Oh, the Elf on the Shelf. He inspires the age-old debate of whether or not we need to use trickery and lies to bribe our children into behaving around the holidays or any time of the year. Oh, the horrors: deceit, lies, trickery, bribes.
Why I Don't Need The Elf on the Shelf
I personally hate the Elf on the Shelf. I wish he'd never come to our house. And then we ended up with a second elf. Long story, but there was supposed to be a swap and the little ones found the second elf, so he had to stay. I hate those stupid creepy elves. I hate the fact that they create mountains of extra work and creativity for me. Yes, my kids are capable of behaving because they need to, and knowing that Santa may be watching is motivation enough. So, no I don't need the Elf on the Shelf.
But my kids love the elves and they need them, so here's why the (albeit creepy) Elf on the Shelf gets to stay in our home.
1. The Elf on the Shelf inspires the magic of the holidays.
Forget good behavior, the Elf on the Shelf inspires my kids with the magic of the holiday season. From being magical and untouchable as to not hurt the magic n the Elf to believing in the magic of the Christmas season, the Elf inspires the magic.
2. The Elf on the Shelf encourages literacy.
It may be a bane on my existence and a heck of a lot of extra work for me, but all of my girls write notes to Benny and Bob and Santa and look forward to getting notes back from the North Pole. Who cares what the notes are for? They are inspired to do extra writing and reading. #parentingwin
3. The Elf on the Shelf encourages good behavior.
Whether they are reminding each other that Benny and Bob are watching, or they are self-redirecting, they behave just a little better because of Benny and Bob.
4. The Elf on the Shelf makes my kids happy.
They get so excited around Thanksgiving when they know Benny and Bob may make their appearances soon. They talk for days about the shenanigans those two clown elves may pull on us. They light up at the thought of Benny and Bob. These are not kids who feel bullied by the Elf on the Shelf, these are kids that embrace and welcome the Elf on the Shelf and look forward to his arrival and the added joy he brings.
5. The Elf on the Shelf helps unite us as a family.
My oldest is 11 years old, and he stopped believing in Santa when he was 9 years old. Since then, he has been excited to play along with the magic of Santa and elves to keep the magic alive a little longer for his sisters. He helps position and moves the elves along with me. He's saved me on more than one occasion by racing to the elf-posing rescue and making Benny or Bob do something new or hiding the notes from the girls to give to me later because I spaced on elf duty. No one wants a disappointed 7-year-old because Benny forgot to bring a note to Santa and my son gets that and wants to help out. He's sweet most days.
The Elf on the Shelf reminds us that there is a magic to the holiday season that goes well beyond gifts and good behavior. It's about thinking of others first and giving more than receiving.
Elf on the Shelf Resources
So if you have an Elf on the Shelf or plan to get an Elf on the Shelf, here are some resources for posing your Elf and treats to go with your festivities.
- Make Your Elf on the Shelf Posable
- Cute Elf on the Shelf Ideas for Kids
- Elf Munch
- Elf Cupcakes
- Elf on the Shelf Cards
Do you have an Elf on the Shelf? Leave us a comment below!
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Maggie C says
Love that your 11 year old plays along! Also I find it cute that your little ones write them notes. Good idea!
We gave our Elf away. I bought some other elves and call them kindness elves. I wrote about what I did with the recently if you want to check it out. We do things for others. So I’m totally with you on no elf on a shelf.
Uplifting Families says
I am slacking on my elf. He was popular the very first year and brought me a ton of traffic. Not so much anymore.
I find those guys creepy…. Naughty elf is funny though.