The Elf Is Stealing Our Christmas



I already have to tell endless “white lies’ about the Jolly-Ol-Man-St.-Nick, telling my daughter that he fits his bowl-full-of-jelly-belly down our tiny Arizona fireplace to deliver our presents on Christmas Eve. But  NOW I am telling more lies about the Elf-On-The-Shelf.

Yes, I’ll admit I fell for it! I do the nightly positioning of the miniature Elf around my house, but come-on what is up with all the made-up “stories” during the holidays?

I think I am a pretty fun and creative person but coming up with all these fibs about Santa and the Elf is just getting out of hand. Just last night my daughter was asking me the following questions,  to all which I had to creatively and spontaneously provide believable answers:

Where does the elf come from?
Does the Elf know Santa?
Is he real?
What does he do at night?
Does he play with my toys?
Where does he live?

The questions go on-and-on…

I remember growing up with my mom telling me the story of Saint Nicholas, and how he comes to visit us on Christmas Eve. He watches over me the days leading up to Christmas to see if I was naughty or nice. It was all believable! But see the thing is, my mom only had to keep that one story straight! AND, in between the stories about Santa she would have time to talk about the REAL meaning of Christmas, which for my family was centered around our religious beliefs. Fast-forward to the present and we now have the newly created tradition of the Elf’ hanging on our rafters.  If we keep adding these “stories” how are all of us parents going to keep all this straight.

I can’t even keep up with my own lies at this point.

I am struggling to understand this phenomenon and although I have fully embraced this craziness, perhaps I am the fallen victim of Christmas marketing? Yes, it is fun to do all the staging and playing of the Elf, but are we diluting the real message of Christmas? I feel like I only have so many stories to tell in  a day and words to use to describe Christmas. With our current dialogue centered around Elves and Santa , I am left with little time to discuss the REAL meaning of Christmas. I only have so much energy to put into things and perhaps my energy is not being directed to the important pieces. I try to prioritize and talk about what is most important but who can compete with an Elf-On-The-Shelf? The Elf is stealing our Christmas!

What do you think about the Elf On The Shelf? Do you feel like these stories are diluting the real meaning of Christmas?


  1. I totally agree Jenn! I’ve struggled because I see so many friends posting thier cute elves doing stuff each morning, and I am sure I would get obsessed with doing bigger and better activities with the elves, when I already don’t have time for the meaningful stuff I want to do. I’ve seen several things on pinterest about incorporating Jesus into Elf on the Shelf, but it would still be one more thing for me to have to do! Plus, I want my kids to be good year round because it’s the right thing to do, not because they think they’ll get more Christmas gifts from Santa because of it. Great post!


  2. Depending on what you are doing with the season and “Elf” Our elf only does, brings inspiring and selfless things. Like last night he brought a gift for my son to wrap for ” toys for tots” our elf isn’t mischievous as much as he is giving, and very much about the true spirt of the season 🙂

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