As far as I am aware, the whole Elf on the Shelf thing started as an American tradition but in the last couple of years, it seems to have crept in over here too. Well, when I say crept in I actually mean snowballed out of nowhere and every other bugger has adopted this tradition as their own. Or at least every other parent blogger anyway. I blame Pinterest of course. The place is awash with that creepy little elf. And I’m sorry but he really is very creepy *shudder* But Pinterest has a way of bringing out a horrible competitive streak in some people and all of a sudden everything (especially everything elf related) has to be BIGGER! BETTER! FUNNIER!
I confess that I have never read the book that comes with this elf what with never having bought it. But from what I can gather, he arrives soon after Thanksgiving (which we don’t celebrate over here. Or at least we didn’t the last time I checked but hey ho.) Anyway he sits on your shelf but you absolutely must not touch him as his magic will disappear. (A toy that you can’t touch? Err yeah, that sounds like fun.) Then this little elf reports back to Santa every night to help him out with his naughty and nice list. (Because that’s not creepy at all is it? Never mind the whole blackmailing your kids into behaving or else you will cancel Christmas. Except you won’t. So an empty threat then? Oh.) Then in the morning, you find the elf in a slightly different position than you left him in the night before so that you know that he has hot footed it back to the North Pole while you were snoozing. (Is it just me that thinks remembering to do that every night would just be too much pressure? Heck I struggle to remember my own childrens’ names at times.) Then on Christmas Eve he goes back to the North Pole until next year. Joy.
Except of course when you throw social media into the equation, the whole thing goes a bit mental. Obviously the elf moving a bit wouldn’t make a very interesting photo on Instagram. Let alone a whole series of blog posts. Who is going to repin that lame picture? Oh no the tradition has morphed into a whole new beast. Oh look! Our elf has been caught in a compromising position with Action Man! Aren’t I just hilarious? No. No you are not. I mean seriously, whose benefit is this for? Your kids or your followers? Oh look! Our elf has emptied an entire box of icing sugar all over the kitchen floor and has made snow angels! You know that you are the one who will have to tidy that crap up right? And how does being naughty teach your kid anything? Either you are missing the point or I am.
Do you know what, I love that families adopt new Christmas traditions. I’m all for keeping that magic alive. Heck, isn’t the magic of Christmas one of the very reasons why we all have children?! But this blasted elf seems to have a way of bringing out an awful competitive streak in a lot of people. Not all to be fair. But when it does, it ain’t pretty. Can I just let you into a little secret though? There is such a thing as oversharing (I do realise the irony in a blogger offering such a nugget. Trust me.) But honestly, NOBODY GIVES A FLYING FIG ABOUT WHAT YOUR SODDING ELF GOT UP TO LAST NIGHT! Well, hopefully your kids do, I mean this is for them right? But I’m guessing that they don’t follow you over on Pinterest what with being three and a half and all?
You can get up to all the high jinx that you like but here’s the thing, you don’t have to share every single movement that your
creepy elf ever makes. A revelation to some I’m sure. You don’t have to share your antics every single day with the whole wide world on Instagram (linking to Twitter, Facebook, Tumblr and Flickr just to cover all bases) before writing a daily blog post (and maybe even a weekly round up of the fun in a newsletter just in case anybody missed your eleventy billion updates.) Please please please spare a thought for the rest of us this Christmas. So no, there will definitely not be an elf on my shelf this year. Or any other year. In fact, I predict that by this time next week, I will have seen more elf pictures than any normal person should ever have to suffer in their entire lifetime. Ho ho bloody ho. I’m even considering setting up a support group over on Facebook, would you like an invite..?