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To all the parents out there who creatively and passionately find ways to make their children’s Elf on the Shelf exist, kudos to you. I enjoy seeing all the Facebook and Pinterest boards displaying your truly artistic and creative genius. I swear I only hate you for 30 seconds, and the insults are all muttered under my breath. You super parents should stop reading because I would hate if what I am about to say discouraged you in any way.

Now, to the rest of you, my kid’s elf ‘George’ is going to get it. Don’t get me wrong, I think The Elf on the Shelf is an amazingly helpful tool in continuing the perpetuation of the giant lie, I mean the wonderful magic our children believe with regard to Christmas and Santa. The elf is an extension of Santa’s magic. I get it. But when you really examine what it is… it is just one more thing I have to do.

Christmas is already filled with so much STUFF. And when I say stuff, I mean all the things we have been brain washed into thinking we have to do at Christmas time. The list can be extensive: Cutting down a Christmas tree, decorating the house, putting up a light display the likes of Clark Griswold, baking 100 dozen cookies and distributing them, taking a photo for a family Christmas card, writing a letter to accompany said Christmas card, making a Pinterest board for your son’s wish list for Santa (Yes, I am totally guilty of this one), organizing the class Christmas party, shopping, shopping and more shopping…you can see what I mean. There is just too much stuff.

You may be wondering what all this has to do with that blue-eyed felt creature in red, well I’ll tell you. For me the elf, specifically George, represents one more thing I have to do. It is another box on the list of other people’s expectations I need to meet during the holidays.  He is another opportunity for me to fail in the eyes of my child. Believe me, I need no help there. Example. George was nicely re-fastened in his box, tucked in the very back of my son’s closet. Yet magically, he was found while we were putting up the decoration in the house. Of course I decorate, I love Christmas. My son left George and the box on his bedroom floor, and it happened to slip my mind that I needed to do something with George. The next morning my son was terribly worried that something had happened to George. “Why do you think he didn’t move, Mommy? Maybe I wasn’t good, so he isn’t going to move.” Talk about feeling like the biggest loser Mom on the planet.  All my son wanted was for the little creature to move, and I failed.   Rest assured, the next few nights I remembered George needed a new place to reside to avoid that pouting look that only a child you love can give you. Each night as I’m climbing into bed ready to sleep away the day’s madness, I sit straight up in my bed and say, “Oh crap, I forgot to move George.”

I don’t want to feel this way about the holidays. I don’t want to rush through frantically checking items off the list and not having had a moment to enjoy what the holidays can be. I want the beautiful magic of this amazing season to be about the connections that we share as a family. I’m still trying to stretch the wonderful feelings from Thanksgiving (see previous post A Great Thanksgiving) over this entire holiday season. I want to be in the moment, not about the checklist. I want my time spent honoring and cherishing the moments that I have with my family. I don’t want to be stressed about the mischief of a little elf. I live with and take care of children. There is plenty of mischief in my life, from people less than 4 feet tall.

So, on Christmas Eve, I think it will be time for George to head back to the North Pole, with all his elf friends. I’m sure Santa needs George to help spread Christmas magic in another household. You’ve had a great run George, but anymore mischief and you’ll be getting a ‘What the pickles?’