Kipper the Elf – Why I changed my mind on the “Elf on the Shelf” Tradition

The concept of “Elf on the Shelf” is one I have seen around these last few years and thought about doing in our household. I teetered on the idea because I hadn’t been able to fully come to terms with some of the concepts.  The thought of teaching LM that there was a little creature that would come in and spy on her and then tattle if she had been good or not, and that that was somehow indicative of her receiving presents for Christmas just left a funny taste in my mouth. The thought that something was “sneaking” into our safe place, our home, also was a concept I was fighting. I’ve spent nearly 2 years now debating on if this was a tradition I wanted in my home or if it was just not something that was inline with our main style of parenting. Unable to come to a decision last year I held off, and this year SCM and I had a talk about it. I brought up my concerns and he reminded me of a few key things that ultimately became the reason we decided to give this tradition a go after all.

1. We don’t have to play by all the “rules” of the tradition/game.

2. By avoiding the tradition because *I* feel it could make her confused, or feel somehow unsafe I am denying her the ability to make that call on her own. I am not allowing her to enjoy the tradition for what it is, but rather pushing my bias of the concept onto her, and that really isn’t fair. Likely she will not read that much into the tradition and just have a blast with it. IF the day were to come where she was concerned about how her elf came in and out then it would be the time for her to know that she is still 100% safe because Mommy and Daddy are in charge of the elf. (Ie: reason #1)

With these two things in mind I realized that this could be an amazing tradition for us as a family. I put my bias’ aside and this afternoon we purchased our very own Elf on the Shelf. We waited until after nap time to bring him out and allowed LM to name him. After a half hour of tossing out names she decided on her own that his name was going to be Kipper, and so it was to be.

So, for the Christmas season we welcome Kipper the Elf

Mr. Elf

Do you do Elf on the Shelf? What is your Elf’s name? What made you decide to do Elf on the Shelf?


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