So I am finally breaking down and succumbing to peer pressure. The Elf will be entering our home and our Christmas traditions on Dec. 6. He will come on St. Nicholas’ day with a letter. I have been asked many times over the years if I would like one for the kids and I’ve always responded with out hesitation- ABSOLUTELY NOT! I do not want one more fad or commercial thing to take away from the true spirit and meaning behind Christmas. After all we place much more of an emphasis on Santa than Jesus! Our children get the message loud and clear what we value.
Christmas was always such a magical time of year for me growing up. Santa was a big part of it but it wasn’t everything. Yes, the anticipation of something magical was so exciting. The thought that there was this ever loving man who would reward you for trying your hardest and being a good person gave me such a warm and wonderful feeling. It made me feel loved. In much the same way that I feel about God, now as an adult. Christmas was also about the cookies, cards that had wonderful pictures that reminded us of Jesus and the “reason for the season”, Christmas decoration and lights, and family. Yes, as a child getting together with family was the best thing about Christmas. We didn’t get tons of toys and we didn’t go see Santa at the mall. We were excited to see our Grandparents and get all the hugs and love from them. We couldn’t wait to eat the special food that we generally only ate on that evening. Most importantly we couldn’t wait to all be together, stay up late, play with our cousins, and hear the laughter, shouting (which was actually how my family talked), and Christmas music. You see as a child it wasn’t painful getting together with relatives. There were no power struggles or offensive comments. There was just Joy. Sheer and utter Joy. I’m so afraid with the thousands of expensive presents that we throw at our children and all the trying to make Santa a reality “Santa experiences” that my children will grow up to be self-centered and materialistic. I realize now that getting an Elf on the Shelf will in no way have this result if I continue to emphasize the meaning of Christmas through my actions. By this I mean, doing a “good deed” advent calendar, being kind to my family during this stressful month, and reading stories about Jesus with my children.
I was also afraid to let the Elf enter our home because my Christmas memories also involved a frantic, edgy mother trying to make everything in the house perfect. It involved a lot of fighting with my sisters when we were decorating the tree and rushing, rushing, rushing. I admit my weakness and realize that I do not have a high tolerance for stress. Adding this Elf to my holiday to do list is something that absolutely terrifies me. It takes a lot for me to remain cheerful, peaceful, and kind during the month of December. We have work parties, school shows, and family birthdays. It’s overwhelming and gives me a lot of anxiety. This shelf is just a straw on the camels back. What if I just absolutely lose it!
My boys were only minimally interested in the Elf so it was easy for me to brush the idea off, but my daughter is different. She keeps asking me why we don’t have one and continues pressing the topic. I decided to look at the big picture. She’s the last one and this Elf may only be in our lives for five more years. I think I can handle it! Plus, I do not have to keep up with the Jones’ and do crazy things every day. It’s only as stressful as I choose to make it. I wouldn’t dare take Santa out of Christmas so what’s the big deal to add his elf to the picture.
So hear we go!!! Bring on the ELF!!! He is no match for me! I can take him!