Wednesday, December 5, 2012

In Defense of the Elf

I've been reading all over the internets* lately accounts from fellow moms who refuse to allow the Elf into their homes, and then go on to justify why it's such a horrible thing and teaches our children bad lessons.  The worst I read was from here:  

If you need an elf to address your child’s behavior, you are not doing your job.

Wait, what??  Yeah, she really said that.

There's a big part of me that thinks these anti-elf crusaders are just burnt out moms who don't need another thing to do at the end of the day.  I get it, I do.  I am a hot mess.  I do everything 3 days after I should.  Bathe my kids tonight?  Maybe...probably...I guess I didn't do it last night, so sure.  But definitely by tomorrow night they'll get a bath.  Feed my family?  They're hungry again??

But don't come up with these crazy ideas about why everyone else sucks because you don't want to participate in a fun little tradition that doesn't have to take more than 2 minutes at night.  And don't say he's creepy because he does exactly what Santa does, what Jesus does, and what The Police do (sing with me -every breath you take, every move you make...)

So yeah, our elf Cookie dyed our milk green a couple of nights ago.  I barely remembered to move him as I was getting into bed and had to jump out and finish it.   This was after I had already packed lunches, locked up the house, ran the dishwasher, put the last load of laundry in the more thing at the end of a long day. 

You want to know why I did it?  To hear my kids laugh.  To see their eyes light up with the magic.  That two minutes I took to jump out of bed created a memory that will last a long time.

And he's not without any benefits -
No one in my family laughs like this at 7:30 in the morning.  Like ever.  The elf has shaved an entire 20 minutes off of our morning routine because the kids jump up, get dressed and run downstairs to find him.

The magic of Christmas that kids experience is only alive for so many years; and whether it's through reading Christmas stories each night, decorating Christmas cookies for your neighbors, staying up late to listen for Santa on Christmas Eve and sprinkling reindeer food on your lawn, or welcoming a little elf into your house for a few weeks in December; if you don't let your child share in the magic that is Christmas, you're not doing your job.

* I know the plural form of internet.  I do.


Jeanne said...

I think the elf LOOKS creepy, but I love the idea. You put it into words perfectly.

Molly Terry said...

I love that Britt! I've never heard of that tradition, but it looks awesome! My parents always did that with St Patrick's day; they had us make traps to catch the leprechauns, then in the morning there would be little gold-painted rocks in our traps. It was so cool, and I still remember it. You're a rockin' mom!

Linda Terry said...

Well said, Brit. I feel bad we never did a Mr. Goody for our kids at Christmastime. Never thought of it. But if I had, I would have milked it for all it was worth. There's satisfaction in knowing some of our posterity gets the elf.

Calley said...

Love this post. Amen!

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