|Cover of Elf on the Shelf|
You're thinking that I am going to go on a big rhetorical discussion of the rights and wrongs of using toys to frighten and trick your children into good behavior. Well you're wrong! Haha!
I am 100% behind using any ammo a parent can get to teach good from bad, or 'naughty from nice'. Elves are inherently the perfect wingman for parents during a season that tends to bombard our children with sugar, flashing lights, parties, music and joy. Not that there is anything wrong with those things - they just tend to make our kids explode in a dizzying whirlwind of glee and destruction.
However (yep, here it is) the Elf on the Shelf is not part of our arsenal here in the Scribblesaurus house. For we have a tradition of three invisible elves that sit in trees, perch on fences and come in every night after Ender's bedtime for a report on his behavior that day.
E's Christmas wish list hangs in the balance - for a day of good behavior he gets a star on his Santa chart, for every bad day he gets an 'X'. Let's face it, there aren't many actual Xs that make in on the chart. As we get nearer to Christmas the stars must outnumber the Xs if he wants the elves to deliver his list to Santa and recommend fulfillment.
Our elves are named Stinky, Guts and Babybutt. They were first discovered and named by my niece and nephew. Originally it was just Stinky and Guts, but when Ender came along they needed a third cohort to head over to our place to keep an eye on E. And since E was mostly a naked little monkey who refused to wear pants (or should I say 'is' - we're working on that) his elf was christened 'Babybutt'.
This year, since my niece and nephew are older and kind of know that Santa is *gasp* fictional, all three elves have come south for the winter. Needless to say, E is on his best behavior and when he slips I have only to mention the three spies and he shapes right up.
Besides having our own personal squad of tattle-tales there is one more reason why we have no Elf on the Shelf. That reason has a name - it is 'Kyssa'. Kyssa the dog. Kyssa the ninja. Kyssa the force behind a hundred methodically annihilated stuffed toys. Kyssa who can find her victim in the middle of the night from hiding places she should never even imagine.
And that's an industrial strength dog toy.
Imagine what she could do to a squishy elf!
The last thing I need is for her to use her super powers to pin down our Elf, pluck out both eyes and his nose and disembowel him with cold precision, leaving his ragged empty sack of a body sprawled in a mountain of sucked on stuffing in the middle of the living room floor for Ender to discover upon waking.
Could you imagine? How would we even begin to explain that? No, the risk is far too great. For this year, while the terror of the night wanders our house and our invisible elf detachment peek through our windows, we will remain one of the few households without the magic of the Elf on the Shelf.
I will enjoy the Elf's antics from afar, through your posts and pictures and tweets. May your Elf make it to Christmas morn.