Elf on the Shelf – Cool or Creepy?

By November 28, 2014 Christmas Costumes No Comments
Elf 1

Elf on the Shelf Costume

When it’s time for your holiday festivities, what do you and your family do every year to celebrate?  One tradition that has become prevalent among families all over the country is The Elf on the Shelf.  “The Elf on the Shelf,” which is a children’s picture book that comes with a toy elf, was conceived by woman named Carol Aebersold as well as her two daughters who wanted to share their particular Christmas tradition with the world.  Essentially, the book depicts the story of an elf who comes to each child’s home from the North Pole so that he or she can watch over the children, starting from Thanksgiving.



Elf on the Shelf sitting by a door
Every night, the elf teleports back to Santa to report whether each child was naughty or nice; the next morning, the magical creature returns to the home in a different spot and repeats this process until Christmas Day, upon which the elf retreats back to the North Pole until the subsequent Thanksgiving.  Since its humble beginnings in 2005, this Christmas traditional has grown exponentially in popularity to become one of the most well-known holiday customs in the country; however, an increase in popularity has inevitably led to a growing voice of dissent against the little elf and his omniscient presence within the homes of America.  As The Elf on the Shelf continues to pervade our holiday culture, we must ask ourselves a pressing and necessary question: is this tradition a fun and cool addition to our Christmas celebrations, or is it just hopelessly creepy?

 Elf in Stocking

“The Elf on the Shelf” is certainly popular for a reason–children and adults alike love this mystical being for all of the holiday fun that he effortlessly provides as well as the reinforcement of good behavior that comes with his presence.  Every morning from Thanksgiving until Christmas Day, the little ones will have a ton of fun searching through your home for this adorable little guy; whether you put him in a simple spot like a shelf or a table or you get more creative with his location, your children will be delighted as soon as they find him.  You can even have fun with it as a parent by constantly thinking of new and creative ways that you can present the elf to your children the next morning.  “The Elf on the Shelf” provides the additional benefit of curbing bad behavior–since he’s always watching the little ones and reports back to Santa Claus every night, you can bet that your kids are going to be extra nice this year!

Elf on toilet
The creative and behavior-policing potential of The Elf on the Shelf, however, is a double-edged sword.  There is a growing trend among parents to concoct elaborate, mischievous, and overall outrageous storylines for their elves; they even go as far as creating messes and chaos in their home before the kids are even awake just to blame it on the elf!  The deliberate destruction of your home in the name of The Elf of the Shelf is seen as a ludicrous and unnecessary tradition by many parents.  Additionally, the supposed constant vigilance of the magical North Pole inhabitant can appear quite extreme to many parents–the ubiquitous nature of the elf is reminiscent of a Nineteen-Eighty Four-esque dystopian ruler that may be better left in novels.  Taking away a toy for bad behavior may be a better way to get your children onto the nice list!

It’s up for you to decide: do you think this elf is adorable, fun, and effective in making your children behave around the holidays, or does it go way too far?  No matter what you ultimately think of “The Elf on the Shelf,” it has certainly made an impact in the country’s holiday traditions and provides countless hours of fun for so many children!




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