Why The Elf On The Shelf Won’t Be Visiting Our House This Year (Or Any Other)

When it comes to Christmas there are some things that I have very strong opinions about and one of them is the Elf on the Shelf. I don’t know when Elf On The Shelf started but I do know it wasn’t a thing when I was growing up or even when I was a teenager. I think I’ve only really noticed it online for the past 3 or 4 years but it could have been around longer than that.

The basic idea of Elf On The Shelf is that in order for Santa to know which children are ‘naughty’ or ‘nice’ he sends his scout elves to homes everywhere so they can keep a look out. To me, there are so many things wrong with this.

Firstly, I think it’s super creepy that an elf would be in your house watching over every little thing you do. I know that if I had been told this as a child I would have hated the idea and been more worried about someone or something strange being in the house without even thinking about whether I had been ‘good’ or ‘bad’. Santa coming down the chimney and being able to roam around in the middle of the night is bad enough but mythical little elves causing havoc around the house is just plain weird.

As parents, John and I try to so with as few threats as possible. If Erin has done something wrong or against whatever we have asked her to do and we give a consequence for that then we will follow through with that. We don’t like threats in general really but empty threats are a massive no-no. Children don’t learn about actions and consequences if the consequence is never actually put into action.

A couple of years ago I remember being in the Disney Store and overheard a woman telling her child that if they didn’t stop whatever they were doing the elf at home would know and they wouldn’t get any presents that year. I think anyone who overheard that knew that no matter what her child did, they were getting presents on Christmas Day. Things like this don’t teach children anything apart from they can get away with doing whatever they want.

I was surprised to hear that a lot of other bloggers won’t be doing it either and here are some examples of why:

I don’t do it and don’t plan to. The main reason is that I’m too lazy to think of a new idea and carry out before bed every night but also I don’t like the idea of telling the kids something/someone is watching them and their behaviour as we try not parent by threats! Scrapbook Blog

I don’t do it. I hate the elf with its weird dead eyes and I honestly don’t think my kids would even notice it had moved each day. Mummy and Moose

I don’t do it because I don’t want to do something, pretend it was the wooden toy who is a direct descendant of the child catcher and then have to clear it up, all the time lying to my children. And also it’s got naff all to do with the Christmas story.
Nellie Pom Poms

We don’t do it, I find the whole thing a little creepy to be honest. I read The Borrowers when I was younger and the thought of people being awake and moving around the house at night really freaked me out as a child; ridiculous as it sounds! I’d hate to do the same to my kids. Nellie Pom Poms

I don’t do it I hate it. The kids think it looks creepy and I find it creepy looking and also cheap and tacky looking. I like to encourage my kids to behave and get excited about Christmas and don’t want to have to end up relying on some plastic elf who seems to have a while bundle of over priced merchandise now. Jade’s Journey

We don’t do ‘The Elf’ and also Santa doesn’t bring all of the kids presents either…..I’m l about the magic of Xmas but mythical beings creeping round my house? I’m alright ta. Sinead Latham

We don’t do the Elf on a Shelf because I hate the idea of my child feeling as though they cannot be themselves in their own home, without the Elf reporting back to Santa. Witty Hoots

With all of this in mind, I just cannot bring myself to agree with Elf On The Shelf in any way and it’s not something that we’ll ever do in our house. 


3 thoughts on “Why The Elf On The Shelf Won’t Be Visiting Our House This Year (Or Any Other)”

  1. Wow this post really has me thinking, everything you have pointed out is a 100% true. I also try my hardest to parent by these rules that ‘actions have consequences’ but I did purchase an elf on the shelf last year and have to admit that I did tell my daughter it would be watching to make sure she’s behaving and will report back to Santa.
    Now I’m two minds wether to have it out this year or not but I know she’s been looking forward to seeing him again as she hasn’t forgot.. So I’ll have to think of better ways to go about it xx

    1. I think it’s a really hard one because most people don’t actually think about what the elf really means. Maybe you could just turn it into something fun instead without it meaning your daughter is being ‘watched’

      1. That’s true. We downloaded a film on sky yesterday called ‘An elf’s story’ and it’s actually about the elf on the shelf. But it’s nothing like what we use them for. Thought it was really nice. Apart from having to watch it five times over ? ( it’s only half an hour long ) x

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