Elf on the Shelf: Why We Don’t Participate

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Categories Christianity, Holidays, Infants, ToddlersTags , , , , ,
   A picture of us, the stick-figure family, at a Christmas light show. 

Growing up, my Decembers were filled with family Christmas parties, Christmas lights,candy canes, homemade glittery sweaters made by my Great-Grandma C, decorating sugar cookies, hand-print paintings of wreaths and reindeer, the Christmas parade down the local boulevard, Christmas trees, homemade tamales by my other Great-Grandma C, singing Christmas carols, attending a Christmas Eve candlelight service, doing gift exchanges, lots of shopping, watching Christmas movies galore, and more. I didn’t have the Elf on the Shelf and, here’s a shocker (or maybe not), neither will my children.

I don’t know much about Elf on the Shelf,  so I had to look up what it was all about and I found on their official website that “The Elf on the Shelf® is a special scout elf sent from the North Pole to help Santa Claus manage his naughty and nice lists. When a family adopts an elf and gives it a name, the elf receives its Christmas magic and can fly to the North Pole each night to tell Santa Claus about all of the day’s adventures. Each morning, the elf returns to its family and perches in a different place to watch the fun. Children love to wake up and race around the house looking for their elf each morning.- Elf on the Shelf“.

First off, let me quickly say, that my children are young (I have a 2-1/2 year old little boy and 10 month old twin girls) and right now, they have no idea what Elf on the Shelf is. When they do get old enough, it’s just another thing to take care of when the kids go to bed and… I don’t have time for that.

Most importantly, for me and my home, Jesus is the reason for the season. We know that Jesus forgives our naughty sins when we ask for forgiveness. Jesus doesn’t keep tabs. And quite frankly, I don’t want want to teach my kids that Santa does and then emphasize the Naughty or Nice list.

We try to parent with Jesus in mind, with unconditional love, grace, and mercy. And Elf on the Shelf doesn’t really fall in line with those values.

But, that doesn’t keep me from laughing aloud at the pictures of all the mischievous Elves my friends have “adopted.”

Nadia Cakes
              An elf behind the glass eating a cupcake at a local bakery.

I have a tendency of eating my words. But, this one, I am sure is a “for sure” kind of thing.

(For the record, my children are allowed to believe in Santa as long as they want to. I think it builds their imagination. But, it is mine and my husband’s job, to ensure that our children know that Christmas is about Christ; and that Christ is not just about Christmas.)

Kayla at Chasing a Daredevil and Twins

Kayla is a wife to her best friend and a full-time mother to her two-year-old Daredevil and her ten-month-old twin girls. Kayla draws stick figures and blogs about motherhood and other meaningful life experiences at Chasing a Daredevil and Twins. She also lives on the edge by undertaking new adventures, her latest of which is raising chickens. Connect with Kayla on Facebook and on her blog

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6 thoughts on “Elf on the Shelf: Why We Don’t Participate”

  1. Man, I read too many blogs. Why did I think you were Muslim? I thought you wrote a whole post about why you wouldn’t be celebrating Christmas even though your parents did.


    Anyway, I am going crazy. But I wish you a very Merry Christmas!

    We do Elf on the Shelf in our home, and it’s really fun for the kids. That’s why we do it.

      1. Lisa – You are could be confused because there are like 30 different contributors to How do you do it?! So, one of them may have said that! LOL! Sadia is the owner/main author and she is atheist but raising her kids Catholic and has written about that several times.

  2. We chose not to do Santa, so no Elf, either. For me, it just felt wrong…I do my very best to answer my girls’ questions as honestly as possible, in an age-appropriate manner. If they ask why the sky is blue, I talk to them about the color spectrum and water droplets. 😉 In keeping with that, I didn’t want to suddenly start talking about a magical character that “sees you when you’re sleeping and knows when you’re awake” [creepy, by the way!].

    We still read books about Santa and sing all the songs, but our girls know that’s just a character. I’ve tried to be very respectful to tell them that other people like to pretend he delivers gifts, and that’s a fun tradition; just not one we honor in our house.

    We have a ton of fun otherwise, though! We do an Advent calendar, and each day has a different holiday-oriented activity. Some are fun (make an ornament / go shopping for the cat), and I try to incorporate a couple of charitable acts in there each week, too. Our girls go crazy for it.

    Merry Christmas to you and yours! Hope you had a great holiday!

    1. That lyric is, very, creepy. Who wrote that?! And why do we sing it? hehe.

      My kids are still pretty young, so I don’t know what it’ll be like when they start asking questions. :) But, I don’t think I’ll MAKE them believe in Santa. It’s for fun.

      And a very Merry Christmas to you too!

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