It’s that time of year again when people get snippy about Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays, Santa and Jesus, Star verses Angel, Nativities with the three wise men verses without, giving vs. receiving etc etc.
I could go on a big long spiel about why we choose to do this silly game-
People think its creepy, people think it glorifies naughty behavior, people see it as yet anther marketing ploy designed to distract away from the REAL meaning of Christmas etc.
As a Christian I feel even more like I have to justify it- cause there is an awful lot of “parent shaming” that goes around on the internet when it comes to the whole concept of Christmas traditions—-be it Santa or Elf on the Shelf- Some of it is blatant shaming filled with holier than thou snark— others simply boast about their traditions while explaining why its better then the traditions of others so its less intentional but still comes off as somewhat snarky.
We started it the year after the boys learned that Santa is not real. (which-too be honest as I have grown in my own walk with Christ- I think I would still do the Santa thing all over again- but I digress)- that’s all fodder for a different blog post
Even if I still want to see them like this
The fact is that I have blinked and they are so much older now
but even with the years having passed they still have a tremendous sense of wonder and awe and I like to tap into it and drink it up like an ice cold tea on a hot summer day–so we started the Elf on the Shelf- if you read the whole story about him being essentially a spy for Santa etc you tap back into that Santa story-line—we don’t do any of that–what we do is put him in a new place each night for the boys to discover —and the joy on their faces is priceless…so priceless I just ENJOY it for the moment that it is occurring- I don’t try to capture it I don’t even carry my camera or phone with me- I just watch them and laugh with them. (I do snap a pic the night we place him– for the memory books–see this years spots here)
I bond with my husband for the first several weeks while its fresh new and fun and we figure out new spots to put him in— then when it wears off and we are laying in bed on Dec 10th and recall– oh shoot– we didn’t move the elf– we tease over who has to go do it…
I went all out that first year and did a little breakfast to welcome him even.
The whole thing is ripe with memories, togetherness, fun and love. Even if there is a little mischief mixed in. We also have some absolutely cherished Santa memories as well.
Is Christmas about the birth of Christ? YES- it is. We have traditions rooted in making sure that we sharpen our focus every year so our hearts zero in on that fact more and more.
We also have other Christmas traditions as well- and that is ok.
The holiday season is a great time to focus on family and traditions, giving and fellow-shipping. If you spend too much time critiquing how people do this- you are missing The Reason for the Season yourself.