Christmas is just around the corner, and there’s a new boss in town. Donning a red suit, with rosy cheeks, and twinkling eyes, the mysteriously magical character keeps a watchful eye on excited children who are eager to make it onto the highly coveted “nice list."
But the jolly fellow doesn’t wear a long white beard. He doesn’t bellow “ho ho ho” with a round belly that shakes like a bowl full of jelly, and he doesn’t drive a reindeer-guided sleigh around the world in one night, delivering gifts to every deserving boy and girl.
No, the new guy in charge is a skinny little nymph with many nicknames, known to us best as the Elf on the Shelf - Santa’s right-hand guy.
In many homes, the elf appears spontaneously during the first week of December and sticks around to spy on our kids, day in and day out, until Christmas Eve when he hitches a ride back to the North Pole on Santa’s sleigh.
In the evenings, he floats around the house, searching for a new hiding spot, and in the mornings, children bounce out of bed to search for their magical little friend.
My kids are drawn to his charm, sucked in by the daily game of hide-and-seek, and allured by the access to their own personal messenger who delivers their wishes directly to the CEO of Christmas. They anticipate the arrival of their elf each year and mourn him when he returns back home once the holidays come to a close.
Some parents (like myself) get wrapped up in the logistical frustrations that surround hosting an unwanted house guest for such a lengthy period of time. They despise the daily shenanigans and question the validity of the elf’s true intentions.
The Elf on the Shelf has become an unwelcome holiday house guest. He appears unannounced, never talks - instead sitting and staring rudely as we go about our day. He doesn’t clean up after himself, and worst of all, he gets all of the credit when holiday treats make an appearance during the lead up to the big day.
I long for the good old days, when the jolly old man in red snuck into our homes, left gifts under the tree, and went on his merry way - careful not to wake our sleeping children.
Now, one night of magic has evolved into a month-long to-do list. Parents are either losing sleep over keeping up with the antics, or stressing out over explaining why their children haven’t received a visit from a special elf of their own. The elves on the shelves are trying to squeeze the CEO of Christmas out of his top spot and claim the throne.
When Christmas morning arrives, kids are mourning the departure of their elves and the magic of Santa takes a back seat.
Let’s put the elves in their place and show Christmas who’s boss. It’s time to shelf the elf, reclaim our homes, and bring back Santa Claus.
Bianca Bujan is a mom of three, writer, editor and marketing consultant. Find her online at @bitsofbee.