Why Can't A Mom Enjoy Elf On The Shelf At Christmas?

Why Can't A Mom Enjoy Elf On The Shelf At Christmas?

Warning. A "cranky, I've had it rant" follows. Hang with me, okay?

Well here we are, barely into the month of December and already I've seen more bitterness about what some moms do over others in terms of the Christmas season. I've already read an ugly handful of articles that mock moms just like me, with dozens of people patting them on the back.

And you know what? I'm already sick of it.

Why Can't A Mom Enjoy Elf On The Shelf At Christmas?

Sick of the idea that if someone decides something is right for THEIR family, people must do it that way across the board. That somehow certain moms have a supernatural knowledge that the rest of us poor souls were left without.

I'm sick of it being okay to mock any mother that goes above and beyond what "you" are choosing (or willing) to do. To me, it equates to making fun of (bullying) the kids in school who did the extra credit (that would be me, all day long).

It seems not so long ago that a mom's principle job in life was "childhood/home/husband management," and people celebrated her for it. Time spent making dinners, celebrating birthdays (in simple or over the top ways), decorating for Christmas, making memories was an important part of being a parent—a mom specifically.

Now it seems like for those of us who continue to make this our top priority, we're judged harshly for it if you put too much effort into it... like our time is better spent making a buck or investing in anyone BUT our children.

Don't get me wrong. I completely believe that God calls women to all sorts of rolls in life (just read Proverbs 31), so I don't think it's a matter of working mom vs. stay-at-home mom, because I am both. These "what some do vs. what others do" seem to come down to "I'm a better mom because I do/don't/avoid/go all out and if you think otherwise, you're wrong!"

Somewhere along the way, going above and beyond, no matter the reason, became showing off.

Why Can't A Mom Enjoy Elf On The Shelf At Christmas?

Take my favorite example, the Elf on the Shelf.

It seems that not only do you love it or hate it, but that you LOVE it, or you judge a mother who does it as a time waster, an over-the-top show off who has nothing better to do with her time. Yep, anyone who knows me knows that sounds JUST like me (sarcasm).

Well you know what? My principle job in life is to create memories for my kids. Happy ones. My own childhood was full of darkness, and I work hard to make sure there are as few dark corners in my children's lives as possible.

Critics of the Elf tradition will tell you that it's:

  • --a waste of time. (It makes a lot of fun memories for my ENTIRE family, the opposite of a waste of time for me. Doug and I would probably still do it if it was just us.)

  • --that it's a waste of money. (It doesn't have to cost anything; you can purchase any elf or doll to do it with, or make your own.)

  • --that it's for moms with nothing better to do with their time. (Not only is making memories and orchestrating childhoods my main job, but I have several other part-time jobs on top of that. I MAKE the time to do things that make my children happy.)

  • --that people use it to manipulate their children into behaving. (Not in this house. For us it's more like "Elf hide and seek." My kids have no connection between the elf and good behavior. We address behavior in a constant 12 months a year kind of way.)

  • --that it adds to the lies that surrounds Christmas. (My kids know the truth about Santa, have always known the truth, and know that the elf is a fun Christmas game to play. We have a general life policy about not lying to our children.)

  • --that it creates an extra "chore" to do around the holidays. (I don't see bringing joy to my kids as a chore, especially considering that people are FREE to choose their level of elf involvement. Why else would we have birthday parties or egg hunts or Christmas trees?)

What will I say about you if you don't "elf"?


It's not my business or concern what you do or don't do for your kids. I'm too busy "wasting time" making memories for my kids to concern myself with what my neighbors are doing in that sense.

I won't stand here and mock any parents choice of holiday activities because I am a nice person and assume that we're all doing the best we can with the hardest job ever created (parenthood!).

I won't participate in the bully tactics that coordinate with questioning another parents choices, especially when it comes to something as silly as Elf on the shelf.

Why Can't A Mom Enjoy Elf On The Shelf At Christmas?

What will I share about our "elf experience."

It's way fun. We spend 15-30 minutes a day on it. We don't see it as a chore. Our kids get their morning jobs done 1-2-3 because they want to RUN downstairs to find our what the elf is doing.

We don't use it to manipulate or scare our children into behaving. They know he's not "real" but like they do with all of their stuffed animals and action figures, he becomes real to them.

He makes their season a little more festive and fun.

And if you don't do it? That's okay. We can still be friends. And I won't assume you're terrible.

Promise. End of rant.

Related Posts

Why I Hate The Elf On The Shelf

I'm not happy about this post. I love mocking ridiculous things, but I feel most comfortable poking fun at stuff I like. Things like my college football team, my kids' quirks, my brother's ability to get free stuff from anyone he meets, and how my mom identifies herself by name when she leaves me a message. "Oh, hi Amy. This is your mom. Susan." My favorite target is myself. But today I turn my disdain outward, to a society that complains about consumerism and too many commitments, but spends $30 dollars for the privilege of managing the "magic" of a cheaply made stuffed elf during the busiest month of the year.   Read more >

No, Noah, There's Not a Santa Claus

In the 1890s, a little girl named Virginia wrote a letter to the editor of the New York Sun, saying that her friends told her Santa Claus didn’t exist, seeking reassurance from the newspaper because her daddy told her that if it was in the Sun, then it was true. The editorial board famously responded with a letter titled, “Yes, Virginia, there is a Santa Claus.” The response goes on to say that the world would be a dreary place and the light of childhood would be extinguished if Santa didn’t exist. But I don’t think this is true. I sure hope not since we plan on telling Noah from the beginning that Santa is not real.   Read more >

Are My Facebook Posts Obnoxious?

The messages that started this post were a few of the comments I received. I know most of them were meant to be sarcastic because only my family, where sarcasm is a dominant gene, and friends, whom if not connoisseurs of sarcasm don't last long, are my friends on Facebook. So I know they were just teasing... sort of... kind of... right? Or are they nicely, with humor, trying to tell me something else? Does posting this kind of thing make me obnoxious? Is it offensive? Does it mean that I'm unfeeling or out of touch? Am I a show-off and just plain nasty?   Read more >

Recent Posts by littlebitfunky


In order to comment on BlogHer.com, you'll need to be logged in. You'll be given the option to log in or create an account when you publish your comment. If you do not log in or create an account, your comment will not be displayed.