First of all, why does EVERYTHING have to be controversial. Why can't a simple Christmas idea be a fun, imaginative way to teach our children to behave and learn about the meaning of Christmas. Stop telling children "It's creepy" or "It's stupid" or "a dangerous parental crutch" or whatever else you have to say to add to the viral controversy of it.
Firstly, why is the elf creepy?
Because he's watching you to make sure you are behaving? Generations have been telling their children that Santa Claus is watching them. Um, hello...remember this song...
"He knows if you are sleeping.
He knows if you're awake.
He knows if you've been bad or good,
so be good for goodness sake"
The song "Santa Claus is Coming to Town" was written in 1934! Not only that but it became an instant hit with orders for over 100,000 copies of sheet music and more than 30,000 records sold within 24 hours! Why is it wrong to teach our children to be good, especially around the holidays?
Personally, I think this whole "elf thing" is a great modern twist on Santa! A fun tool to teach our children at a young age about being good and kind and fair. Side note, the 10 year old boy I watch every morning LOVES seeing where our elf is in the mornings...
Secondly, where does it say that the elf has to be mischievous or get into trouble or make messes! In fact, the book clearly states "My job's an assignment from Santa himself. I am his helper, a friendly scout elf". Our family has read this book several times and nowhere did I read "My job's an assignment from the fat man up North. I have to make messes all over this earth."
Our Elf, Effy, is a good, kind, friendly elf who every night uses his elf magic to travel back to the North Pole and tell Santa all that my girls did that day, good or bad. Then each morning returns with a special "task" to do that day. Things like, make cookies for your friends; donate some of their toys and books to a second hand shop; Bring food to the food bank; Make a donation at the mall (The Salvation Army folks); Write Christmas cards to family and friends... And, if the girls were good he will also fill the advent with a small gift. (I prefer this over giving her chocolate every day!) However, as Samantha will find out tomorrow, if she is not good, there will be no surprise in the advent in the morning, only a good deed to do.
Now, as for the whole moving the elf around every morning, it's called IMAGINATION people! I know a lot of our generation is beginning to lack it due to an increase in technology, but come on, the idea that the elf did go to the North Pole and return the next morning is a little lost if he never moves.
That being said, I'm not saying you have to spend hours trying to recreate crazy Pinterest scenes with string and tape and props. Simply moving him from one area of the house to the other is fine. But it is a lot of fun for the children to wake up to something special, even something as simple as him cooking with marshmallows...
Our elf, will not be mischievous, I do think those "bad elves" will teach kids that it is alright to make messes and get into trouble, especially, if it's Santa's special helper! I want to teach my girls how to be kind, be polite, and that Christmas is not about what's under the tree.
This brings me back to teaching my girls about the meaning of Christmas. Effy, will be used as a tool to teach our girls (who are only 3 and 1 by the way) how to give during the holiday season. Yes, I agree, this is a responsibility that every parent has, and not just around the holidays, but that doesn't mean you cant teach them in a fun special way during this special time of year.
Plus, I LOVE hearing Samantha use her imagination and tell me stories about Effy's trip to the North Pole. That sense of adventure and fun in her eyes and the excitement in her voice is something I hope she never loses. So, if I can borrow a little bit of Santa's Christmas magic and use it to show my girls what Christmas is really about...you're darn tootin I will!
Also, don't feel like you need to comply to a commercialization of a Christmas tradition. Make it your own, use your own "rules", start your own tradition. Hell, don't even go out and buy the darn elf if you don't want to, there are so many other options and ideas. Why not use a special toy that "Santa's magic has promoted to Santa's helper" or dress a barbie doll or action figure up in holiday attire to be Santa's helper. Who says it needs to be "Santa's helper" at all. Like I said, I personally think the idea should be used as a tool to help promote and teach about the spirit of Christmas.
Finally, if it really is the concept of the elf "spying" on your children and reporting back to the "Big Man", look at other ideas like The Kindness Elves. But please, stop trying to ruin it for the rest of us and make it such a huge controversy.
Now, if you'll excuse me I have an elf to move!