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Thursday, December 3, 2015

7 Reasons Why My Shelf Will Keep Its Elf

I have been seeing tons of anti-elf posts on the interwebs trash-talking the little guy and some that are trying to off him mafia style. Many (and by many I mean most) of my friends agree whole-heartedly with those posts. They forget to move it, don’t feel like making the effort to be creative and hate the whole don’t-touch-him-or-he’ll-lose-his-magic-and-then-Christmas-is-ruined-forever-and-its-all-your-fault thing. I agree, it is a hassle and who wants the pressure of ruining lives by not moving the elf, or worse, touching it.
The answer? Me.

I love the Elf. Even though he has a creepy little smile and eyes that seem to follow you around I delight in having him in my house for a month. And I am obviously not the only one or Pinterest wouldn’t have thousands of ideas at my disposal and Target wouldn’t have an entire area devoted to it. So for my Elf-loving friends, here are 7 reasons why I plan to Elf my shelf to the bitter end.

1.       My kids don’t fight waking up in the mornings. Eleven months out of the year they pull the covers over their heads and plead “just 5 more minutes!”, which turns into 10 and I turn into Drill Sargent Mommy; barking out orders and growling about how I am going to be late for work… again. During December I get a small reprieve as they bolt out of bed to see who can spot him first. Of course then they fight because so-and-so found him first yesterday, but they can dress and argue at the same time.  

2.       Homework gets done faster and with far fewer complaints. My oldest is a people pleaser, which means she wants our Elf, Kippy, to see what a good pupil she is. As soon as she gets home from school she announces in an unnaturally loud voice that she is going to do her homework, without so much as a request from whoever is there at the time. She also studies harder so she can come home and show the Elf her good grades which, hopefully, make up for torturing her sister on the way to school that morning.

3.       Bedrooms stay clean(ish) and chores are completed with minimal whining. After finding the elf the kids rush back to their rooms and make their beds, thanks to a note Kippy left last year complimenting them on their helpfulness around the house. There is still some moaning and whining about how terrible it is to have to put your dirty clothes in the hamper instead of on the floor beside it but I’ll take what I can get. He’s an elf, not a miracle worker.

4.       Snippets of conversations heard around the house are way more amusing this time of year. I catch the kids talking to Kippy and swapping funny stories of things he did and things they hope he will do. My oldest loves to recall when he decorated the tree with underwear and my youngest still giggles about the time he t-p’d the living room. They also get so excited to tell their friends all about their elf’s latest antics. As a bonus I get to find out the items the kids are most hoping for since they will tell him what they are dying to get for Christmas and want me to be just as surprised as they are when they open their presents from Santa.

5.       My girls really use their imaginations when the elf is in the house. Forget tablets, Barbies, and other toys; not one of those spark my kids creativity like a magical Elf chilling on the kitchen counter. They come up with great stories, games, and even drawings that all feature Kippy. I also get to be more playful than normal when dealing in Elf-lore, which I don’t get to do most days thanks to these annoying responsibilities I have.

6.       He helps me teach them they will get rewarded for good behavior. If they had a particularly good day where they listened and behaved better than normal he is known to bring a treat the next day such as stickers, candy, or a small toy that he happened to grab from the Dollar Store (my elf is on a budget). Bad behavior gets no reward and sometimes he doesn’t bother to go home to the North Pole because Santa just doesn’t want to hear about it, much like Mommy.

7.       He brings magic to my home and back to my life. Even if it just a month a year for a very few years the delight I see in their eyes is well worth the effort to take 10 minutes a night to move him and have him do something silly or sometimes messy. As long as he cleans up after himself because I do not want a bad influence around.

Sure the elf is a little creepy stalker hanging out in my house waiting till everyone goes to sleep to snitch on us, but I love this family tradition. One day way too soon they won’t believe so I am going to soak in this as long as I possibly can; because once the magic is gone, it is gone for good. And I really missed it.