Many years ago my sister in law gifted us a Christopher Popinkins elf. At the time my oldest was a young 3-year-old, and we didn’t have very many established traditions. So we read the book together as a family and happily had Christopher join us during the holidays. At this time the Elf on the Shelf craze hadn’t really set in, and we were part of just a handful of people who had this tradition. Now, however, you can find elves in many, many homes, and almost every retail store you visit. And boy have those elves garnered some serious nay-saying!
Our elf Christopher does “pop” in quite frequently during the day and he moves from place to place, but he never appears in any really crazy or zany set-ups. Sometimes he does a few tricky things like hang upside down or he sits in Barbie cars, but otherwise, he is quite the mellow guy. Anyway, over the years I have found it interesting that these little elves have racked up such a staunch group of “anti-elvers”.
In order to add a little love to the “pro-elving” side, I would like to share a few reasons why we continue this tradition amid all the naysaying, and why we probably always will. Even when our kids are grown and gone.
1. I believe in magic. Sometimes you can manufacture it, and sometimes it is in the simple things that just happen to come your way. For our family Christopher is a part of that magic. Even today I love watching my older kiddos happily take part in hiding Christopher so that their younger siblings can find him. Seeing teens do that is a magic unto itself. And someday those same teens might return home as a much older version of themselves and help hide Christopher for their own children to find.
2. I am a Christian, and no I do not think that having an elf in our home during the holidays will make my children stop believing in Christ. Quite often, our elf can be found hanging out in our nativity set. For our family, it is just an added element to make the holidays more special.
3. I really like having a low-key guy like him hang around who’s sole purpose is to help encourage good behavior. During the month of December, we use his presence quite a bit to staunch bad behavior. And no, I do not feel not even one ounce of guilt for this either, because parents need to be allowed the opportunity to use whatever
bribes, I mean parenting tactics we can employ to get our children to behave. Especially during the holidays when the sugar can be at peak levels and so is the energy.
4. Lastly, I am a firm believer in “You do You.” If the whole elf thing doesn’t work for your family, great. Please just give the same courtesy back to my family, and let us continue this tradition without you feeling the need to add your 2 cents.