I love Christmas and I love Christmas traditions.
I loved gathering with most of my family on Christmas Eve for a traditional Swedish smorgasbord.
I loved waking up on Christmas morning and eating my mom’s homemade cinnamon rolls.
I loved reading the Christmas story before opening presents.
In more recent years I’ve loved waking up on Christmas morning and having a little time just with Alycia.
I’ve loved spending my Christmas Eve at church with all of my coworkers.
And before I was married I loved going to different restaurants and homes with my roommates to steal ornaments for our tree.
I’m looking forward to continuing some old traditions and starting some new ones when Alycia and I have kids. There is one tradition that I hope we never implement with our children:
Elf on the Shelf.
Elf on the Shelf seems to be a more recent tradition. I don’t think anyone had the Elf when I was growing up and I’ve only seen it in the past few years.
Apparently the Elf is Santa’s spy. It spies on a house’s children and reports back to Santa who is being naughty and nice. While it spies for the big red man, the Elf also gets into all sorts of mischief. Hiding in the tree, eating cookies and harassing family pets.
I feel like the Elf has a double standard. It spies on the children and reports naughty behavior, yet it participates in its own questionable behavior. Who watches the watchers?
I also don’t like the dead look in its eyes. I don’t like most dolls. Precious Moments dolls haunt my dreams. The faceless Willow Tree people look like they belong in a horror movie. And Cabbage Patch kids look like they grew from Mount Doom, not a vegetable garden.
I don’t want my kids growing up paranoid. Childhood is difficult enough without worrying about festive spies watching their every move. I’m fine with my kids knowing that God is watching them because God has unending grace. I don’t think the Elf has any grace, just a creepy, haunting countenance.
Some people really enjoy their Elf on the Shelf and that’s fine with me. However, just like I won’t invite any vampires into my home, I won’t invite that Elf either.
How do you feel about Elf on the Shelf?