Elf On The Shelf Is Frightening

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bill-swift - December 8, 2015

I don't have kids myself so if it wasn't a thing when I was a kid I am generally unfamiliar with it. One of these newer traditions that I was until recently unaware is Elf on the Shelf. I had seen the book by Carol Aebersold and daughter Chanda Bell and illustrated by Coë Steinwart at the store. I knew that it came with a small elf doll. I also knew that the Elf is hidden around the house and his positioned is changed when the kids go to bed. But then I found out what the story of the Elf is and why it has to be moved every night. Did you know that the Elf is a spy for Santa that hides in your house to report on your deeds to Santa? That he moves locations every night because he travels to the North Pole to narc on you? Why do people think this is cute? I don't want some creepy fairy skulking around my house watching everything I do. Do we really want our kids growing accustomed to living in a surveillance state?

I can see how this would appeal to parents as a way to keep kids behaving. "Be good little Dakota and Bryden, the Elf on the Shelf is watching you and will report to Santa all your sins", the mom might say on her way to her pilates class. But I think kids are just going to grow up thinking that someone is always watching and that it is best to behave only because some elf is watching them. Is that what we really want? 

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