being a mom
Anonymous Mom: It’s Time To Shelf The Elf
And it’s not like you can just not have an elf because now everyone has an elf. My boss with two older elf-crazed children explained to me that part of the “fun” is that the kids all go to school and swap stories about what their elves did the night before. So what are elf-less parents supposed to do when their kid comes home from one of these elf story swaps and asks why Santa didn’t send him an elf? They can’t say the elf is made up because then they are the asshole parents who ruined the magic for the other kids at school. So, what? They just bum out their own kid with some story about why they are the exception? I’ve spent 10 minutes trying to come up with a creative lie that both lets parents off the hook and won’t make kids sad. It is not easy! And this isn’t a regular lie. This is a lie about Christmas. If you type “how to tell your child” into google, the first autocomplete is “there is no Santa.” This is before “they are adopted” and “about sex.” Christmas magic is not to be fucked with, which is why we need to end this ridiculous fabricated tradition today. Elf on the Shelf is still relatively young having first hit the market in 2005, and if it has gained this much speed in just eight years, just imagine what will happen when this is reinforced by a second generation? It is quickly barrelling toward Christmas staple status right up there with Santa and the tree.
If other moms want to take their own children on a Pinterest fueled, constant candycane coated carnival of Christmas for 25 days, I will not begrudge them that, but I do not want to be dragged into it in the name of tradition. Christmas is magical to me because it is the time of year when everyone decides to be just a little bit nicer, when family is just a little more important, and I would like my own traditions to reflect that- not reinforce some idea the my child is entitled to a month of constant fun at my expense. Furthermore, what of the parents who cannot afford an elf? Or those who simply don’t have the time or energy stage dorm-style pranks and elaborate elf shenanigans after the kids are in bed? In the spirit of Christmas, can we please all find some common ground as parents? Can we agree that parents should be supportive of each other and respect that not all families have the means or desire to carry on tradition that literally none of us even experienced in our own childhoods? I know I’m asking for a Christmas miracle, but can we please shelf the elf?