Wednesday, December 4, 2013

The Elves & Me


If you are a follower of Sadie's Gathering, you are probably aware of the happenings of our elf, Natale, and that she recently got married.

     Yesterday a friend of mine posted on Facebook that she did not have an Elf on the Shelf, and was wondering if she was the only "uncool" mom.  She's one of my members here, so I just stated the news of Natale and let it be known that she was not the only one.  Here's my reasoning behind not hosting another elf on the shelf, since ours had plans other than adorning our shelves throughout the holiday season.

     First and foremost, I believe it would be rude.  In a nutshell, nobody likes to play second fiddle.

     Beyond that, I have always found these elves, that come into homes, make messes, spy on their hosts and hostesses, then report back to Santa, a little off putting to say the least.  Consider; would you put up with a grown sibling, coming for a visit, reeking havoc, in your house, (which may include "cavorting", drinking in excess, and making a mess of your baking supplies) during what is already a hectic and stressful time of year- then reporting back to Mom?  Didn't think so.  Especially, if you were the one who paid their travel expenses!

     Aside from what I think is the obvious for not hosting one of these ungrateful imps, there is another reason.  Santa has always come through.  For years.  For generations.  Without these elves; and without this year's special light courtesy of Hallmark.  See, I am 45 years old, and I still believe in Santa.  This would be true, even if I wasn't a mom.

     By the time I was 8 or 9 I was told there was no Santa Clause.  When I consulted my mom on the matter, she asked me to consider: did it really matter how my gifts arrived, so long as they arrived?  Did it matter really if a jolly plump old elf delivered them with the aid of flying reindeer (which incidentally she refused to profess one way or another) or if they came from those who loved me?  I had to be honest.  Not really.  Still, the cast was set.  I BELIEVED.  It had nothing to do with logic, common sense, or scientific fact.  It had everything to do with hope, faith, and the belief that anything is possible.  That is the magic.

     The ability to believe in concepts that we cannot yet see or prove is a skill that often defines a life; between one that believes, and one that doubts.

      Believing in the possibility has created many things that today we take for granted:  the lightbulb; electricity; vaccinations;  the computer.  Believing in a person without reason, can be the very essence of what inspires them to do great things.  To believe in what is beyond our nose and the stores' shelves is the meaning of Christmas.  It's what Francis P. Church wrote about in his famous letter.  "...in all the world there is nothing else real and abiding."

     The Elf on the Shelf, provided a charming family tradition for the creators' family.  So charming that they wanted to pass it on.  I completely understand.  Practically speaking though, The Elves on the Shelves (or Elves on the Shelf- I never know which is correct) didn't enter our realm, until last year, when my daughters saw it for sale at Barnes and Noble.  So.  I know you may be thinking, "Were you under a rock?" to which my reply is "Hey! I had things going on."  Be that as it may they appeared to my daughters as yet another doll to add to their collections.  When we all learned the story, I had some explaining to do.  Let me remind you that my youngest is a future Atticus Finch.    I knew better than to think for a moment, I would ever enjoy that benefit of "be good or your elf will tell Santa."  It was exhausting.  After I finished explaining, I assured them that Santa would always find a way without these special elves.  They stated that they understood but found them to be "sooo adorable! Can we each have one anyways PLEEEAASSSE?"  (Again, let me remind you of my issues with toys)  I then uttered the time honored parental phrase, "We'll see."

     As with a lot of things, I started to do research into these elves.  I came upon Kim Bongiorno's Elf Shaming.  Thank you Kim!  If you click on the link, you'll be directed to the "About" page of the site.  From there you can look around the Elf Shaming site, well worth the time- lots of laughs; or she provides links to a lot of other very funny posts about these, let's face it imps.  After doing the "research",  I concluded that I was not an enthusiastic housekeeper to start with, don't like to share my beer, and make enough of a mess baking; without the help of a 13 inch cherub.  Of course, be sure to read the Grand Dame of all, PIWTPITT's "Overachieving Elf On The Shelf Mommies."  Still great fun to read!

So, at this point, we are still sans elf
And on Christmas Eve, I will still look up in the sky to see the tell tale red light that lets me know,
Santa is on his way.