Thursday, November 22, 2012

Elf on the Shelf

I would like to know what my corner of the Internet thinks about this Elf on the Shelf business.

Here is my basic understanding of the whole thing: there is an Elf.  It comes out at some point before Christmas and is supposedly a spy for Santa.  As in, he tells Santa when your kid acts like an asshole, so Santa can decide if your asshole kid will be on the Naughty List or the Nice List.

So it is blackmail via stalker elf.

I love it.

We haven't done Elf on a Shelf before but we are definitely doing it this year.  We got a hand-me-down kit for free, which came with the book to explain the elf and the actual elf.  The elf is slightly creepy looking but not, like, murder you in your sleep creepy or anything.  So it should only freak Olivia out enough to make her bend to my every whim.  Hopefully.

I'm planning a Christmas countdown for Olivia.  One fun activity or small gift from the day after Thanksgiving until Christmas Eve.  The elf will move around each night (as explained in the book) and will have a small card for Olivia to open in the morning so she can find out what the activity is for that day.  Easy enough. 

What I don't understand is where the whole Naughty Elf on a Shelf came from.  I've seen so many blogs and Facebook posts with pictures of elves just fucking up shop every day.  Making messes, doing weird things, hanging from the ceiling, whatever.   

(Which reminds me that you HAVE TO look at Baby Rabies for all of the most hilarious inappropriate Elf on the Shelf ideas.)

Anyway.  What thinks you, Internet?  Is this cute?  Annoying?  Over-the-top?

21 comments:

Amy said...

I think this is the big waste of time. My friends all get mad when I say so. I think it's a HUGE waste of time if you're doing naughty elf. I have 3 kids, I don't have time to make my own messes and clean them up when I am already having to clean up after my 3 real children. And husband. Maybe if I just had one kid lol.

Jacksmom said...

We've done it for two years. Set an alarm to remind your ass to move the elf after the kids are in bed. I've been asked a few times why Elfie didn't move. Oops. It's fun even if you don't do any of the funny stuff with it. But it is more fun that way-until your kid asks if Elfie gets put on the naughty list too!

Delenn said...

I am with Amy on this one...waste of time. Some people I know that have done it get into a trap--you have to move the elf around every day. If you forget--then you have to come up with a convenient excuse...too much work. Besides, Santa already sees everyone with his magic snowball!! :-)

Lins said...

We've done this for the past two years with our kids. They have so much fun doing it! We have ours show up Dec 1 at the front door with a note. We don't have the elf make messes but we put him in the craziest places and the kids get a kick out of it. It's a great family activity for all of us to take part in. :)

Http://countryrootscityliving.blogspot.com

MoKa424 said...

We do it. Ellie loved it last year, and now as a freshly turned threenager, we need the extra help. This year I got ahead of the game and pinned the hell out of ideas. I do not need to make a ton of messes, but it's an easy way to bribe some good behavior... like I did while writing this (Santa will know you're not sharing with your brother!) If Ernie fails to change spots, we tell her it's because he had such a good spot for seeing everything that he decided to stay there for another day.

Mrs. Higrens said...

My MIL gave us the stupid thing years ago. Guess that shows how I feel about it!

It's still new in box...does that make it a collector's item?

Heather said...

My younger brother had an elf when I was in high school... It's similar to elf on the shelf, but was before the whole craze. I'm pretty sure the company stole the idea. Anyway, his elf's name was Titus and it came with a letter from Santa that said he liked to get into trouble every night. Maybe that's where the idea came from?

Deanna said...

Totally agree with Amy in that first comment--I do NOT have time to make a mess every night and clean it up the next day. We just don't do the elf period around here.

I do like your idea of having him hold the envelope for the day's countdown activity, though. I'm filing that one away in case we lose our minds and decide to get an elf one day! : )

areyoukiddingme said...

I can barely be bothered with the Santa stuff - you want me to do an elf too? Not a chance!

It's a cute idea, I suppose, but I don't really get into Christmas that much anyway, so it's not for me.

Amelia said...

After the kid is in bed it's mama's drinkin' time, I'd never remember to move the damn thing.

boringyear said...

I've never heard of the Elf on a Shelf thing before. It sounds like a really cute idea, and a huge pain in the ass!

Monkey is too young this year, but my family traditionally does an advent calendar from December 1 until Christmas Day. Some days it was a lolly or small chocolate, sometimes a hair clip or a little toy. My parents gave Monkey a fabulous wooden train advent thingy from Italy for his first Christmas. I always loved Advent as a kid and I hope Monkey will grow to have fond memories of that too.

taradawes said...

Honestly, I find the whole idea entirely creepy. I also asked my mother if she would have opted for doing the "elf on a shelf thing" when my siblings and I were small - she said no, she also found it creepy plus she was pretty sure I at least would have never bought into the whole thing - apparently I was the least gullible of all of us.

The NKF said...

Thumbs down. Freaky idea and a LOT of extra work at a time of year when I've already got too much to do.

Connie B said...

We use it for our 4 year old. The book itself says nothing about him being naughty. It is really fun for him to find the elf. Even the couple of times that we forgot to move him, we were able to distract my son and quickly move it. Not a hassle at all...really fun!

Jill said...

I'm kind of rolling my eyes at all the "don't have time" comments. I have three girls under 4 and work 50 hours per week. My girls get the biggest kick out of finding our elf every morning, so I take 5 minutes or less (really) each night to find a new place or scenario for him (their favorite was finding him in the freezer with a spoon, next to the ice cream). If you're not into it, then just admit it. But it doesn't take much time to make it fun for the kids.

Mindy said...

My sister (your friend Alison from Ten Tiny Toes) introduced me to this Elf on the Shelf thing last year. We didn't get the Official (officially creepy) Elf on the Shelf, we got this cute little guy http://www.amazon.com/Pop-In-Kins-Pop-In-Kins-Christopher/dp/B001JTDL1Q . My son Barrett is Olivia's age, and he could not get enough of this elf! We never did the elf does naughty things, he only hides in crazy places, and it makes the kids so happy to find him every morning! And I also disagree with the "don't have time" comments; I have a 4 year old, a 6 month old, and two step kids, as well as a full time job, and it was absolutely worth it spend 30 seconds of my time to find a cool new place for the elf every night to see the looks on their faces! I love that it comes in a keepsake box with a book, too. I love traditions that can be remembered by my children..

Heather said...

We've done it for two years. We also bought the movie last year. She loved "Nogg" and the movie really emphasized things like kindness, forgiveness, and belief. The naughty elf thing is NOT part of our tradition. Not at all what the original message was meant to be. Moving him takes 8 seconds - we did it every night right after checking on our daughter to make sure she was asleep. We didn't set up elaborate dioramas, just moved it. Hubby and I actually had fun together deciding where to put it next. She was thrilled just looking for it each morning and it started her day off in a great mood. This was SO nice with a toddler! I think it's harmless, fun, and helpful. We got it as a gift when DD was 1 year old - has been a fun tradition since!

Martha said...

my daughter's daycare told the kids that Santa could watch through the security sensors in the corners of the ceiling, which were in every room of course. Much less work and more effective than an elf!

Emily said...

We got the elf last year, my son was about 15 months old. He got a kick out of him, but we left him in one spot, kind of a decoration, but still fun! We plan on following the "rules" of the book this year, we'll see how it goes. It is a cute idea'

Luke & Amanda said...

Our elves (yep, we have Candy and Cane that we got for $2 from HobLob) backfired this morning. 30 minutes after reading the note about their magic, my precious daughter was spotted toting them off their perch. Santa had to come pick them up off the front porch...hope they get their magic back because ours are also doing our countdown til Christmas!
love~

Eva.G said...

I have never heard of this Elf thing! But I'm all for fun Christmas traditions that kids will remember when they're grown up. We had wonderful traditions growing up. We also did the Advent calendars; first thing in the morning, we'd run to open them up. My Mom also did this really special thing, similar to your Christmas countdown. Almost every morning of December, we'd wake up to a Christmas book, movie, or small gift outside our door. My Mom did this for many years, and the surprises outside our door weren't always new. She'd often recycle and put our favorite Christmas books or movies by our door, and we'd so look forward to rereading or rewatching them very year! It's very special!