Somehow I missed the memo about the Elf on the Shelf. Have you heard of this? It’s billed as a way to begin a new Christmas tradition, get kids excited about the holiday and make your house feel all magical and junk (OK, I’m not sure that’s actually a part of the advertising, but it’s implied).
My aunt gave us an Elf. I turned over the heavy, red box and gazed at our new friend. He’s creepy, but he’s…. endearing?
We told the Kaiser that the Elf had come over Thanksgiving, that he’d be there when we returned home from Nashville. Ergooooo, as we pulled into the driveway, I shoved the husband out of the car with a towel-covered Elf and whispered instructions, “friggin’ hurry.”
The Kaiser found the Elf with a bit of guidance. He stared. And didn’t buy it, telling me that it was, “a [stupid] toy.” I told him that no, he wasn’t a toy; he just looked like that to fool everyone. The Kaiser continued to glare. So I told him that the Elf is magic and that he flies off every night to tell Santa if he’s been a nice kid. That, friends, changed the game. He began telling the Elf what he wants for Christmas, describing each train and bike in careful detail so the Elf can relay to Santa.
“Elf. Tell Santa that I want: A new James. He is red. Also, a bike with TWO wheels. I want Skarloey and NOT a Rheneas.”
Totally doesn’t trust the Elf and totally thinks the Elf is dumb.
I just wish the advertisers had been honest about this shit. You know what the Elf is good for? Making your kid behave for a month outta the year. It’s amazing. It’s like Karen’s God in the Box, but not as creepy.
- The Elf is watching. He’s always watching.
- You don’t want the Elf to tell Santa that you did that, do you?
- If you touch my purse onemoretime, I’m telling the Elf.
I may or may not (I MAY) have said such horrible things. I’ve stopped. Mostly.
The Elf brings up an interesting question: Why do we behave? Sure, I love good behavior, but I don’t want the Kaiser to do what’s right because he’s afraid of consequence or punishment. That said, consequence and punishment are the two things that work right now. He ain’t altruistic. He can be (sorta) compassionate, but self-interest drives his actions. We try to show by example what it means to be loving, compassionate and mindful. Until he gets it, we gots this (which I’m seriously considering keeping out year round):