Several years ago, we were the recipients of an "Elf on the Shelf" kit. Let me just say that the elf scares me! It scared me three years ago when I was given the kit, and it scares me today.
You've all seen this and know the concept, right? It's a kit that contains a little elf doll and the accompanying storybook. The idea is that each day the elf will be hiding somewhere in the house (presumably one of the days on a shelf) where it will watch over the children ensuring they're on good behavior to report back to Santa.
From the minute I saw this creature it freaked me out. It's scary, I tell you! The little thing is scary! And the idea of some little imp moving from place to place in my house watching over me gives me the creeps. Even as it sat unopened in my garage, I felt as if I would awaken in the middle of the night to this little Chucky coming after me.
Now I'm not belittling the concept and it's affect on a kid's behavior. A friend of mine told me he and his wife thank their lucky stars every day for that elf because their daughter's behavior improved dramatically the month of December. Other friends have sworn it has done wonders for their children. And that's great... really!
I'm just saying that to me, that little elf is frightening. Maybe it has to do with being a Jew, since Jewish kids typically grow up wretched with parental-inflicted guilt that we felt too badly to misbehave. Who needs an elf when we have our parents to guilt us into behaving?
Come to think of it, I'm sure that scary little imp does work wonders. After all, if I were a kid and that elf was on my shelf, I'd be too petrified to do or say anything, let alone goof off. A freakish elf and Jewish guilt -- now that's a scary combination!