Elf on the shelf: Just say no!

Elf on the shelf: Just say no!

So, Elf on the shelf. Seriously, who actually invented this? I only noticed it last year, perhaps because a large proportion of my Facebook friends have children who were getting older and seemingly took part in this new “tradition.”

But this year, since I’ve started blogging, I am seeing it EVERYWHERE. On Facebook, on Instagram, on Twitter, on blogs – there is an elf on every bloody shelf it seems.

Elf on the shelf

But I’m not into it and here’s a couple of reasons why:

  1. It’s just another thing to stress yourself out about at an already busy time of year.
  2. It’s something else to compete about – what hilarious elf antics is your elf getting up to? Oh mine baked a cake over night… mine came through a blizzard of sprinkles….errr, mine just sat by the lamp or the actual effing shelf!?
  3. If you don’t do it, you’re a mean mummy and Santa doesn’t care about your kids.
  4. I don’t like the eyes. Stop looking at me!!
  5. Finally, and this is the big one…. It’s NOT WHAT CHRISTMAS IS ABOUT!!!!

My friend does it (thanks for the photo!) and told me she’s creating a bit of light hearted magic and fun memories for her children.  Yes it’s all harmless fun blah blah bla.. A bit like a Christmas Eve box, which incidentally, we also don’t do. (Although this year we will be at my brother’s and his children have one, so Miss Belle is taking part. She will get a pair of Xmas PJs to wear. I can’t look completely Scrooge like, can I?).

But am I the only one who feels like Christmas is getting more and more commercial and further away from what it’s actually all about? I know in my lifetime, it always has been commercial. There’s been Toys R Us adverts ever since I can remember, signaling to parents it’s time to go buy a load of crap toys… “it’s a magical place, we’re on our way there… it’s called Toys R Us, Toys R Us… Toys R Us!” (you were singing it then too right?).

But since when is simply writing and posting a letter to Santa, not enough anymore? Last year my eyes were opened when I met some new mums who had older children. I saw the lengths they went to, to make sure their kids had a magical Christmas, creating sparkly glittery porridge oat reindeer food to put out of Christmas Eve. That, I can get on board with. It’s cute and a fun crafty thing to do. But this crappy looking toy elf who visits every day to make sure the children are good, so they get presents from Santa? P-leeeeeease. I’d quite like Miss Belle to grow up knowing she needs to behave nicely all year round, not just when a plastic toy elf is watching.

And finally, I don’t want to go all Bible mad on everyone, but the true meaning of Christmas is about celebrating Jesus’ birth. I’m not saying you have to be a Christian to celebrate Christmas. Lots of people choose to celebrate the occasion with family time, focusing on love and joy. But, whether you believe it or not, that’s the origin of Christmas.

It’s not about a plastic toy Elf on the shelf watching over kids to make them behave well for a month.

So, join me. Elf on the shelf: Just say no.





  1. Aunty Mandy
    14th December 2016 / 6:33 am

    You have to draw the line somewhere with the never ending list of Christmassy stuff that you could do with/ for your kids and social media puts everyone’s ‘traditions’ out there for all to see and replicate if they want to. I say pick and choose the ones that suit your family, beliefs, values, budget and time! We do elf on the shelf (with a none freaky elf) but we also donate to the Christmas toy appeal, make a Christmas box for a member of the village and buy from the rspca amazon gift list. All of these are new traditions for our family and have developed as the children have got older to help them to understand that Christmas is about fun but also giving and sharing x

    • thisismenow
      14th December 2016 / 7:09 am

      That’s really nice x

  2. 14th December 2016 / 2:55 pm

    I bloody love this post! I’m so with you on this. There are so many things to ‘fail at as a mum’ and this is just another one to add to the list (I’ve got a very long list!). I’ve never seen the elf before until this year and I’m not buying into it either. Here here on the magic of Christmas spent with family! I wish you and your loved ones a happy one, Ruth xx

    • thisismenow
      14th December 2016 / 3:00 pm

      Ah thanks so much Ruth, you too. Have a lovey time xx

  3. 14th December 2016 / 3:12 pm

    We have an elf (actually called susie haha) we don’t go with all the getting up to no good, our elf just moves every night (like the book says) and leaves that days advent. I really want to make sure pops knows the true meaning of Christmas too!

    • thisismenow
      14th December 2016 / 3:41 pm

      Yeh I’m hearing there’s more relaxed ways of doing it, which has reassured me that the entire world hasn’t gone completely mad!! hope you have a lovely Christmas x

  4. 14th December 2016 / 7:35 pm

    I agree. I don’t get the whole elf on the shelf thing at all. Surely it’s just making work for yourself? I also don’t get christmas eve boxes. It’s just another added expense. Christmas is definately becoming more commercialised. I’d rather not get into all that or the kids will expect it every year. What’s wrong with sticking a mince pies and a glass of milk on a plate on Christmas Eve? When my siblings and I were little, that was enough to get us excited.


    • thisismenow
      14th December 2016 / 7:42 pm

      I know! Now there’s so much stuff out there you can do. I’m good with the basics for now! Thanks for reading x

  5. 14th December 2016 / 8:48 pm

    Oh yes I am totally with you on this! I think Elf on the Shelf has made Christmas all about being good to get presents – I don’t want my kids to be good for a few days to get presents – I want them to be good because they’re nice kids!

    Also, like you say, there’s more and more stuff that we parents are “supposed” to do. It’s not just visiting Santa anymore – there has to be a winter wonderland experience to build up to it first. It’s not just a mince pie left out on Christmas Eve – it’s glitter oats for the reindeers and a wooden plaque in the garden too. It’s not just presents on Christmas day – it’s a Christmas Eve box as well (and maybe even a present for each day of advent too!) Aaargh – I can’t keep up!

    Let’s get back to remembering what Christmas is really about (in the biblical sense, and the loving each other sense) rather than just using it as a competition to go bigger and better!

    (P.S. I’ve got a post scheduled tomorrow about retelling the bible Christmas story to toddlers) #FamilyFun

    • thisismenow
      14th December 2016 / 9:17 pm

      Oooh I will watch out for that! I completely agree with your comment, you sound like my kind of person! Thanks for reading xx

  6. 14th December 2016 / 11:26 pm

    I think the problem is. that tele only became Christmas mad in the 90’s so from that it launched into a massive ball of commercialism.
    Similar to the way the celebrity culture has boomed I think the whole Christmas/valentines day etc is just all about splashing the cash to line the companys pockets!
    I love the idea of elf on the shelf but do find them a bit creepy looking, I have seen some pretty funny blogs where they put them in the funniest of places and getting up to mischief! #familyfun

  7. Brandi Puga
    15th December 2016 / 4:34 am

    Ugh so true don’t et snagged in you will regret it! #BloggerClubUK

  8. 15th December 2016 / 1:20 pm

    I’m going to agree with you. I don’t know how I’ll feel when my little is older and requests stuff from me. For now we are doing very little! What is this Christmas Eve box you speak of!!? Sounds ridiculous! Thanks for linking up to #familyfun

    • thisismenow
      15th December 2016 / 1:56 pm

      Apparently it’s not enough now to get presents on Christmas Day, they need new pjs, books and a DVD on Christmas eve too. Waaaaah!

  9. 15th December 2016 / 11:12 pm

    We had our own Elf arrive about 10years ago, he arrives when the Xmas decs come down from the loft…..and he moves around each night….nothing more than that! I don’t say he’s watching you, or put any pressure on me to come up with amazing ideas!! However that reminds me, I must go and move it!!!!

  10. 17th December 2016 / 5:49 pm

    Ha we haven’t had to the elf yet with the eldest only being two. Perhaps next year… I don’t know if I will do it, I’m still not totally clued up on it I am honest. As for a Christmas Eve box, absolutely not. It’s not happening. My partner had a tradition where his daughter could pick one from under the tree the night before…personally I didn’t like it but it wasn’t my tradition to change. My two won’t be doing it though, not this year anyway. Have a lovely Christmas and thanks for joining us at #familyfun xx

    • thisismenow
      17th December 2016 / 6:08 pm

      Thanks lovely, have a great Christmas too xx

  11. 24th December 2016 / 1:13 pm

    I say live and let live. I don’t see the harm in it, but I also don’t think it’s fair that people who do elf make those who don’t feel bad about it.
    Thanks for linking up to #BloggerClubUK

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