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Why Elf on a Shelf Can go Elf by Himself

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So, we're three days shy of November, which basically means it's nearly December and all the festive holiday shenanigans will be in full swing, around town, and within my home. I'm a huge fan of family traditions, celebrating the differences in cultures during the holidays, and making Christmas a magical time for my three young children. Heck, I'm 30 and I'll admit I still get as jazzed as my kids when Christmas comes around.

However, over the last few years, I've really gotten irritated with a little guy dressed as an elf; you may have heard of him? This whole Elf on a Shelf has gotten way out of control and has got to be the most annoying idea to hit Christmas since throwing tinsel on a tree. I mean, for real, who wants a creepy (yes, he looks like he's going to dip your hand in hot water while you sleep) looking doll coming to your house every night for a month and getting up to no good, huh? I get the appeal for young children who still believe in Santa to think this elf is going to be in a new place every morning...that part I get. What really gets me going is that I think this fad (yes, FAD) is more for the parent's enjoyment rather than their children's. Going on Facebook and Instagram every morning to a montage of pictures about where and what these little elves have been up to is really not what I care to see, especially when the elf, who usually has some weird or creep-tastic name accompanying it, has been doing something that is not so child appropriate; think getting into the wine, messing around with Barbie or making poopies on the kitchen counter -ew.

I don't really like having to say to my nine-year-old, "...No, Sara's Elf on a Shelf wasn't drunk when she found him with an empty wine bottle this morning because Santa's elves don't drink alcohol..." She didn't even know what drunk meant until then.

And at this point, I feel like there's pressure on parents to get super creative and elaborate with these elves so their kids aren't disappointed when sharing about their Elf with friends. What if {god forbid} mommy forgets to move the elf?? What then? I overheard three conversations (three!) at pick up one day last year about this little guy and how hard it was coming up with new and creative ideas as to where to put him, or how the older kids wanted to tell the younger ones the fact that it was yet another thing mom and dad were behind. Like we as parents don't already have enough on our plates during December.

I thought the book Elf on a Shelf was great for kids and was fun at first. But now it has become one more thing for parents to compete about -because yes, parenting is becoming a sport- for children to feel left out about if they don't have one, and another thing for parents to do and keep from their kids.

I just found this out but you know something is a fad when there's a Mensch on a Bench, the Jewish alternative to the Elf on a Shelf, designed to add more "Funukkah" to Hanukkah!