Maybe it’s an aspie thing (I can blame stuff on that, can’t I?) but I really really really don’t get the Elf on the Shelf.
Sure, we’ve done Santa around here a little bit.
But only after my daughter kinda wore me down. (Which, by the way, she doesn’t remember and this week she came out with, “Mom, when I’m a parent I don’t want to lie to my children so I will not be telling them about Santa. I will tell them their gifts come from me.” Apple doesn’t fall far, does it?)
So there has been a pretend giant elf sneaking into my house for the past three years on Christmas Eve. He won’t come this year, though, because the five year old is no longer convinced that Santa is real. I asked if I could still pretend and do all of the things that Santa always did and he agreed. I’m glad that part of my parenting isn’t quite over with just yet.
But this notion of some Elf, sitting on a shelf, that comes to life at night, assuming you haven’t touched him, right? This notion BLOWS MY FREAKIN’ MIND MAN. And not in a first-time-I-watched-The -Wizard-of-Oz-while-listening-to-Dark-Side-of-the-Moon kinda way. More in a way similar to how my son feels about E.T. (meaning he screams and has a melt down, even at nearly 11, any time he sees the little dude).
So he sits there, glaring down with his creepy smile, at my children, taking notes about how they are behaving, and relaying that information back to the North Pole? Is that how it works? I am so totally not okay with that.
My youngest already believes he’s on the naughty list. He told me this just yesterday. We were listening to Christmas music while making dinner. He was cutting hot dogs and I was opening a pomegranate.
“Santa Claus is Coming to Town” was playing and suddenly, in the middle of the song, he said to me, “I’m on that.”
“You’re on what, Buddy?” I asked.
“The naughty list.”
“Why do you say that?”
“Because I’m always bad.”
“You aren’t always bad. You are sometimes bad. But so am I. Everyone is sometimes bad. Do you think I’m on the naughty list?”
“How should I know?”
Poor guy. Does he really need some creepy doll taking note of his every move and judging him, like
some scary version of God? I don’t think so. We aren’t Jewish but you wouldn’t be able to tell it from the level of guilt experienced in this home. Nope, my kids and I are a guilty group. We’re well aware of our misdoings and we aren’t proud. And we are punishing ourselves more than enough.
Honestly, to my knowledge, I’ve only ever been in a house with this “Elf” once and the experience was traumatizing. So maybe I’m a little biased. But for the record, when I recounted the ordeal to my children, they were offended by the idea of this Christmas tradition. Feeling great relief, I was, yet again, thankful for the like-minded kids I’ve managed to produce.
Our Christmas traditions range from super weird (writing television characters on the tags attached to the gifts under the tree) to pretty typical (drinking hot cocoa in the car while we look at Christmas lights… oh YEAH, I bet that’s where the brown stains on my car seats came from). But this is one neurotypical holiday tradition I don’t think I’ll ever be able to embrace.
For the record, I do like the idea of playing tricks on my kids. I’ve been a trickster mom for as many years as they could possibly enjoy it and I will continue to play tricks on them until the day they tell me that I’m crazier than they need me to be. And I hope that day never comes. But I’ll be darned if any sinister holiday ornament gets to take credit for my tricks. Those are mine. Allllllll mine.