Holiday Traditions: The Elf on the Shelf


elf on the shelf

This year was rough but it doesn’t take away the excitement and love I have for the Christmas season! A time to celebrate family, friends, delicious food and traditions! Regardless of what traditions you have in your family, I would almost bet that you’ve heard of a newer tradition: The Elf on the Shelf! 

If you aren’t familiar with it: It’s a book with a stuffed little Elf doll. The book explains to little ones that the Elf was sent from the North Pole to watch over the kiddos and reports back to Santa if they were good or bad. The idea is that each day the elf is found somewhere else around the house for the kids to find him. Some parents get really creative with the Elf’s hiding spots each day and others take a less complicated route.

Elf on the Shelf came up in a discussion among the EVM writing team and I learned that the Elf can be a pretty controversial topic among parents.

Fast forward to the week later where I did Takeover Tuesday on the EVM Instagram and decided to test just how controversial it was. One of my stories included a “Yay” or “Nay” poll and the results blew me away! About 120 mamas participated and only 35% chose “Yay” while 65% said “Nay.” 

It made me want to dig for more insight! So I then asked for those that voted to share more details as to why they chose their answer and the responses really intrigued me and maybe it will do the same for you!

I’ll share the “Nays” first since that was the majority:

  • I just don’t want to commit to doing it for 100 years! #onceyoustartyoucantstop
  • Literally every Mom friend of mine with older kids has told me heck to the no, don’t do it! 
  • That elf is a creep! Also, so much work! Rather spend time on traditions for whole family
  • I think it’s creepy and I feel too much pressure to come up with cute ideas everyday
  • Creepy, stressful, there is already too much overwhelming the true meaning of Christmas
  • It just seems like ONE MORE THING at a time that can already be stressful
  • Life is overwhelming and it’s one more thing to do daily. I know if I did it I’d love it and my daughter would too but I’ve got so much on my plate as a mom already, so we just do other special holiday things that I don’t need to actively remember everyday!
  • I’m not placing the belief that they have to act good or this elf will snitch to Santa. They need to behave all year long!

On the flip side, here are some of the direct “YES” responses as to why Moms choose to do it for their kiddos:

  • We have done it and remembering to move it is a pain but my kids love it!
  • My kids see our elf as magical and its precious to see the kids excited about Christmas
  • Total yay here! It’s fun for my kids. 
  • My oldest is 9 and my youngest is 8 and we love the Elf on a Shelf!
  • I’ve been doing it since 2008 with no end in sight bc of our big age gaps but my big kids love the memories of the elf and it has become Christmas to them. Now they are so big they help move him. You don’t have to be super clever every night. We just move him around. I think people took it to another unrealistic level and most people don’t have the energy for that. If it’s simple, it’s easy and the kids still love every minute of it. 

I see and appreciate both sides of the spectrum and now that my son is old enough to understand the concept of Elf on the Shelf, I have some extra thinking to do about whether we will introduce the Elf in our home or not!

What about you? Are you team Elf or no?



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