This year is the first I have ever heard of the elf-on-a-shelf and I think it is pretty awful. The elf isn’t cute (I don’t think) and I don’t believe in the whole naughty or nice thing. I don’t *remember* ever holding that over the beach urchins’ heads when they still believed in Santa Claus. I sure hope I didn’t. I actually went overboard in the other direction, showering them with more presents than they could possibly process. I dunno what it is about the wretched excess of so many people in my generation but I was an active participant in some ways and I have lived to regret it.
Our “elf-on-a-shelf” experience happened at the Spikehorn Barrroooom when the beach urchins were young. We were eating dinner there once when we were at Houghton Lake (it’s a “family” restaurant too) and the service was s-l-o-o-o-o-w and the beach urchins got a little antsy. Now. They were *not* running around the place knocking chairs and things over. They were *not* yelling at the top of their lungs. It was the Christmas season and people were whooping it up and I’m sure there were many louder people in the place than the beach urchins. The Beach Urchins were probably fidgety and sniping at each other. We had waited a long time for our food and we were all a little edgy.
Alas, an ugly old drunk crone took it upon herself to trundle over to our table and slur a long soliloquy about how Santa wouldn’t bring the beach urchins any presents if they didn’t behave. I cringed as I saw her come over. I tried to be polite and make light of the whole thing. I am just old-school enough that I wanted to teach my children to respect their elders, even though I had absolutely no respect for this drunken old hag myself.
I’m sure there are lots of moms out there who are doing positive things with the elf but the whole thing kind of leaves me cold. The Christmas season should be as much fun for children (and everyone else) as it possibly can be. December is the darkest month of the year. I love the dark to some extent. I love walking in the dark in the morning and I love driving home after the sun sets. I keep The Landfill as dark as I can during this season, with lights where I need them and strings of xmas lights where I don’t.
I sure wouldn’t want to move an ugly blasted plastic-faced elf around the Landfill to be watching for “bad” behavior or whatever. That sounds like a lot of work to me.