her in the mornings and seeing what shenanigans she gets up to make them keep the spirit. 🙂
    Haters gonna hate! Let’em! 🙂

    • multitaskingmumma
      December 2, 2013 | 10:06 am

      so happy to see Judy Anne is back!! let the fun begin.

  2. Jennifer @Making Our Life Matter
    December 1, 2013 | 9:23 pm

    Cute post. I am elf-overloaded, so I can’t say *I* can endorse the elf in our house, but don’t let anyone stop you from enjoying yours!

    • multitaskingmumma
      December 2, 2013 | 10:05 am

      thank you so much! He’s something we look forward to and really do enjoy

  3. Sandi Heiwegen
    December 1, 2013 | 10:16 pm

    I was shocked to see the Elf on the shelf at my grandchildrens home and learn that he tells Santa when they have been bad and good, I feel you are teaching children about squeling and being spyed on having a fear that there is always a unknown watching over them, do children not grow up in to adults soon enough and have to deal with people wanting to sell them out in life early enough and then deal with the fear of ” big brother watching in this society” soon enough, let the parinoia wait a few more years please!!

    • multitaskingmumma
      December 2, 2013 | 10:05 am

      I understand what you’re saying Sandi. I think that for those who use it as a tool for controlling behaviour it can be seen as a negative.

  4. Susan
    December 1, 2013 | 11:33 pm

    I think it’s great that you and your daughter enjoy that tradition! So silly how folks feel they can judge other parents for cultural/religious/family traditions and rituals.

    We don’t have an elf – I’m actually on the fence about Santa though we do it for our kiddos who still believe. Part of me thinks it’s a great rite of passage, moving from believing to questioning to getting to play Santa. And a good lesson, too. That not everything you believe in is real but that doesn’t take away from the magic in imagination. And them the other part of me feels icky every time I deceive her. But I choose to think about it like the way you deceive someone you’re throwing a surprise party for. 🙂

    • multitaskingmumma
      December 2, 2013 | 10:03 am

      I love how you said it’s a right of passage and that not everything you believe in is real but that doesn’t take away from the magic. That is wonderful and so true!

  5. Marianna Annadanna
    December 2, 2013 | 1:15 pm

    I’ve only heard fun things! I look forward to trying it with Baby Fraggle.

    • multitaskingmumma
      December 3, 2013 | 2:11 pm

      I think it’s incredibly fun and love moving him to new places every night.

  6. Kim
    December 3, 2013 | 8:15 pm

    We don’t have kids but we still decided to participate this year with the elf. Ours is named Marty.

    I think it’s a great, fun tradition to have for the little kids, the big kids, and the kids at heart. It’s Christmas. I say embrace the magic and enjoy it for what it is. The social media bashing I’ve seen is just so frustrating. I can respect that some people don’t like it or think it’s ridiculous but there’s no need to attempt to suck the joy out of those who do like it and want to have fun with it.

    • multitaskingmumma
      December 4, 2013 | 11:14 am

      you’re so right. No one needs to suck the joy out of something so fun.

  7. Ali
    December 8, 2013 | 2:43 pm

    I totally agree. The bashing is totally new this year. I think the elf is no creepier than Santa knowing “when you’ve been sleeping.” Knowing “when they’re awake…” I do wish that parents were more on the same page though. While some families create these elaborate displays, ours is pretty tame. In my friend’s area some families are buying an elf for each child and her kids wanted to know why they only had one. I miss the first few years when the elf just literally went from shelf to shelf, and maybe the tree, not skydiving and making cocoa.

  8. Lori Summers
    December 8, 2013 | 3:32 pm

    What a great post! I too, see a lot of negativity directed towards Elf on the Shelf, but this is our first year with our Bella and my daughter loves her! She loves finding her each morning and wondering how she got there, etc. I think as long as it doesn’t get out of control and the story of Christmas and Jesus is still taught, then a little fun and Christmas magic can’t hurt. We are a proud Elf family too! 🙂

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