Elf on the Shelf Overload: My Love-Hate Affair with Howie the Elf
You see him sitting there on the store shelf. So cute with the red hat and the rosy red cheeks. But beware, that Elf on the Shelf is big trouble! All the kids have one, your kids want one, and you need to think twice before you get one!
You’re out shopping in Grand Rapids, and you see him sitting there on the store shelf. So cute with the red hat and the rosy red cheeks. The moment you see him, you know your children are going to love their Elf on the Shelf. We brought our elf home three years ago. There are so many cute elf names out there, like Tinselbottom, Sugarplum, and Snowflake. My daughter named ours Howie. And as soon as Halloween is over, she asks daily when Howie will show up. All parents know, of course, that Thanksgiving night is when the Elf on the Shelf makes his reappearance. And so begins the love/hate affair with the little stuffed dude. When my children are misbehaving during the day, it’s so easy to say that “Howie is watching” and will report back to Santa that night. A reminder that they might end up on Santa’s naughty list does wonders! You have a select number of days each holiday season where the simple presence of this elf creates harmony in the household during the daytime, at least. But after sundown, very quickly you, the parent, remember why you dislike him so much as well. You’ll be lying in bed late at night, almost asleep … when you realize you forgot to move the elf to a new spot. Muttering not-nice words under your breath, you get up to accomplish this before the kids wake up. Fantastic. Now it’ll take you another hour to fall asleep. And not only do you have to move him into a new spot every morning, you’re supposed to get really creative with what your elf is doing. Pinterest has pages devoted to elf shenanigans. Howie has taken Barbie for a spin in her car, been held up by pirates, drank syrup with a straw out of the bottle, etc. But here’s the thing: Most nights, I’m too darn tired to get inventive. I’m lucky if I just remember to move him. My husband insists that I brought Howie home, so he’s my responsibility. Way to duck out of that one! Now the elf that I so dearly love during the day has become the bane of my existence. So I issue these challenges to all parents out there:
- If you have an elf already, please do not create elaborate elf happenings. Your child goes to school and tells all their friends, making the rest of us look bad!
- If you don’t have an elf at your house yet, think twice before you decide to add one to your family. Not only do you have to move it every night and get super creative, but now the stores also sell clothes and other accessories for your elf. Do you hear the money flying out of your wallet?
Good tidings to all and to all … remember to move that elf so you can have a good night! Main Image Source: Flickr/Michael Kappel