Teacher Perspective: To Elf or Not to Elf...
Written by: Heidi Hule
Should you buy an elf—or leave him on the shelf?
Like all good parenting questions, I believe this one warrants some pondering.
Before you just grab one at the store because your kids are begging for it, or telling you that “everyone else has one!”, please take a moment to figure out if it’s right for your family or not. Because, guess what? Once you bring it home, there’s no turning back. Well, not without a lot of drama, in my opinion.
If you have never heard of the “elf on the shelf”, you should probably just stop reading. Your life is full of many other wonderful things and you most likely don’t need one.
This is advice for those who have been tempted, but are still on the fence about it.
The lovers of “elf on the shelf” would tell you that it’s a super fun new holiday tradition, that they are glad they adopted one into their family. They may even admit to how much fun they have moving the elf around every night, and could confess the guilty pleasure of taking pictures of “its” antics to post on social media.
The parents who aren’t so sold on the concept will try to convince you that it’s just a new commercial hype to get everyone to buy another Christmas thing they don’t need. They may also object to the fact that it asks the kids to believe that the elf is watching to see if they are behaving and reporting back to Santa.
Well, in my opinion, somewhere between these beliefs lies the answer for your family. If you think it sounds fun for both you and your children, I would say it’s a good fit. If you’re not sure about the whole concept, or have some trouble finding it fun, it probably just isn’t a good fit.
Either way, your family will be fine. Kids love traditions and they love believing in make-believe things. Yes, they are obviously a bit disappointed when they learn that Santa isn’t real, but that isn’t a reason to not enjoy it while it lasts. Childhood is really such a brief moment in time, it’s OK that some of it is filled with dreams. We spend the rest of our lives as adults reminiscing about those very dreams.
Heidi has been a Kindergarten teacher in the Northland for 10 years, since moving back to KC from France. She is a single mother of two daughters. One of her passions is writing, which she does every chance she gets. She has a parenting blog on her school’s website and a personal blog on Facebook. Another of her passions is helping others, and she hopes that her writing might provide insight, inspiration, or just food for thought.