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Elf on the Shelf: Pro or Con?

It is that time of year again where we will all be subjected to the crazy elf pictures when many of our social media friends try to outdo one another with their elaborate poses and shenanigans. Will this year be easier or harder? Tell the children that the elf is quarantined? Or does that make life harder, as now you had to order a mask, and supplies to quarantine the elf?

For those of you like me, who either have older children or no children at all, the Elf on the Shelf is a book that was published in 2005 by the genius mother-daughter team of Carol Aebersold and Chanda Bell. They are paired with Chanda’s twin sister, Christa Pitts who is the co-CEO with Chanda. Chanda is a former English teacher who co-wrote the book with her mom. (I wish as a current English teacher, I could think of something this genius!) The pair wrote the book based on the family’s tradition, about a toy elf that monitors the children’s behavior and reports back to the North Pole each night.

The book was self-published by the trio and at first was not a hit. What prompted part of the madness was actress Jennifer Garner being photographed with the book and then The Today Show featuring it on a segment. The books, which retail for $29.95 and come with the toy elf have since made millions. According to the Atlanta Journal, they have sold over 13 million books since 2005. There has also been a CBS Special that has aired twice and has had over ten million viewers.

I will be honest, probably due to social media, I started to truly hate this elf. I could not believe the elaborate pictures and things people did with this elf! As a mom, I was often overwhelmed with housework, my own job and the children’s schoolwork. I could not imagine being asked, “Mom, why doesn’t our elf do such and such?”

But after reading so many posts today on my Facebook page and receiving texts from friends with smaller children, I agreed with so many moms and dads: They are only young for a short time and it does go by so fast. If they enjoy it, do it! Many people admitted they do not do anything fancy. One mother texted me: “My elf is not pooping Cheerios or making marshmallows. We just hide it and our son finds it.”

Maybe I am becoming a softie? Even some parents who did not enjoy it during earlier years admitted they enjoy it now and will miss it when it is over.

So the comments from past years were more negative than this year. I wonder if we are seeing parents realizing that the time is short-lived with the youngsters. I do miss those years where Christmas was a magical time of year.

So it seems the good outweighs the bad. Keep the elf and keep sharing the stories with me. I enjoyed hearing them. Just do not annoy me with the elaborate pictures. LOL.

Have a great week everyone.

By Beth Hanning 


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