These days it seems that there is a bit of competition when it comes to holiday traditions. Without a doubt, Santa is still the number one man when it comes to Christmas but, alas, there is a new kid in town when it comes to getting attention.
Lately it seems that someone a little smaller than Santa has also moved into the hearts of children. That someone is The Elf on the Shelf. As the mom of a teenager I have no experience with this little elf. As a matter of fact I had to enlist the help of a friend to learn exactly what this new tradition is all about.
It seems that these elves, like most, are Santa’s treasured assistants. While many of their friends are at home in the North Pole making toys these elves have a different role in the holiday fun.
These elves move into a family’s home around Thanksgiving and become Santa’s official observers until Christmas Eve. They keep tabs on naughty and nice behavior and, according to legend, head back to the North Pole each evening to report what they have observed to Santa.
Now the Elf on the Shelf does come with some very specific rules and, sometimes, these rules can cause just a tiny bit of stress for the adults in the household.
It seems that these elves need to be protected at all costs. Apparently any human touch can result in a loss of their magic powers. I can only imagine how tough it is to keep the little guy safe from babies, toddlers and pets at all times. Let’s face it, one Elf vs. Fido confrontation and it could mean a lifetime of coal in the Christmas stocking.
Now, don’t be fooled. Even though they work for Santa, these Elves are a little bit mischievous. They have been known to sneak snacks, rearrange the house and, most importantly, play hide and seek with the family. Each and every morning when they arrive back from the North Pole these elves find a new hiding spot to surprise the kids.
These elves are very competitive with one another and each one works hard to have the best hiding spot he can find. Now, considering these little guys are a bit delicate, it can be tough for them to find a creative and, at the same time, safe spot day after day. Let’s face the facts there are only so many places for one little elf to hide out.
While these elves are able to speak with Santa they are banned from talking to anyone in the home. Some elves have been known to write notes to the children but it is my understanding that others have such messy handwriting that they are simply unable to do so. Some elves have a sweet tooth while others simply have no desire to break into the cookie jar.
Apparently it’s a hot topic every morning at school as the children discuss what their elves have been up to. Let’s face the facts no two elves are the same and, reality is, some are simply more creative than others. It sounds to me that the pressure really is on to have the most creative elf on the block.
The one thing that these elves all have in common, however, is that they rely on help from mom and dad to keep them safe as they travel around the house watching the children and waiting for Christmas to arrive. I can honestly say that I’m not sure if I would want to constantly be responsible for an elf’s safety. Just sounds like an awful lot of pressure to me.
And what if, by a sad twist of fate, you get a “less than creative” elf. How exactly do you explain that to your children? What happens if your neighbor’s elf is full of fun and your elf simply runs out of ideas early on?
Is there an elf idea hotline? Perhaps a place you can turn to help inspire your elf?
Now don’t get me wrong, I am all for anyone who has Santa’s back and is willing to help him on his quest to get kids to behave. I’m just not sure if, during the already stressful holiday season, I would be prepared to house an elf too.