Family Fun in the Valley: Elf on the Shelf

Family Fun in the Valley: Elf on the Shelf
By Laura Churchill Duke

We are an ardent Elf-on-the-Shelf family. To those who know me, this comes as no surprise. We all look forward to Buttons coming back, and it is a highlight in our countdown to Christmas. I know my kids don’t really believe the Elf is real, and that’s OK with me. It’s part of our fun family tradition, and I will still do it every year until they are grown (and maybe longer).

Coming up with ideas is not stressful. Pinterest has thousands of ideas. I recommend setting the bar low, though. Do a few years of hide and seek with the elf before you bring out the really clever ideas, because you will have to maintain this high level of performance every morning. If the Elf on the Shelf is not for you, don’t do it! I have lots of friends who don’t do the Elf, and that’s OK. Don’t add extra stress to your lives if you don’t enjoy it. The difference is, we enjoy it!

We don’t use the Elf as a behavioural manipulation tool to make the kids be good (they would never fall for that!) and we don’t make it creepy by telling them that the Elf is watching them all day. It’s just something fun to find every morning when they get up!

It all comes down to what you find stressful and what you enjoy doing. If you don’t enjoy doing it, Don’t DO It! If your elf is one that reports back to Santa, loses magical powers if touched, and goes on strike if the kids are naughty, then that’s great! Do what works for you. If you don’t do the Elf, that’s great too. Create your own family traditions and rituals! We do. And ours include our Elf on the Shelf.

However, there are an increasingly number of negative posts against the Elf on the Shelf and I feel someone needs to defend family fun!