Elf On The Shelf: Festive or Freaky?


Chances are, if you are reading Austin Moms Blog, you have children in your life.  Chances are, if you have children in your life, you have an opinion on the infamous ‘Elf On The Shelf’ (Referred to as EOtS for the rest of this blog.)

Our family got our EOtS a few years ago, when it was a relatively new thing.  Hudson was pretty young, and so it was a novelty.  The story was cute, he had fun naming his elf, and ‘Buddy’ made a cute Christmas decoration.  Lucky for me, Hudson was too young to pay much attention, so I didn’t have to stress about moving the little dude every single night to keep the illusion of our elf flying back to the North Pole every day.

{In case you aren’t familiar with EOtS – you buy a set that includes the elf and the EOtS book.  The book explains that this elf came to you from the North Pole, and you better behave because he is there to keep an eye on you during the days.  At night he returns to the North Pole to tell Santa what’s up, and he’ll be back in the morning.  The way EOtS has evolved, the elf returns and is in a different spot each morning so part of the “fun” is that the kids wake up every day and wonder where the elf will be.  The hardest part for kids?  You cannot touch the elf or else he will lose his magic!}

Sounds cute, right?  It actually is!  Hudson has gotten more excited about Buddy every year, and we even added in our own special touches and once per season Buddy will bring a letter from the North Pole.  Last year it was a letter from Santa.  This year it was a letter from Buddy.

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Hudson is 7 this year and still FULLY believes in Santa and in Buddy.  It’s so cute to see him standing in front of Buddy talking to him – apologizing for misbehavior, or asking him to give Santa messages.  We haven’t made a huge big deal out of Buddy, mainly because I am TERRIBLE at remembering to move him.  And if my husband is in charge, well, let’s just say it seems like Buddy turned 21 this year because he’s been located among the wine glasses and wine bottles more than once.

While I don’t mind the elf and don’t think he’s creepy or freaky, I am amazed and OVERWHELMED by how over the top some people go with their EOtS.  On their website, there are all sorts of add-on’s, registries, and other things.  And have seen the Pinterest pages dedicated to EOtS?  Lists of ‘200 Ideas for EOtS’.  How about the downloadable calendars that give you a suggested plan for what your elf can/should do each night?  It’s CRAZY!  Parents everywhere now have their little elves getting into mischief all over their homes, spilling candy, drinking syrup, making messes, etc.

I can’t even remember to move the silly thing, much less set up an elaborate scene to make it look like Buddy and our Woody doll have had a party the night before.  Who has time for that?!  Plus, I could fully see my kids trying to be like their elf and following that behavior.  So, we decided to use our elf to just have fun, send a few letters reminding the boys to be kind to others, and we read the book each year.  That’s it.  And that is more than enough!

So – do you have an EOtS?  Are you the house to beat when it comes to creative elf’ing or are you like me….lucky if it even moves each night?

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