November 29, 2011

Why I Love The Elf On The Shelf

Go ahead haters, say what you want about this suddenly over-commercialized "tradition" but, I confess, I am totally in love with The Elf on the Shelf.

Jackson received his Elf from his Godparents post-Christmas last year and at the age of 2 could have cared less about it. I had heard of The Elf on the Shelf and thought it was a super cute idea- I was excited to figure out what he was all about. Noticing all the Elf hype this year, I told my husband that I wanted to get one for Jack. Oh yes, apparently I had forgotten we got one as a gift. So, we pulled our Elf out from the depths of Christmas storage and introduced him to Jackson who was immediately mystified by him. We asked him to give the Elf a name to which he initially replied, "Let's call him Reindeer." We then encouraged him to think of a few more (with a few suggestions from Mom & Dad) and he decided Ernie was the perfect name for his Elf. We went to www.elfontheshelf.com where we officially "adopted" Ernie. Jack was over the moon getting a letter back from Santa- he even wanted to bring it with him to school to show his teacher. He seriously carries this letter with him everywhere.

I know some longtime Elf on the Shelf people are not happy that the tradition has been commercially over-blown. My husband HATED the CBS special that aired- he called it total propaganda. While I agree with him that the show was obviously catered to selling more of the Elf, Jackson LOVED it. He loved the music, he loved Santa, he loved everything about it AND he learned what HIS Elf was all about. While he hasn't put two and two together that Ernie will report his naughty behavior to Santa and he won't get a gift, he still thinks Ernie is magical and funny. He freaked out when he thought his daddy was trying to touch Ernie and quickly explained to us in only the way that a 3 year old does that if we touch him, his magical powers will go away. He gets it and it is adorable. Am I scarring him for life for making him think there is a magical tattle tale Elf living in our house? I don't think so. Shit. I believed in Santa for I don't even know how long as a kid and guess what... I don't harbor any ill will towards my parents or require any therapy for their living such a lie.

My husband and I are having fun with finding different places to put Ernie and it has become a game for us to find fun and hilarious things to do with him. Sure, Ernie had a little bit of a creeper look when he was humping the angel on the top of our tree (yes, we told the child he was... giving her a hug), but overall I find our little Elf hilarious. This Elf isn't unlike the creepy fake HAND that my husband has been moving around with him for the last 20 years that shows up in all kinds of awful places to scare both me and our child, not to mention may or may not have groped a number of stuffed animals in our household. It doesn't take an obscene amount of time (2 minutes max.) to find a hiding place for Ernie, nor are we going to run out of ideas anytime soon NOR do we care if we have to reuse the same ideas.

Our famous creepy fake hand.
I love this new tradition. I love that Jackson is getting caught up in the magic of Christmas and that he so passionately believes in his Elf. Every day, my usually cranky preschooler wakes up excited to run out and find where Ernie is hiding. Our silly little Elf has brought magic and excitement to our house which had been seriously lacking Christmas spirit this holiday season and for that, I am grateful.

So, my dear Elf haters, I'm sorry that you weren't able to make the Elf work for your family. I truly hope that you are finding other ways to add magic into the holiday season.

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