Time to clear there air. We stopped the Elf on the Shelf. And I’m not ashamed to say that I could not be happier to be done with all the chaos it brought.
After spending years having to remember to move that Elf at the end of each incredibly busy day throughout the holidays, I was secretly hoping every year that we could find a graceful exit for him to leave our holiday traditions forever. Added not because he held some heartfelt meaning but simply because I fell pray to some seriously savvy marketing and he seemed like a cute idea.
Let that soak in. I fell for it.
What seemed like a clever and fun tradition when first released, you won’t find a parent who doesn’t agree that the Elf on the Shelf mania has lost its marbles. Suggestions abound about how you can make your Elf have the most wonderful antics on the block, entertaining your children while somehow giving them pause to behave well. Except that this means that if you mess up and your Elf “forgets” to move, you are facing 24 days of avoiding the same kind of drama that comes when the Tooth Fairy forgets to leave money for a lost tooth.
Granted, with children 8 years apart, I’m in a unique situation covering the years of magical belief and then teens. But when we’d had enough, here is how we stopped the Elf of the Shelf.
The Elf on the Shelf has just 9 lives.
When our youngest was 10, the Elf has had three unfortunate falls from his perch, entirely unprovoked. I’d be lying if I said those perches weren’t just a smidge precarious to begin with so the falls were a hopeful outcome. I shared with our daughter that he really only had nine lives like a cat. So in that final year, he was down to the last three because over the years he had had so many other falls. Our youngest wasn’t aware that the last fall was in fact the last life and to avoid any drama about him dying and that being someone’s fault, we didn’t bring it up
The Elf on the Shelf doesn’t come after 10.
The following year, I didn’t put the Elf out. When our youngest asked where the Elf on the Shelf was, we quickly jumped in and said now that she was 11, a tween, the Elf didn’t need to come anymore because she was all grown up and knew how to behave. Completely satisfied with this answer, my sigh of relief we likely audible. But just like that, we were done. Well it took two years but was found a graceful exit plan and that was the key.
Truth be told, our youngest didn’t believe the Elf had any power over her when it came to reporting behavior to Santa anyway. But it was always clear that he could not be touched at anytime or we would ruin his magic forever. You realize how incredibly tempting that was? Just one little touch and that Elf would have been dead, worthless in our holiday traditions forevermore. But it seemed heartless, which just even typing that is all the more ridiculous. Its a stuffed elf that honestly looks a bit creepy. So I’m trying to be fair.
Needless to say if I had to do it all over again, I would have never have included the Elf on the Shelf in our holiday tradition mix. His memories aren’t long lasting, his presence ~ while novel ~ has never been earth shattering, and his value to what Christmas really means for us isn’t tangible. Tell me…
Do you include the Elf on the Shelf in your holiday traditions?
Thanks so much for stopping by ~ we’ll see you next time!