I have a relative- very glamorous young lady, with two adorable kids, and not too shabby hubby either. Beautiful family. I am constantly in awe of her and her parenting prowess. Even when the kids are driving her nuts, she holds it together and comes out looking like a supermom-fairy. I am fascinated by the little joys she is finding with her small children, posting genuinely funny and insightful things they say and such. And then there's the elf. Their elf has a distinctive name, given by their oldest very clever child (no it's not just bias... he's amazing), and they manage to keep up the ruse quite effectively. I am impressed. Impressed and so glad my kids are all grown up. The last thing I want to do is hide the elf. Next to her, I would look like a rank amateur.
I was so glad when I woke up this morning to the following post entitled Dear Perfect Elf on the Shelf people, an open letter. I thought, "Oh Thank God", I'm not the only parent who just has better things to do than to figure out what to do with a creepy elf that is watching me every day.
Just to put it in proper perspective. I didn't do Santa Clause either. I didn't make a big deal about telling my kids there was no such person. I just didn't ask get all giddy about it. I let other people have their illusions, but I just didn't participate. And when they asked, I gave them the best explanation I could find. I read to them stories like this and this. My daughter's take-away was ... so there was a St. Nick (Santa) and he lived long ago, and we give gifts at christmas because he gave selflessly to demonstrate Christ's love... or so I thought.
My daughter promptly went to school the next day and announced to her Kindergarten class that Santa was dead. "My mother said our parents are giving us gifts because someone named St. Nick started the tradition." The end. The teacher promptly replied, you are a liar and so is your mother. (The beginning of the end of public school for us.)
Could you imagine me playing along with the elf story? Me neither. Day 1, he might be clinging to a sticky candy cane. Day 2 he might be in the dog bowl... he'd probably lose a limb to the dog. Day 3, he might be packing a suitcase and heading toward the door. Day 4, there might be a good-bye letter.
My kids probably won't let me near their kids at Christmas time.