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3 Bumps

Elf on the Shelf and peer pressure

Interesting watching this discussed on fb this morning. Someone got her daughter an Elf on the Shelf, and her daughter was upset that he didn't leave any presents. She is of the impression (from other friends who have elves) that he leaves something every night. This is not part of the normal tradition, obviously something the other parent(s) added on their own. Now she wonders what's wrong that hers doesn't. Her mother was totally unprepared for this, some are telling her to start buying presents, some are telling her to explain it. I'm personally in the explain it camp, and I'd have a few choice words if I knew which parents decided it was their job to raise the expectations of every other kid in town.

Which would you do - cave and buy more presents or tell her it's the other elf that's broken?

Answer Question
 
NotPanicking

Asked by NotPanicking at 8:53 AM on Dec. 2, 2013 in Parenting Debate

Level 51 (421,172 Credits)
Answers (24)
  • Isn't there a book that goes with it?

    I don't do the elf on the shelf thing. I would never remember to move him/her around. I love reading some of the ideas others have used though. LOL. I just am not going to get in the habit of making a senseless mess just to have something to clean up and then create a new way to make a mess.

    Although someone posted a blog where some parents did this with toy dinosaurs. That one was funny too.
    QuinnMae

    Answer by QuinnMae at 9:03 AM on Dec. 2, 2013

  • I don't do things just because everyone else does them. And I tell my kids that. If I were that parent, I would just tell my child I'm sorry, our elf doesn't do that and I can't help that. That'd be the end of it around here. I do hate it when other parents do stuff like that and make it seem like something everyone else should be doing, making things that much harder for everyone else. When I do something drastically different from tradition or the expected way of doing something, I always make sure to tell my kids that this is how WE do it, not how everyone else does it and that not everyone else has to do it our way. That way they don't go off telling their friends that WE do this and so THEY have to, too.
    wendythewriter

    Answer by wendythewriter at 9:37 AM on Dec. 2, 2013

  • Are you sure that they aren't Jewish & giving presents every night for Hanukkah? MY Jewish friends actually have an Elf on the shelf too. I never bought one myself but if I did, my kids would not be getting a gift every night. Nothing until Christmas here. My kids think Santa brings the gifts.

    ILovemyPaulie

    Answer by ILovemyPaulie at 9:42 AM on Dec. 2, 2013

  • Are you sure that they aren't Jewish & giving presents every night for Hanukkah?

    Considering what religion she is and where she lives, I seriously doubt it.
    NotPanicking

    Comment by NotPanicking (original poster) at 9:46 AM on Dec. 2, 2013

  • I might leave small gifts, craft supplies to make Christmas gifts, a book to read (maybe a new Christmas story every day for bedtime?), hotwheels for my boys (who are now adults), but I don't think you have to. I don't see a problem with telling a child that just like different families have different traditions, so do different elves, and some play with you through out the holidays bringing happy thoughts and fun.
    ohwrite

    Answer by ohwrite at 10:14 AM on Dec. 2, 2013

  • In that same vein...at some people's houses the Santa gifts are wrapped, some they are not, some Santa decorates the tree, some he does not....some Santa doesn't exist. Every family does things differently, so there is no point in getting upset about what other parents choose to do.

    Each family has to create their own traditions, and magic can come in different forms......
    ohwrite

    Answer by ohwrite at 10:16 AM on Dec. 2, 2013

  • Santa brings presents and the elf is there to make sure the kids behave because he/she is Santa's little spy. So, no, I never left presents from the elf.
    KTElite

    Answer by KTElite at 10:24 AM on Dec. 2, 2013

  • Yet another reason not to buy one of those creepy elves.
    I'd probably say that our elf is waiting until Christmas.
    3libras

    Answer by 3libras at 10:28 AM on Dec. 2, 2013

  • I would just tell my kids that the elf knows that gifts aren't part of why we celebrate this season, and he's following our tradition of no gifts until Christmas Eve.

    I'm so glad my kids were creeped out by that stupid elf. I never had to worry about that stuff.
    anime_mom619

    Answer by anime_mom619 at 10:29 AM on Dec. 2, 2013

  • I had never heard of the Elf till joining CM.

    I wouldn't cave into pressure either.
    anng.atlanta

    Answer by anng.atlanta at 10:34 AM on Dec. 2, 2013

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