Why Such a Big Deal About the Elf?

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She was not planned. In fact, we had no intention of welcoming her as a guest until she was given to us as a gift.

Claire, our Elf on the Shelf, joined our family for the first time last year.

Typically one to buck trends, I was reluctant to have Claire join our family. Yet, when she was given to us, I sat back and thought about how excited my kids would be if she just showed up one day and I thought "Why the hell not?"

If you google Elf on the Shelf you will be bombarded with a whole slew of articles, opinions and blog posts criticizing the tiny little creature.

Parenting experts and parents alike denounce the idea of our kids learning to behave ONLY because of the little Elf who is overlooking their every action. They claim that we should be teaching our kids to behave, not because the Elf will go back to the big guy up North and report on their actions, but because they intrinsically know right from wrong.

To all those naysayers I say calm the f&*k down.

C'mon people, you are taking this thing wayyyy to seriously.

It's a toy...It's...a....toyyyyyyyy!

For goodness sake people what happened to lacing our kid's lives with just a teensy bit of Christmas magic?

Let me make something clear, my initial objection to the Elf had nothing to do with a fear of my kids learning about Big Brother watching over them. My objection lied solely in my own preference to avoid jumping on bandwagons.

I'm so thankful I let that sh*t go.

When I hear their excited little feet running down the stairs each morning wondering where Claire is hiding, it makes my morning just a little bit brighter. When I hear the squeal of whichever child finds her hiding spot first, all I can do is laugh. As we giggle over the silly spot Claire was found in on any given day, it fills my heart with warmth.

These years won't last long. Before I know it, I will be the one waking my kids up to open their presents on Christmas morning instead of being awoken by two excited little beings crashing into my room yelling "Santa came!" Soon their little lives will be filled with angst over school tests, broken hearts and searching for summer jobs.

For now I want to try and fill them with as much magic as I can. My kids do know right from wrong. Trust me, they know that hitting their sister or stealing a cookie isn't right, they don't need an Elf for that. Throughout the year, Elf or no Elf, they are going to make both good choices and bad choices. They are going to make mistakes and learn from them. They are going to do wonderful things and learn from those as well.

Claire is not going to impact their behavior drastically either way.

What I hope they remember, as they grow up and they start to figure out the world, is that their childhood was filled with love.

So, for as long as I can stretch it out, I will gladly spend each December morning searching for Claire and seeing what she's been up to while we were sleeping. I will do so knowing that the only impact this is having on my children is to bring them a little Christmas excitement and cheer.

Now if you'll excuse me, I must go find a way to make my tea since Claire seems to be hiding in the kettle.