You’re a creepy one, Elf on the Shelf

CC licensed. tubesox_family via Flickr

CC licensed. tubesox_family via Flickr

When Christmas nears, Elf on the Shelf appears in families homes across the country. The Christmas tradition, while very common, is not exactly normal when one mentions it aloud. A family has an elf that watches over them, to report to Santa any wrongdoings. Is that what Christmas cheer is all about? No. Elf on the shelf is not “fun”, it is creepy.

Elf on the Shelf may be a little children’s toy, but it’s appearance is not safe and happy like what typical children’s toys convey. On most toys they have a big smile, showing that the toy is safe and will not make the children uncomfortable; however, the elf’s smile could be seen as a smirk or a sly grin, causing uneasiness. The smirk portrays that the elf is spying on the family. Similarly, the elf’s little squinty eyes seem to constantly be searching for bad behavior to report to Santa. Even when the elf may not seem to be looking, he always is, even if it is out of the corner of his little eyes.

The elf is supposed to be watching over families and their children as the “eyes and ears” for Santa; however, with a constant feeling of eyes following and judging it is threatening. When parents place their Elf on the Shelf up on the mantle at the start of the holiday season, children begin to act oddly well behaved. Majority of children still believe in Santa, thinking and believing that Santa is checking his list twice to find out who has been naughty or nice, and it makes the kids strive to be the perfect child as Christmas nears. Having children who still believe in Santa, knowing there is an elf watching their behavior constantly is a vexatious thing to sit with for children. One minute the kids are seeing the elf in the living room, and the next thing they know it’s sitting in the kitchen. It gives the child an unsettling feeling, the kind of feeling that comes straight out of a horror movie.

Despite the uncomfortable and strange appearance of the elf, families all around the country still use the elf as a Christmas tradition. It is mostly used by adults who believe that when the holidays roll around they can place the elf out in their home and then they can use it to keep their children’s behavior in line. When the children see the elf they immediately begin to behave, knowing that Christmas is coming soon. That premise alone for some families can create the image that the elf is a fun tradition; however, that is not the full story of the elf. In many instances, parents continue to use the elf simply, so their children will behave better. The children then get anxiety, feeling that they will get in trouble if the elf catches them doing something wrong. For majority of families, Elf on the Shelf is now being used to fix behavioral issues to benefit the parents, rather than being fun for everyone in the family. Families should have a better way to improve their children’s behavior than using an elf to scare the kids.

Christmas traditions should be warm, welcoming, and enjoyable for everyone in families. Using an elf to create anxiety in children to improve their behavior is not what a Christmas tradition should be like. The elf doesn’t give off a “fun” idea. It watches your every move; with its little eyes and sly grin it is clear that Elf on the Shelf is not used for happy purposes. All in all, Elf on the Shelf is threatening and creepy.