Thursday, 13 December 2018

Why I love the Elf on the Shelf at Christmas

The Elf on the Shelf has been an important part of our Christmas traditions for a few years now. We were quite an early adopter, beginning a few years ago with a single elf and expanding to two elves when Mia was old enough to understand. At this time of year I hear so many people saying that they wouldn't have the elf in their house and explaining why, so I thought I'd write about why we love having the Elf on the Shelf to visit us in the run up to Christmas.

Why I love the Elf on the Shelf

It's doesn't need to cause extra work

Some people do go mad with the activities that their elves get up to, but that's because they feel they have to, it's because they want to! It's really fun to get creative and do something fun for your children to make them smile. But I've generally always kept it low key. Our children are just as thrilled to find that they've moved to a different place overnight.

It's not expensive

When we bought our elves they were quite new to the UK and only the official ones were available, and they weren't cheap. But now you can find them everywhere for just a pound or two, and you can use the same elf every year. You don't need to buy accessories or props (although my Mum does sell patterns for some fantastic little knitted jumpers!), you can easily make do with things you have around the house.

He doesn't need to make the children paranoid about their behaviour

Although we've told the children that the elves go back to see Father Christmas every night, they don't think they are here to check up on them. We never use them as a threat, or warn the children that they need to be good as an elf is watching. If I do bring up the elf, I'll say that he's sitting in a good place because he wants to watch them play and have fun doing Christmassy things.

Elf on the Shelf playing with Hama beads

It's another way of keeping the magic alive

At 9 and 7 I'm well aware that we don't have long left with our children both believing. In fact I think we are on borrowed time already, or else they are very good at pretending!

It doesn't need to be a competition

I love seeing photos of the things that other people organise for their elves. But I rarely share pictures myself. Firstly because I know not everyone wants to see them, and secondly because I just don't feel the need to. Young children won't see pictures on social media unless you show them, and although their friends may talk about what their elves have got up to, I'm pretty sure they wouldn't compare.

It doesn't need to go on forever

A point will come when the children no longer believe in the elf. But even when they both realise that the elves aren't really moving about the house by themselves I think they'll still enjoy playing along with me, and maybe some years we can delegate the elf responsibility to the children! Even when the children are older I'm sure we'll still have the elves as part of our traditions.

Elf on the Shelf in marshmallow bath

Does an elf visit your home in the run up to Christmas?

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