What could be more ridiculous than going shopping on Black Friday?
I know… ridiculous.
However, there was one item on sale that morning that I just had to have, so I decided to brave the crowds bright and early that morning. In order to make my time worthwhile, I arranged to meet up with my Mother-in-Law just after the “big purchase” and cross a few other things off of my Christmas to-do list.
Which eventually took me to the aisles of Target.
Which in turn led me to the one thing that can be more ridiculous than Black Friday shopping …
OK. Not just any elf. The Elf on the Shelf.
The Elf we DO NOT own.
The Elf I do not want to own.
(No matter how much my children beg.)
There I was, minding my own business, en route to a very important toy in the back of Target, when we passed “it” – strategically placed within an enormous end cap displayed in the book aisle (to better pass it off as educational maybe?) with the message:
“Have you ever wondered how Santa knows who is naughty and who is nice?
The Elf on the Shelf® – A Christmas Tradition is the very special tool
that helps Santa know who to put on the Naughty and Nice list.”
Image taken straight from the online Elf on the Shelf Superstore itself.
(Because, you know… Santa needs to make money too, right?)
I didn’t look twice, but my Mother-and-law (who I don’t think fully grasped the entire concept of the Elf yet) stopped, pointed towards the end cap display and said, “There it IS! The Elf! Your daughter wants that SO badly. Maybe I should get it for her?”
I gave her the benefit of the doubt (since I don’t believe the Elf was around when she had small children) and responded by emphatically explaining that the Elf was not welcome in my house.
- I’ve read all about stressed out “elfs” searching for new creative ways to mischievously move throughout their house.
- I’ve seen good, solid people FREAK OUT after their “elf” forgot to move, desperate for a believable excuse to tell their children WHY.
- I’ve listened to friend after friend after friend talk about this damn elf with some weird form of “loving contempt.”
No. Thank. You.
I don’t need another love-hate relationship.
I don’t need yet another thing to worry about over the month of December.
I do not need this elf.
(Even if it is a proven way to increase my odds of better behaved children.)
My mother-in-law quickly agreed (bless her heart – probably for fear of her own life and to keep the peace during our early morning shopping excursion).
- My oldest daughter is nearly 10 (she doesn’t need another thing to believe in)
- My middle is son is 6 (we’ve managed somewhat successfully this far without the Elf)
- My youngest is 2 (I’m not certain he even quite gets Santa yet…)
I just don’t see the point.
No! (I silently say to myself) I am convinced beyond a doubt that the Elf is definitely not for my house.
And onward we went with our
sorta fun ridiculous Black Friday shopping endeavor – not once thinking again of Mr. Elf who will never grace the presence of any of my shelves…
Flash forward to one week later, during the early afternoon of December 1st.
Nap was running late for my toddler. It was a gorgeous 60° F day outside (quite unusual of December 1st in Ohio). The sun was shining and the entire slew of neighborhood kids (including my own toddler) were outside playing in the big “toddler playpen” that is my backyard when I hesitantly called out to my 2-year-old, “Time to come in!”
Immediately my toddler recognized the dreaded nap time call, causing him to quickly turn the opposite direction screaming and running (A normal age appropriate nap-time reaction, right?)
I contemplated just skipping his nap, he had been playing SO well with all the big kids. However, we were planning on traveling downtown to visit Santa that evening for the 1st time of the season and I really wanted my toddler to be rested for Santa (and the line we would have to wait in for our visit).
I wondered momentarily if my soon-to-be three-year-old even understood who Santa was? Well, there is one way to find that out…
Being the well versed, seasoned mom that I am, I stepped out the back door and explain to my toddler:
“Honey, we need to take a nap so that we can see Santa tonight.”
Dead in his tracks.
My toddler turned (quicker than one can say “Elf-on-the-Shelf”)
and a miracle happened.
My nearly three-year-old clearly repeats, “Santa…? Santa! Nap time, Santa!” and happily walks through the door, up the stairs, climbs into bed, throws the covers on – almost immediately falling asleep.
And for the 1st time ever, I truly understood the concept of the Elf and why a parent might appreciate its effect. Because for the 1st time ever – my toddler raced upstairs to go to sleep (and probably dream of Santa) withOUT a tear.
I’m still not getting that Elf.
Oh, heck. Who needs the Elf! I have Santa!
Leave a comment: Do you use the Elf on the Shelf? Love it or Hate it. Convince me.