When Christmas rolls around each year, it seems as if parents have a lot to deal with. Presents to choose, cookies to bake, homes to decorate, but it seems as if there's one thing in particular that causes a little more stress: Elf on the Shelf.
If you aren't familiar with what it is, this 'magical elf' that watches the children of the house and reports back to Santa each night. It's a great way to keep children in check while increasing the overall magic of Christmas. The kit comes with your own elf, along with a story on how he came to be and what his job is. The elf arrives sometime in December and leaves when Christmas arrives. This sounds great, right?
The elf that lives in my home, Jingles, moves each night. My six-year-old brother absolutely loves him and looks forward to where he'll be hiding each morning. Jingles arrives when my family purchases a Christmas tree and leaves the night of Christmas Eve.
The first year we had him, it was easy to find places to hide him late each night especially with the help of Pinterest. After a few years have passed, finding places to hide him seems to stress out my parents more than it does help. Now that I'm home from college, it's become more of my job.
So far, I've learned that whoever created this magical elf is making a lot of money. The amount of people that purchase elves for their home is mind-boggling.
It's also become a competition between parents (or older siblings in my case) as to who can come up with the most creative set up for their family's elf.
Many parent's post on Facebook to show off what they came up with the night before either to inspire other's or in hopes it is better than their friends. There's also only so many things you can do with the elf before you run out of ideas.
Pinterest is a great backup, but they also run out of appropriate ideas for young kids. Recently, my mom ran into this problem and started researching new ideas. She found another piece to the elf, a magical elf pet reindeer.
This set also comes with a stuffed animal along with a book about how the reindeer arrived and what is his purpose. Unlike the elf, children are allowed to touch and play with him. The more they snuggle him, the more magic he brings. My brother also loves this, however, it is just another money maker for the product.
The real question of this article is if the Elf on the Shelf is really worth it. Is it just a money making scheme mooching off of the beliefs of young children, or is it really meant to increase the Christmas spirit?
The answer is up to you, and whether or not you choose to purchase your own Elf on the Shelf for your home.