If you haven’t heard of this new Christmas
tradition current phenomenon, The Elf on the Shelf® is a special scout elf sent from the North Pole to help Santa Claus manage his naughty and nice lists. (Source; http://www.elfontheshelf.com/content/about-us) Yes, it has its own website. New traditions need that…
Here’s more about it from the official website;
There are two simple rules that every child knows when it comes to having an elf. First, an elf cannot be touched; Christmas magic is very fragile and if an elf is touched it may lose that magic and be unable to fly back to the North Pole. Second, an elf cannot speak or move while anyone in the house is awake! An elf’s job is to watch and listen.
Elves typically appear in their families’ homes at the beginning of the holiday season (around Thanksgiving in the U.S.). On Christmas Eve, the elves return to the North Pole with Santa Claus–until next year!
Although I have many friends on Facebook who have adopted the new tradition we haven’t taken it up in our household. And although it might seem quite “Bah! Humbug!” of me to do so, I present to you my “6 Reasons Why You Should Hate The Elf on the Shelf®” tradition…
1. You Didn’t Think Of It
Carol Aebersold along with her daughter Chanda Bell wrote the story and self published it back in 2005. Christa Pitts joined her mother and sister in the business and marketed the crap out of it until they became super-mega rich from it. So because of mankind’s insatiable jealousy, and that can easily be directed towards the creators of this money making tradition, that’s a good enough reason to hate The Elf on the Shelf®.
2. When Would We Start In Australia?
According to the book, The Elf on the Shelf® appears the day after Thanksgiving. Because Thanksgiving is not based on a date, rather it is on the fourth Thursday in November (and November can sometimes have five Thursdays so it’s not always the last one) the elf can appear anywhere from the 23rd through to the 28th November. Seeing that we don’t have Thanksgiving in Australia I guess we could just pick a date such as the 25th of November (a month out from Christmas Day) or, like what many families in Australia do, bring it out when putting up the tree and other decorations on or just after the 1st of December.
But then it does mention Thanksgiving as being the start of “the holiday season” and that’s when the elf appears so in the absence of Thanksgiving down under, that’s another reason to hate this new tradition.
3. What, Am I A Yoga Instructor?
Depending on when you start you need 32 different locations or crazy ideas to come up with for the elf to hang out in. Short of doing the downward-facing dog pose, the half-frog pose, the feathered peacock pose, the corpse pose (yes, that’s a real yoga position), or one of the other 50 plus positions, mixed with hiding in the lounge-room, hiding in the kitchen, hiding in the dining room, hiding on the landing, hiding in the bathroom, hiding in Mummy and Daddy’s room (Why? Who are you watching in there? Oh, Mummy and Daddy. On “date night?” Perverted little elf you are…), there’s way too much pressure for us to come up with something new each day. Besides, if like us you are parents of young children including a toddler, Ain’t Nobody Got Time For Dat.
4. Should We Perpetuate The Lies To Our Kids?
I don’t need to go into that whole debate about whether telling kids that Santa is real is bad for them; countless other bloggers have surely done that topic to death. But it was recently brought to my attention that back in 2009, fellow Dad Blogger Aaron Gouveia of The Daddy Files wrote a piece about it and you can read that here if you wish (and I would, just for the record).
Seriously, I like the whole Santa thing. It connects me to my youth. It reminds me of a time when I was innocent, less cynical than I am today. But if you’re not into telling lies, even white lies to your kids, then maybe that’s another reason to hate The Elf on the Shelf®.
5. It Has Little To No Connection With “The True Meaning Of Christmas”
I say that like it’s a bad thing. I guess this is just an extension of point number four, but for those who ARE religious, for those who shun the newer traditions of Santa, and Rudolph, and Christmas Trees and lights; for those whose only decorations are nativity scenes and religious icons, The Elf on the Shelf® is just another bastardisation of the Christian celebration (you know the one that was actually a bastardisation of a Pagan celebration?!!?!?)
So if you want your Christmas to focus more on the birth of Jesus, and less on the “consumerism, the commercialisation of an ancient religion, the westernisation of a dead Palestinian press-ganged into selling Playstations and beer” (thank you Tim Minchin), then that’s another good reason the hate The Elf on the Shelf®. But then again, if you are a true God-fearing Christian, the word “hate” should not be in your vernacular, so, well, that’s too much of an ironic circular reference so then maybe you SHOULD like this new tradition.
6. It Is No Longer A Tradition, It Is An Industry
From blogs (like this), to small time mumpreneurs running home based online shopping outlets, and other publishers and toy manufacturers, the tradition has an expanded universe of spin-offs, associated press and the like springing up all of the place. People are writing books to give you 40 ideas on where or how to display the elf each day, and then there’s the after-market accessories that are being sold. So it is Big Business, and when something goes from being small to BIG we must. bring. them. down. Yes The Elf on the Shelf® corporation is now an Evil Empire like the Fox Network, BHP Billiton, ExxonMobil, Wal-Mart, Apple, Google, Microsoft, General Electric, General Motors, Citigroup and Goldman Sachs.
If you were part of the Occupy movement you know that you must rise up against the 1% and The Elf on the Shelf® corporation is definitely no longer part of the 99%.
But of course, I say these in jest. I like it. It’s harmless… and really, good on those women who created this and marketed this shit out of it.
So are you doing the The Elf on the Shelf® tradition in your house?