Let’s Talk About the Elf.

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Disclosure: Amazon links in this post are affiliate links.  Elf-on-the-Shelf

Now that the fabulous turkey dinner has been enjoyed and the pumpkin pie has been devoured…the holiday season has “officially” arrived!  I say “officially,” because it’s been following me around everywhere for a good two weeks.

It also means that it’s time for fun holiday traditions…and today I’m going to open up the discussion about Elf on the Shelf.

This blog idea started when a group of us mamas were casually talking about Christmas and our favorite family traditions.  I mentioned our Elf, Jingles, and how much the kids adore her visiting our house every December, and a few of the moms groaned.

That’s when I realized that this adorable little elf tradition may not be everyone’s idea of a good time.

Here’s my question for you, our Tiny Oranges’ readers:  Do you love the elf…or hate the elf?

Love or Loathe?

I will admit it, I love our Elf on the Shelf.

It has become one of our favorite family holiday activities.  My kids love it, my husband and I (usually) have fun talking about how the kids find the elf, and I love seeing the sparkle in my kids’ eyes every morning when they find her.  It adds a little extra magic to our home.

On the flip side, I can totally see how the elf can spiral out of control.  It’s kind of like any tradition, right?! Every family does things differently, albeit the elf, Santa, the Easter Bunny, the Tooth Fairy, Leprechaun traps (I still can’t believe that is now a thing), etc.

I feel like all of this should be in one universal parenting manual – general guidelines of magical and mythical creatures/people/elves/fairies/etc.  Wouldn’t that be great??

Because kids talk and exchange notes.  Why does our Elf like to read a book with our stuffed animals…but Jane’s elf bungee jumps off the staircase into a pool of marshmallows and chocolate chips and gumdrops?

Um.  Yeaahhhh.

Here’s the worst one when it comes to The Elf on the Shelf, “Mom, why didn’t so-and-so’s elf move last night?  Is Ryan in trouble?  Is his elf okay?”

Ouch.  One of the reasons why many parents I know dislike this elf thing – the Elf has to remember to MOVE each night. Note to self: set a cell phone alarm if this becomes a recurring problem.

Others swear that they think it’s some creepy Chucky doll-like thing watching their family.

Here’s the deal – I say…to each, their own.  Because all of us parents do things differently, we just have to find a gentle way to explain that to our kids.  That each family has their own special traditions and activities and customs, no matter the time of year.  And this includes The Elf on the Shelf

Here’s a little something for all of you…

Ideas For Team ‘I Love the Elf on the Shelf’

Check out these adorable ideas…all found on via Pinterest, of course!

75 Family-Friendly Elf on the Shelf Ideas

A Month of {Fantastic} Elf on the Shelf Ideas and Printables

A Month of Elf on the Shelf Ideas

200 Elf on the Shelf Ideas

Twelve Ways to Save Your Butt When Your Elf on the Shelf Forgets to Move

For the Elf Haters

If you want a giggle, a snort of laughter, or a shared eye-roll…these elf-hating blog posts are pretty darn funny…

Overachieving Elf on the Shelf Mommies

Elf on the Shelf: Let’s all get our stories straight

7 Reasons Why We Are Never Doing Elf on a Shelf

So now I want to know – do you love the elf…or hate the elf???  Either way, I love hearing from you in the comments, so drop me a note!  And, if you hate the elf, tell me something you do love to do with your kids around the holidays!


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  1. 1
    jen says:

    Love this post. I sort of have a love/hate relationship with our elf. On one hand it is a hassle, on the other hand, there’s nothing better than seeing the joy on their faces when they discover her each morning. I also love that she’s a festive beginning to the magical holiday season. So, overall, I think I am in the Love Camp. However, ask me again later this month when I wake up in the middle of the night with the DID THE ELF MOVE?! panic…

  2. 2
    Kelly says:

    Just got Sammy this year( thanks Grandma) I am already stressing, every site I see has the most elaborate ideas I mean who has time for those really? I have found myself asking the kids in my class where there elf was for ideas and it’s only day 3;(. So I guess so far I’m not a lover but hey it’s only day 3 and I have 28 kids in my class so that’s 28 ideas!

    • 3
      jen says:

      Kelly – take it from me – set the creativity bar LOW on the locations. Simply move it, that’s enough!

  3. 4
    christy says:

    Jen – agreed…love seeing their little faces lit up each morning! Makes it worth it!
    Kelly – don’t stress!! There are SO many easy elf ideas – check out some of the links above for inspiration. Good luck! 🙂

  4. 5

    […] you read my Elf on the Shelf blog last week, you know that I am pro-elf – lol!  We love our Elf on the Shelf traditions, and […]

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