In this, my first year as an official "elf mom," I seem to be coming across a lot of attacks...on Facebook, blogs, etc....on the whole Elf on the Shelf phenomenon. To paraphrase, the general theme of these rants is that the elf moms must have way too much time on their hands... or be in some real or perceived competition to be "mom of the year"... or be doing the whole elf thing as a sick way of threatening Christmas over their kiddos heads.
I can only speak for myself, but this elf mom has none of those things in mind.
Way too much time? Hardly! But prepping Buddy's antics each night takes me about 2 minutes...MAX (sure I did a bit of leg work in the form of my calendar beforehand, but that has made the whole thing super easy to pull off)! Are there nights I don't want to take the two minutes? Of course...the kids are finally in bed, my ice cream is calling my name, and all I want to do is finally sit down and breathe. But just like a lot of other tasks, sometimes you just have to suck it up and take two minutes to do something you don't necessarily want to do. And once it's done, and especially once the kids see it in the morning, I'm always very happy I did.
"Mom of the year" competition? I don't think so. I don't post any of our elf happenings on Facebook, or pin them, or even share them with you all (except our introductory breakfast and calendar). Really no one even knows about our elf with the exception of family.
And as for the threatening, I think I have maybe told the boys that Buddy was going to report something once...twice high side.
So if none of those are our justification for bringing an elf into our home and having him create a bit of disorder each day, then why do we do it?
Primarily, I think, we do it because it's fun. Obviously the boys enjoy it. They wake up each day eager to find Buddy and see what antics he has been up to overnight. They get excited no matter what he has done, even the things I worried might be lame! But it's also fun for Josh and I. We both get a little chuckle each night after we've set up Buddy. Plus,while I usually am the much more enthusiastic one of the two of us when it comes to stuff like this, Josh has gotten pretty into some of Buddy's set ups, including intricately working to hang superhero Buddy from the ceiling.
We all know I'm big on traditions, memories, etc. And I know Buddy is creating some very special ones for the boys, us as a family, and even Josh and I as a couple.
But beyond that, I think we do the elf thing because we can. And if we can, then my reasoning is we should. The kids are only young once. And Christmas, with all its magic and cheer, only comes around once a year. Although it seems far away and I hope it seems to drag on, there will come a day that my children no longer believe in Santa and elves. A time where we will have to beg them to participate in Christmas at all.
And when that day comes, I will be sad. But I will also be thankful. Thankful that we made the most of Christmas when we could. Thankful that we have wonderful memories that we will take with us.
And beyond thankful, I'll be hopeful. Hopeful that my boys will one day look back at all the effort Josh and I put into making Christmas (and life, for that matter) special for them and realize how much love went into those efforts. And maybe, just maybe, they'll want to do the same thing for their children.
So to me, being an elf mom isn't about wasting time...it's about making the most of it.