What are you thoughts about Elf on the Shelf? - Mothering Forums

View Poll Results: Elf on the Shelf
Creepy - NSA in your living room! 26 92.86%
Cute - He's an ELF after all! 2 7.14%
Voters: 28. You may not vote on this poll

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#1 of 17 Old 12-10-2013, 04:20 PM - Thread Starter
 
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What's the idea - he's watching you all the time, and you'll end up with coal? I don't get it but it creeps me out.

Let me know what it's about and what you think of it.
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#2 of 17 Old 12-10-2013, 05:41 PM
 
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I don't know.., doesn't seem any more weird than santie Claus!

 
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#3 of 17 Old 12-10-2013, 05:51 PM
 
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We don't do it. I think it's silly. How long has elf on the shelf been around anyway? I don't recall it as a kid and I'm 40.


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#4 of 17 Old 12-10-2013, 05:58 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lauren View Post

I don't know.., doesn't seem any more weird than santie Claus!

 

I agree, but I find the Santa Clause tradition quite unsettling, so I voted creepy.

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#5 of 17 Old 12-10-2013, 06:46 PM
 
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I am a Christian and, for me, Christ is the main focus of Christmas. We do include the idea of Santa Claus, and reindeer, and all those other fun things. But, I really try to spend the Christmas season focusing on Christ and his gifts to me. Everything else is secondary. Elf on the Shelf has seemed like a distraction from the environment that I am striving for, so I don't choose to have that tradition in my home. I don't have any issue with others doing it though. Seems cute and fun for the kids.
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#6 of 17 Old 12-11-2013, 06:45 PM
 
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Of course, we don't celebrate Christmas at all, so this is kind of a no-brainer. Even from the viewpoint of an outsider, this seems to take some of the worst aspects of Santa even further.

It's like the Panopticon.

We first heard about this in a book my son was reading in the Diary of a Wimpy Kid series. As I recall, the absurdity of Elf on a Shelf was one of the things that made my son laugh. Then we actually met some (very lovely) children who had an Elf on the Shelf at home, and we... were horrible. We laughed! I don't think either of us realized that anyone really did that.

Then I felt really, really guilty, because they were such nice kids and it was obviously something they were enjoying a lot, even though it seemed so weird to me. Fortunately, I think my attitude didn't really register with them.

As a Jew, I can't understand why you don't all get advent calendars instead. Counting is good for their math skills, and calendars are interesting from the point of view of the visual presentation of abstract information. It's not only because a lot of advent calendars have candy in them, I swear. Though I do enjoy giving my kid little pieces of candy, I think I should admit that...

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#7 of 17 Old 12-12-2013, 05:30 AM - Thread Starter
 
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My only problem with advent calendars is that there's chocolate in them and they either gorge themselves on 25 pieces of chocolate all at once, or I have to police the calendars and make sure they don't sneak the chocolate (and I don't like situations like that.) But if they gorge on the candy, the advent calendar is all done on day 1, and I could have just gotten a bag of m&ms or something. It seemed pointless so we stopped doing it. I thought about doing some kind of non-candy advent calendar but obviously it wasn't important enough for me.

And I definitely don't think you have to celebrate Christmas to have an opinion about the elf! smile.gif
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#8 of 17 Old 12-12-2013, 05:41 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mamazee View Post

My only problem with advent calendars is that there's chocolate in them and they either gorge themselves on 25 pieces of chocolate all at once, or I have to police the calendars and make sure they don't sneak the chocolate (and I don't like situations like that.) But if they gorge on the candy, the advent calendar is all done on day 1, and I could have just gotten a bag of m&ms or something. It seemed pointless so we stopped doing it. I thought about doing some kind of non-candy advent calendar but obviously it wasn't important enough for me.

And I definitely don't think you have to celebrate Christmas to have an opinion about the elf! smile.gif

I think there are alternatives to the candy: http://www.bhg.com/christmas/crafts/advent-calendars/#page=1 Again, not because I disapprove of candy. (I do disapprove of eating it all at once, though. Way to spoil the fun, kids.) 

 

For years, I've been meaning to do the countdown between Passover and Shavuot, which is called counting the Omer. I have a super math-oriented kid. The whole ritual is counting--there's no special calendar or anything. I always forget, which means I can still count but not say the blessing beforehand. (it's not a celebratory counting like Advent; it's actually treated like a mourning period. But it's still pretty cool.)

 

My kid does a lot of counting of time anyway, of the "I can't wait until such and such a thing happens" variety. I guess the Elf thing does that too. Anything that creates a good family ritual is probably good, even if I personally think that stressing spying on your child's behavior isn't the greatest message. It is, after all, another opportunity to do things for each other.


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#9 of 17 Old 12-13-2013, 09:18 AM
 
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I don't want my kids to feel that they have to be good or nice all of the time to be deserving of a few gifts. I've never emphasized the naughty/nice thing even wtih Santa. We have an advent calendar that is jsut a bunh of little cloth gift bags and I load them up with dollar store things like a chapstick or santa pen, or a crafty thing gloves, etc. There's mini candy canes and chocolate, too but I find it really motivates the kids to get up and going on these cold winter mornings.

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#10 of 17 Old 12-13-2013, 09:29 AM
 
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Originally Posted by erinmattsmom88 View Post
 

We don't do it. I think it's silly. How long has elf on the shelf been around anyway? I don't recall it as a kid and I'm 40.

While "Elf on the Shelf" is a very recent commercialization, a Christmas Elf Tradition has been around a long time. (http://www.elfcrazy.com/the-origins-of-the-christmas-elf-tradition/) another commercialized elf site but it at least has an origins page on it. I do know of adults who had elves that caused mischief or just hung out around the house when they were young. 

That being said, we do Elf on the Shelf. And we love it! We started with our Elf last year and he only did one naughty prank of which he had to clean up himself and apologize for... and everything else was just mundane in nature (building with the building blocks, hanging our trying out different things around the house, a couple dates with Barbie). This year Our Elf brought a girl Elf with him and the kids LOVE it!

We don't tell them that the elves are watching for good/bad behaviour. The elfs just come, hang out and bring more Christmas magic with them. It's fun :) 

I can't really answer the poll because the elves are a little creepy looking, although not as bad as the ones my mom bought me, eek (those will not be leaving their box and the kids haven't seen them)! But they are fun and just add an extra silly element to our house. I think it's one of those things that everyone can make their own :)


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#11 of 17 Old 12-22-2013, 09:57 PM
 
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I don't do Elf of the Shelf.  For some reason, I really don't like it, though I can't pinpoint why.  My sister does it and her and her kids love it.


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#12 of 17 Old 12-22-2013, 10:11 PM
 
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Someone gave us Elf on a Shelf last year for Christmas and I returned it. I think my main problem was that I knew other parents who used it "successfully," but to me it just seemed kind of manipulative and not very nice. Every time their kids would act up, they'd say something like, "Oh no, I guess we'll have to tell the Elf and he'll tell Santa, so you probably won't get any presents this year." Their kids would undoubtedly behave, but I just couldn't see myself doing that with my kids. Also, what the heck do they do after Christmas?

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#13 of 17 Old 12-24-2013, 02:48 PM
 
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We have an Elf on the Shelf and enjoy it. We don't do the naughty/nice thing with Santa or with the elf, so that's never been an issue in our house. Our elf just gets up to silly hijinks at night and makes the kids laugh. It's cute and fun.

What I never, ever do is post photos of our elf's pranks on Facebook/Instagram/etc. I think that's obnoxious. It's just something for our family to enjoy.

And we do advent calendars too -- I didn't realize I was supposed to pick one or the other! wink1.gif

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#14 of 17 Old 12-26-2013, 10:39 AM
 
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FWIW, 60% of Icelanders reportedly believe elves might actually exist and they are having to negotiate with the pro-elf contingent over some major building projects. 

http://www.theguardian.com/world/2013/dec/22/elf-lobby-iceland-road-project?INTCMP=ILCNETTXT3487

 

I am older than a lot of parents here on mothering and I was the youngest in my family of origin. We had several of the original 50s elves that the "Elf on a Shelf" is based off. They were just Christmas decorations and hung off doorknobs and in the tree. I am not down with the commercialization and re-packaging of this little 50s kitschy elf. 


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#15 of 17 Old 12-26-2013, 11:44 AM
 
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My son came home from first grade and told me that we have an Elf on the Shelf and I told him that I hope the cat doesn't find him.


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#16 of 17 Old 12-26-2013, 12:01 PM
 
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My son came home from first grade and told me that we have an Elf on the Shelf and I told him that I hope the cat doesn't find him.

We've told the kids we absolutely don't have elves or gnomes in the house (they're nervous of faeries, so this is the nicer thing to say) because our cat's a good hunter.  :mischief

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#17 of 17 Old 01-03-2014, 05:16 PM
 
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I thought it was one of the stupidest things I'd heard of.  Santa "watching" and being all knowing at a Christian holiday is just weird, and a little too god like, imo.  An elf that you manipulate daily is even worse.

 

This year my youngest child asked for two items for Christmas- a gumball and an elf of the shelf.  We told her no, that our house doesn't have an elf.  But after much debate we relented and "santa" brought her the elf.  (Her big bro got her a bunch of gumballs! :bgbounce)  

It has been so much fun!  

 

I know it is supposed to leave on Christmas day, but ours came on Christmas day  (well, early actually bc we don't celebrate on the 25th) and stayed until the 1st.  My kids wrote notes to the elf if we were going to be gone letting the elf know when we would be back.  Her excitement each morning is fun for all of us.  My older kids help move the elf and are creative.  I realize they are only little for such a short time and I can indulge in her fantasy and fun.  I'm looking forward to next year (hope she'll still believe) and think we'll have even more fun with the elf for a whole month!  We barely do santa, so the reporting back part isn't an issue.  Welcoming her to our house and letting her see everything was.  


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