Redefining Elf on the Shelf by Ellie of Musing Momma
BonBon Break

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rethinking-elf-on-the-shelfIt’s almost that time of year again. Before you know it, Thanksgiving will be over and then little elves will start landing on shelves, where they’ll keep a watchful eye on our children and inspire an insane number of pins on Pinterest. Mommas and poppas will either 1) have ambitious little elves who put Martha Stewart to shame, 2) feel guilty for having “slacker” elves, or 3) roll their eyes and make snarky remarks about those with annoyingly crafty elves.

I admit it: Last year our elf – his name is Snuggle – was out of control.

Snuggle

Yes, that is our elf hanging from a candy cane swing and making s’mores. *Sigh* I had fun with it and the boys loved Snuggle’s escapades (“He’s naughty, Momma!”), but I may have gone overboard. By mid-December I was running out of steam and ideas.

I’m not sure I am up for another year of crazy elf antics. But more importantly, at some point during the last holiday season, I decided I am just not down with the whole naughty-or-nice thing.  I wrote about that here, but the gist of it is I think it encourages kids to be “nice” for the wrong reasons and runs contrary to a holiday season that should be about unconditional love and giving. So what the heck do I do about this elf whose job is presumably to tell Santa if my kids are behaving?!

I had a little chat with Snuggle and we have a new plan this year – one that lets me off the hook from finding ingenious new ways to pose him and encourages the boys to celebrate the true spirit of Christmas.

This year, Snuggle will arrive with a letter that says:

Redefining Elf on the Shelf by Ellie of Musing Momma

With his letter, Snug will be bringing a little tree. I’m not sure yet if I’ll do something like this Giving Tree on I {Heart} Nap Time or just buy a miniature Christmas tree from the craft store. I don’t think it matters. What matters is that we find a way to focus the boys’ energy on the true meaning of the holiday season – unconditional love, caring for others, being with family – and away from behaving in order to get toys. Hopefully Snuggle will keep his mischief in check and I won’t have to clean toothpaste messages off the bathroom counter this year. 

Now let’s not even get into the enormous story I’ve sold my kids with this whole elf thing. Trickery, what trickery?! I’m counting on them appreciating my efforts to make the holidays fun for them when they find out who Snuggle really is.

PIN IT FOR LATER:

It’s almost that time of year again. Before you know it, Thanksgiving will be over and then little elves will start landing on shelves, where they’ll keep a watchful eye on our children and inspire an insane number of pins on Pinterest. Mommas and poppas will either 1) have ambitious little elves who put Martha Stewart to shame, 2) feel guilty for having “slacker” elves, or 3) roll their eyes and make snarky remarks about those with annoyingly crafty elves.

 

Ellie HeadshotABOUT ELLIE:  Ellie is the editor of the Family Room on Bonbon Break and blogs at Musing Momma, where she shares honest and personal stories ranging from reflections on motherhood to tips for raising healthy and (relatively) well-behaved kids, and from research on child development to fun family activities.  As wife and mother in a multiracial family, she often writes about the intersection of race and family, and her experience raising two African-American/white sons.  Ellie has a Ph.D. in psychology and counseled children and families for several years before changing paths to spend more time with her family. She resides in central Pennsylvania with her husband and their two adorably mischievous boys, ages 3 and 7.

Follow Ellie on Facebook | Twitter | Google+ | Pinterest

CONTINUE READING IN THE FAMILY ROOM

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