We purchased Elf on the Shelf, or Elf-the-Shelf as my youngest mistakenly calls him, a few years ago without knowing there was a companion book. We had no idea the character was actually a spy. We were unaware he was to do naughty things in our home. We don’t laugh at bad behavior so I definitely wouldn’t encourage any of my children’s stuffed animals to misbehave.
I’m all for traditions and fun. Since we didn’t “do” Santa, our Elf the Shelf didn’t have to stir up trouble nor report back to the fat man. Elf could do anything because we gave Elf the Shelf a new narrative. We liberated him from a life of crime!
Elf on the Shelf Doesn’t Have to Be Naughty!
It started with us hiding Elf. After 2 weeks we ran out of places in our small house. Not to mention I forgot to get Elf out of my son’s bedroom every night. Talk about the naughty list … mom sneaking in to her son’s bedroom to steal something.
At the end of the Christmas season Elf was put in with all the holiday decorations and stored in the attic. The following year my youngest begged us to keep “Elf the Shelf” out for the whole year and let him stay with his stuffed animal friends.
I decided that Elf the Shelf remained on the kitchen table during December. Each night we arranged him in a silly “scene”. He was lifting marshmellow weights, playing Wii with the other stuffed animals, taking a popcorn bath, eating the last cookie, etc. The most naughty Elf ever got was sitting on a whoopie cushion.
A friend once told me she never allowed her children to watch Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles cartoons when they were little. Yet she bought them the action toys. Her kids had no idea which was the smart one, the funny one, the leader, or the aggressive hot-head. She told me each time her children played with the toys and they changed their behavior. No one was ever labelled.
Just because Elf was labelled something in the marketing department doesn’t mean that’s what he has to be in my home.
Nor does that mean we have to point fingers and judge our friends for however they play their Elf game!!
We love redemption movies. The Grinch is my favorite! So much so my kids know it!!
I also love Megamind. Because I too needed a second chance and it was given to me. So we gave Elf a second chance. Now everyone looks forward to making a funny little scenes each night in December!
Elf doesn’t have to be naughty. Elf doesn’t have to be nice. He doesn’t steal Christmas from Jesus. He doesn’t have to become an idol. He also doesn’t have to be burned at the stake.
Enjoy your Christmas traditions the way you want to enjoy them.