A few years ago, I decided to jump on the Elf on the Shelf (in our house Jake) bandwagon, and I have never looked back. The original concept of the Elf watching the kids and reporting to Santa was definitely a draw, but this is a common misconception because the scout elf in the book also encourages good deeds. Regardless of telling good or bad deeds, I was sold on being an Elf family once I saw my kids’ reactions to their very own Elf. I admit that there have been times when I cursed the whole thing as I was walking to bed and remembered that Jake forgot to move that day, but overall I have been pleased with my decision to be pro-Elf.
I’ll be honest I didn’t expect to enjoy being an Elf family as much as I do.
Jake serves many purposes in my house.
Of course I use him to remind my kids to behave and do good deeds, but that is such a minimal part of Jake’s existence.
The first happy surprise that occurred once Jake entered our family was the dialogue that played out between my kids and myself. “Where will Jake be next?” “Remember when he …. last year.” “Jake was so silly when he…!” It’s all about creating memories! For example, I will always remember that Avery named him “Jake” because she had just finished watching Jake and the Neverland Pirates.
But the true reason I am pro-Elf is that Jake brings me to my children’s level during Christmas. And as we know, Christmas can get stressful, and the JOY can disappear quickly. For those few minutes at night when I am setting up the scene and the few minutes in the morning when my kids are searching for Jake, Christmas gets back to being fun and childish. And I literally mean for a few minutes. I know everyone has those friends who go WAY overboard with the Elf, but I stick to the KISS (Keep It Simple Stupid) mentality. Jake doesn’t bring big gifts or mess up my house; he occasionally writes a note (good and bad) and just has fun. He brings JOY to our house. I look forward to my kids waking up and quickly getting dressed before going on their daily Jake scavenger hunt. The squeals and laughter that follow are stored in my memory and used to get me through those stressful Christmas moments. I am already getting excited about this year’s adventures.
I understand many people’s concerns with the Elf and Santa taking away from the true meaning of Christmas…Jesus. I just remember that I am controlling my Elf. I have used Jake to teach the reason for the season, and this is just another great way to get your kids excited about learning about Jesus. If you ask my kids, Jesus, Santa, and Jake are buds.
For an awesome Elf on The Shelf printable calendar, check out this post from our Rio Grande Valley sister site.
Is your family Pro-Elf? Send us your Elf pictures! We would love to get some ideas for next year or maybe tomorrow! And stay tuned for tomorrow when Krista tells us why there won’t be an Elf in her house this year.