4 Reasons We Don’t Do “Elf on the Shelf”


Why parents, WHY do you insist on making the holiday season even the slightest bit more stressful for yourselves? Were you really rocking every holiday season so hard that you thought “Hey, this is a piece of cake, I need a daily challenge that should be completed in secret, that my kids will hold me accountable to!” No– just NO. There is one day when you need to toil about in secret that your kids depend on: it’s called CHRISTMAS DAY. Now, I understand many of you genuinely enjoy this tradition, so hats off to you if it truly makes you happy… Me? I just don’t understand it. I ESPECIALLY don’t understand it when your elf is naughty. I mean, who wants to clean this up?!

Then, here’s what really eludes me… when you post memes on your social media sites, COMPLAINING about the elf… you did this to yourself! Remember?


Anyway, I rounded up the top 5 reasons we don’t do “elf on the shelf” despite the popular hype it has gotten in the past few years…

  1. I expect good behavior from my kids on a daily basis. There will be no vain threats of presents absent from our Christmas tree. They’re getting the presents regardless [mostly because they’ve already been purchased and wrapped…] but I also don’t want my kids to think that presents should be associated with good behavior. You should be good, because it’s a charitable and loving thing to do, not because you’re going to get some thing out of it. Plus, I should be the only one striking fear into my children… not this elusive Santa character or a demented looking elf.
  2. Christmas is about unconditional love. Going off of #1, my children will get gifts even if they’re naughty. What does this say about me as a parent? That I spoil my children? That I’m a pushover? How about, that I love my children unconditionally. Jesus wasn’t born in a manger Christmas day because we deserved it, he came to be our savior because of God’s unconditional love for us. That is what I want my children to grasp from Christmas.
  3. As stated in the intro: it’s messy and time consuming. Seriously, ain’t nobody got time fo’ dat! We have many more meaningful traditions that communicate the true spirit of Christmas; I’d rather invest time into doing those things then trying to come up with crazy antics for the elf.
  4. We don’t do “Santa”. GASP. Yes, we taught Sophie about SAINT Nicholas, his tradition of giving gifts to children, and we reenacted it with her on his feast day by putting presents in her stocking… But we don’t tell her about a man who lives in the North Pole, and we don’t tell her that her Christmas gifts were made, or brought to her by him. Therefore, the elf just doesn’t fit into what our picture of “christmas” looks like, right now.

So call me a Scrooge, or whatever, but those are the reasons we don’t participate in this strange tradition.

Now, Christmas is almost upon us, and I hope you take time this week to reflect and be thankful of all the blessings in your life. Try to be charitable with friends in family, not just with gifts, but in patience too [I know how these family get togethers can be…] I’ll be taking a small hiatus until after the New Year, as we are going out to California to spend the holiday with my family.

Merry Christmas!

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