Sunday, December 18, 2011

Elf on a shelf

Is anyone else a little bit horrified by Elf on a shelf? I'll admit- part of my horror is probably pure jealousy. My husband's aunt gave Little Lipstick a signed copy because the creator was a teacher at her school.
A teacher. I mean, it's exactly the type of thing one of us would create. Like my first year teaching when I convinced my first graders that the best April fool's day joke would be to whisper all day and if anyone asked why we'd say, "shhhh- don't wake the lion!" it made no sense but it gave me a very quiet, headache free day.

Elf on a shelf is brilliant from a marketing stand point. Once you've decided to try it as a parent you are stuck moving that elf every day in December until your little ones don't believe in Santa anymore. And if you're one of those creative parents whose elf gets involved in elaborate play scenes every night? You are stuck coming up with new elf shenanigans for years. But you can't not be an elf on a shelf family! What will your kids think? Santa loves the other kids more?
(we're going to tell baby lipstick that our family elf is a crotchety old elf who doesn't like to move a lot because of his hip replacement and just skypes with Santa instead of actually flying up there. The cold at the North Pole isn't good for his arthritis. I mean, in these modern times what elf actually needs to travel to the north pole?)

Baby L and I nestled in to read the book this morning as she grabbed at the red elf (which means our elf is already ruined. The book, in a very teacher like manner tells the kids that if they touch the elf he loses his magic. Brilliant.) and I was kind of horrified by the book. It's like the children's version of 1984. This large demanding boss makes his little worker drones fly around the world and spy on his subjects. He'll reward behavior he likes and punish those not acting appropriately. And that sneaky spy is hiding in your house. He's got friends in high places too, so don't mess up on the playground when you think the elf isn't around. Oh no. Big brother elf is all knowing. He's out there. Santa isn't limited by the constitution after all, and even if he was, the right to privacy is a sketchy one.
But don't think your elf is going to talk to you- Santa's laws don't allow for free speech. No, he's just going to talk about you behind your back like a middle school girl. Paranoid yet?

Of course, Mr Lipstick and I will do Elf on a Shelf and we'll probably even make the mistake of being those creative elf hiders the first year, sentencing ourselves to years of stressful December evenings. Because despite all the communist propaganda, as a kid I would have loved an elf and I bet little lipstick will too.


Mrs. S. said...

Hilarious! We had elves like these that sat on our fireplace mantle when I was a child...a boy elf for my brother and a girl elf for me. They reported to Santa, alright, but never moved! I guess they were both old with hip replacements...ha!ha!ha! :) Thanks for the laugh!!


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The Science Goddess said...

I really think you should have a look at the Inappropriate Elf Contest. Great (adult) fun. :)

Jenny said...

I've been driven a little nuts lately by all the Elf on a Shelf comments on Facebook. It seems like everyone must have one. I'm really bothered by them. I love to sing Santa Claus is Coming to Town, but I don't like to think about it too much. I hope kids are doing the right thing because it's the right thing, not because someone (anyone, really) is watching.

Alison said...

Santa Claus is coming to town creeped me out even as a kid. He watches while you're sleeping, he knows when you're awake, he knows if you've been good or bad so be good for goodness sake?? Why does he need to watch us in our sleep? Who gets on the naughty list in their sleep? How about be good because it feels good, or because you want others to be good to you? No, be good so the big WHITE all-knowing MAN will reward you with STUFF. Oh and your pal Frosty will melt. Bah Humbug.

Anonymous said...

We were also gifted with an "elf of the shelf" (by a teacher friend, actually) and I have yet to bring it out because of the very reasons you list.

Emily said...

I NEED to try that April Fool's trick with my first graders this year!

Dina said...

I've never handled the Christmas/Santa tensions very gracefully with our kids. My husband is a Presbyterian minister, so we have a deeply vested interest in emphasizing the religious aspect of the holiday; that being said, our kids like nothing better than tracking Santa on NORAD with Grandpa. Sigh.

You might enjoy this graph of your dilemma. :)