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38 comments

  1. December 6, 2013
    Lisa @ Wine & Glue

    I can’t tell you how much I love this post! Okay. I for sure think that the elf is creepy. But we still love her πŸ™‚ I also think it’s wrong to lie to my kids, but not any more wrong that the inordinate amount of candy they eat during December or the fact that sometimes our “babysitter” is an iPod. I can’t believe that people are so up in arms about a toy elf. Kind of cracks me up. Good thing they haven’t heard about world hunger!

    Reply
    • December 6, 2013
      cred

      awesome! Your comment about world hunger is both funny yet sad. If only people were more passionate about things that truly matter.

      Reply
      • December 7, 2013
        Tara

        Hear, hear! A point definitely worth focusing on.

        Reply
    • December 6, 2013
      Tara

      Oh, I’m glad you enjoyed it, Lisa! This elf needs someone to have his (or her) back! And yeah… sometimes I fib to my kids.. but not the big stuff. That’s okay, right? πŸ˜‰

      Reply
  2. December 6, 2013
    Sarah Beth

    I just wrote a blog post about the elf, but it was more about Santa. I don’t do the elf yet. My oldest is only 2, so I know I can get away at least one more year without doing it. It isn’t that I don’t like him. He just seems like a LOT of work and I have all the work I need as it is. I’m not hating on him or the people that do it, I just don’t know if he is for me. I’ve actually came up with an alternative. What gets me up in a tizzy is the people who don’t do Santa, then proceed to tell you that you are a bad parent because you do! Someone actually told me I was causing irreversable psychological harm to my child. Anywho, you can read about our “Santa” traditions in the post!

    http://thecountryinspired.blogspot.com/2013/12/the-great-santa-debate.html

    Reply
    • December 6, 2013
      Tara

      “Irreversible psychological harm”!?!?!?

      Oh my. That sounds like someone who hasn’t ever had an imagination in his or her life. A bad parent?!? What about stories that are told at bedtime? Those aren’t real. It’s about encouraging your child to believe in a bit of magic.

      And yes, the Elf can be quite a bit of work. It’s definitely not for everyone! πŸ™‚

      Reply
  3. December 6, 2013
    cred

    Great post- I understand some of the points about the elf but I agree with your rebuttal. People seem so full of hate when they criticize things online and I usually find they have a completely different reason for it (ie. they find it too much work).
    We were honest with our kids about Santa, nearly from the get go but we still gave gifts from Santa. So we didn’t do the santa threats for good behaviour. But they still get to have the tradition of a stocking and a few gifts tagged from Santa (all the gifts are put under the tree after they’re asleep- that’s the real magic for them.)
    I’m sure other parents think it’s pretty grinchy to take away the magic of Santa but I know how much fun Santa still can be without believing. When we were teenagers, we were still super excited to see that he had filled the stockings while we slept- knowing Santa wasn’t real never diminished the excitement of the tradition. (same with Easter- I remember being disappointed at 18 when my parents went away on easter and we didn’t get an egg hunt)
    I have to appreciate the elf creativity of the parents who’ve adopted this tradition. It’s just fun. My kids don’t believe and they’re getting older but they would still find it fun to find the elf each morning- the tradition doesn’t have to focus on the snitching bit. Telling him secrets would be a great idea- you could encourage your kids to tell the elf something good that their siblings did.
    I doubt I would buy one (kinda the commercial thing, I get that) but I was thinking of the DIY idea myself.
    I have my reasons for not telling my kids Santa is real but I don’t have to defend it to those who do. Nor should they have to defend why they do. It’s a parenting choice, like many others, and I can tell you that my kids have never felt deprived because of it. They find their christmas quite magical- I think we need to add the elf to our tradition.

    Reply
    • December 7, 2013
      Tara

      I don’t think it’s grinchy to not have Santa – I think that every family has their own story, and they can’t all be the same! But I think that the way you approach your Christmas traditions is still fantastic. You’re keeping excitement alive in your own way, and you’re not bashing others who do it their way.

      I love the Elf because he’s a little bit of something special every day. Long after I knew that Santa was only an idea, and not an actual man, I still thrilled at getting presents and stockings from him.

      But despite my DIY inclinations… I still bought him. Maybe that’s where I was a teensy bit on the lazy side. πŸ˜‰

      Reply
  4. December 6, 2013
    Amy Renea

    I like the idea, but found the elfie guy a little creepy. We went with Christpher Popinkins instead πŸ™‚

    Reply
    • December 7, 2013
      Tara

      Oh.. that is intriguing! Who is Christopher Popinkins!?!?!

      Reply
  5. December 6, 2013
    Kenz @ Interiors by Kenz

    I love this post so much. I’ve been really excited to do elf on a shelf. Hopefully next year Evelyn will be big enough to sense the magic πŸ™‚

    Reply
    • December 7, 2013
      Tara

      I think that the excitement of her parents will probably be absorbed in her wee little self. Christmas magic is something incredible when you witness it in your children. I’m already excited for you guys!

      Reply
  6. December 6, 2013
    Kristen

    OMG I am laughing so hard. Found your post thru twitter and it put a huge smile on my face. My favorite line: “She hasn’t read Swift yet. I’ll wait ’til she’s seven and has read the classics before I recreate them with our Elf.” LOLOLOL. Also timely since we forgot to move the elf last night and my husband had about 15 seconds to move her before the kids came storming in the room looking to see where she chose to land today… and consequently he was only able to move her about 6 inches to the right… and the kids were not impressed. Must get creative tmrw πŸ™‚ Have a good weekend!

    Reply
    • December 7, 2013
      Tara

      I’m glad that you enjoyed this post, Kristen! (It was fun to write, I will admit)

      I’m trying to stay on top of the elf-hijinx (though I did JUST remember to move him – and it’s 11 pm right now). I’m sure that we will have a 15 second moment this holiday season. If all else fails, I’ll just chuck him across the room.

      He might be napping.

      Reply
  7. December 6, 2013
    Amy of while wearing heels

    Oh, who could hate on Max :)…or Linus (in our case!). Thanks for standing up for the elves.

    Reply
    • December 7, 2013
      Tara

      Oh – Linus! – that’s a great name.

      I couldn’t let the elves be slammed by all of the naysayers. Elves are good guys! πŸ˜‰

      Reply
  8. December 6, 2013
    Shannon @ Fox Hollow Cottage

    I love the ELF and would totally get one if my son was not 17. I don’t get the ELF backlash? I guess people have to have something for their little Grinchy hearts to complain about. LOL :)))

    Reply
    • December 7, 2013
      Tara

      So true. Some people do have to get their inner-grinch out of their bodies. I get it. It’s catharsis. πŸ™‚

      Reply
  9. December 7, 2013
    Shelbi

    I love it! Great post!

    Reply
    • December 9, 2013
      Tara

      Thank you, Shelbi! πŸ™‚

      Reply
  10. December 7, 2013
    Becki

    Wonderful post! I’ve been going. Back and forth with my friends that say things like, “I was going to get one and then remembered I’m smart!” Or “Hubby and I keep adding decorations and lights to our tree. But we refuse to participate in Elf on the Shelf.” Then they try to say it’s not a dig. I’m generally thick skinned, but I feel they are slamming my parenting traditions. My kid loves his elf and remembers his antics all year. My 5-30 mins of prep are so worth his reactions. I get a kick out of the silly poses and what not, but some folks are truly haters. Funny…none of them seem to complain about clowns at birthday parties or scary jack-o-lanterns. Lol If they choose not to do it, I don’t judge…so don’t judge me because I’m creating fun memories for my kid.

    Reply
    • December 9, 2013
      Tara

      I hear you. I would feel like they were making a comment on my choices, too. And it’s so strange, isn’t it, how people can say things like, “I remembered that I’m smart… and so I won’t do the Elf on the Shelf…”

      Like… what!?!?

      That’s like saying, “I remembered, ‘Hey, I’m smarter than this..’ so I told my daughter that no, I would not play house with her because she is six years old and I know that she does not, in fact, have a baby. That baby is fake and has a creepy look on its face with those weirdo eyes that shut when it lies down. I won’t be a slave to this game…. This ‘house’!”

      Lighten up, people! Celebrate imagination! Quit celebrating your jaded little opinion!

      Whoa. I’m ranting in my reply to you, aren’t I, Becki! Sorry about that. I think I was preaching to the choir here, wasn’t I? πŸ™‚

      Reply
  11. December 9, 2013
    Mel

    I think the elf is creepy looking, but I so desperately want one LOL, I agree why waste your time writing about why not to do it, I don’t do Halloween I don’t spend my time writing all the reasons for it, I just don’t post about it simple. I love that your elf is named Max, I’m so angry at myself for forgetting to get him this year oh well next year is fine. Personally I don’t get why people get so up in arms about something as stupid as a toy, surely there are more important things to make your cause. oh well I hope the girls love the elf and make lots of fun memories of him.

    Reply
    • December 9, 2013
      Tara

      Oh Mel… can’t your elf still show up?!? There’s almost three weeks left before Christmas!

      I love our elf. He’s so much fun – and I feel like it draws Christmas out… which is something I love.

      Lila is the biggest fan of Max. She goes tearing down the stairs in search of him every morning. It’s all worth it when we see her face.

      Reply
  12. December 11, 2013
    Shari

    I totally did the… oh crap I forgot to move the Elf thing last night. Good thing Sophie woke me up and I remembered. She has already got the hang of looking for her in the morning and this is only our third morning. Oh and by the way… hilarious that you lost one!

    Reply
    • December 11, 2013
      Tara

      Oh, it definitely happens… this “Oh crap, the ELF!?!” realization. The kids never forget though. It’s the first thing that Lila goes hunting for. She’s like a dog with a scent…. πŸ˜‰

      Reply
  13. December 13, 2013
    Gina

    I definitely think the elf is creepy looking and I’ve never really wanted one. We don’t make a huge deal out of Santa so I guess it wouldn’t be worth it. I’ve never liked the idea of people telling kids that if they’re naughty Santa won’t bring them toys knowing full well that would never happen. I also don’t do your number one, tell my kid I’ll throw away all his toys and such when I know that won’t happen. I never threaten with something I can’t and won’t do so that’s why Santa isn’t a big deal here.

    That being said, I do like the creative things people come up with using the elves. Some of them are so funny and take so much imagination. I love it! I also have come to realize that not everyone uses the elf as a negative thing like I thought when they first got really popular. I respect the folks that are switching it up and using it as a positive.

    Reply
    • December 16, 2013
      Tara

      Me too, Gina. I think that putting a positive spin on the elf is where it’s at.

      I don’t turn Santa into the Naughty Police, either (though TV does that for us… Lila has definitely picked up on the “naughty/nice” thing through shows and books). Really, the girls love the hunt. They zoom down the stairs every morning to find Max, and I love being a part of the game.

      As for the empty-threat thing – I wish I could say that I don’t do it. But alas… sometimes I do. Maybe a New Year’s resolution is in order there!

      Reply
  14. December 14, 2013
    TC

    Refreshing to read something in defense of elves! Never understood the haters. This is year 3 for us, my nearly 6 and just turned 9 year olds LOVE ours. The elves fluctuate between simply sitting somewhere fun waiting to be found and more elaborate stagings. It can be a lot of work but I enjoy it as much as the kids, it is great fun for us and that is why I do it. I’m curious to see if it is a tradition my children will continue with their own families one day.

    Reply
    • December 16, 2013
      Tara

      I wonder if my own kidlets will do it with their children too. It’s been such a fun tradition for us, and while I do understand some of the reasons why people don’t start the tradition (same as any other tradition – it’s cool if it’s not your thing), but why the hate?

      People love to slam the little guy, and I just don’t know why! H

      Reply
  15. January 4, 2014
    Marilyn

    I think the “Elf on the Shelf” is a fun Christmas tradition…..too bad it came out after my kids were grown! I’m glad you and your family and incorporated this into your holiday traditions!

    Reply
  16. December 2, 2014
    Julie @White Lights on Wednesday

    So check it. I’m totally not a pro-elf girl. We thought about getting one last year, until Mike conceded I’d be the one doing the work. I trumped that mess, we were getting ready to move in January. Packing a house, Christmas and an elf? No. Duh. The biggest thing that bugged me was the negativity/spy thing. But your secret keeper/positive re-enforcement elf has me rethinking things Tara. We may just have an elf next year. πŸ™‚

    Reply
    • December 8, 2014
      Tara

      I’m so thrilled I might have convinced you, Julie! I’m SO pro-elf. Lots of people have told me that they’re not entirely sold on the Elf business, but I feel like it’s just the bad press that has brainwashed them.

      Imagination forever!

      (Or maybe I’m just a bit crazy)

      Reply
  17. December 5, 2014
    Mac Gal

    I enjoyed this post as my facebook news feed is so full of negativity. I actually had one friend tell me that what I did was cute, but not get too annoying with it. I told her she has a “Hide the Post” button. Use it.

    Now, I don’t post every single day b/c clearly that gets to be a real drag. I just have fun with it with the kids. I think they are on to me, but they are still having fun with it. And isn’t that the spirit of Christmas?

    Reply
    • December 8, 2014
      Tara

      I totally agree with you. Why – WHY – do people feel the need to gripe about the Elf? I find it such a strange phenomenon that so many people get irked by these traditions.

      Like you said – it’s about having fun! It isn’t hurting anyone!

      Reply
  18. November 30, 2015
    Lisa M

    I definitely think the elf is creepy! lol I got lucky and all my kids were already teenagers when we first heard about the elf a few years back….so no elf for us. My niece has one though and has informed me that her mother is a liar. She said that mom lies when she says the elf tells Santa what she does cause she was bad last year and still got lots of stuff for Christmas! So the elf doesn’t care what she does. She’s 6. *sigh* she believes the elf moves himself though. Kids are funny.

    Lisa

    Reply

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