The Elf Issue

Over Christmas there were a lot of articles and opinions on how Elf on the Shelf was a horrible thing to have in your child’s life. There were articles about it causing anxiety and pain, teaching kids to live under big brother, making them paranoid.

In our house we love Elf on the Shelf. He’s a friend who makes us laugh and has silly adventures. This year he also found a friend named Skoob.

Their adventures included:

Building a marshmallows tower –

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Taking baths –

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Performing dangerous stunts-

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And bringing Adam little surprises and activities to keep him entertained –

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Adam frequently talked to Elf and Skoob despite the fact they don’t talk back. And sometimes they would leave notes to let Adam know they were listening to what he said.

Then came Christmas Eve. Just before bed Adam started to cry. It was a genuine sad cry. He had a wonderful day and was on his best behaviour the whole day so I was confused. We started talking and he was so sad that Elf and Skoob had to leave with Santa. He was going to miss them and he loved having them in the house.

This is where as a mother your heart just breaks.

So when Adam fell asleep and Santa arrived before they left Santa let Elf and Skoob do something very risky.

He let Elf and Skoob give Adam a hug. He took a picture and before they all left they did a craft leaving the finished product on the shelf where Elf and Skoob often sat.

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Christmas morning Adam woke up and started to cry. His heart was crushed, he knew that Santa came but Elf and Skoob were gone. 

He found the photo and was so happy but so sad at the same time. He looked at it and cried and then asked me to put it away.

I figured this would pass and he quickly found happiness again once the picture was put away. I assumed that he would forget missing these guys and they would reappear next Christmas as they always do.

Boy was I wrong. Every day Adam asks for the picture and looks at it. He looks so sad when he is looking at it. Sometimes the bottom lip quivers but he usually doesn’t cry.

Now I feel like a horrible Mom.

Maybe Elf on the Shelf does cause some deep down emotional scarring that will cost me thousands in therapy to repair.

But then I tell myself that these emotions that Adam is feeling and dealing with are actually a good thing and maybe this is an excellent thing to be experiencing.

The fact is he’s going to have to deal with death and loss, he’s going to have to deal with someone important not being around and having to remember them in pictures.

This may not be something he has to deal with this year or next but recognizing this feeling of loss and sadness are a fact of life.

So maybe that is an extreme comparison between Elf and death, and Elf comes back, but maybe in the end Adam will end up being a better person for it.

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