Christmas Elf - am I the only one who's not doing it?!

(59 Posts)
landofmakebelieve Tue 27-Aug-13 23:52:36

I keep seeing threads on here and other parenting forums about little elves coming to stay and bringing with them lots of activities from the North Pole or wherever for all the small people to do.
Then I read the said threads and think, blimey, that sounds like a lot of work!
I wrote about Christmas Elves here: castawaywithdreams.wordpress.com/2012/11/16/a-christmas-elf-coming-to-stay-er-no/
Am I alone in thinking all of this?!
I'm a regular on the boards but name change for blog posts threads as they will 'out' me! smile

ValiumQueen Wed 28-Aug-13 04:27:57

I do not do it, but not because of the work it entails. I do the a activities anyway via an advent calendar. We do not push the Santa thing. No fat bloke with a beard is going to take credit for my hard earned cash grin and the elves are part of that. We choose to focus more on the nativity.

One of the things I do not like about the elves is that they spy on the kids and report back to Santa. I also do not like lying to my kids.

I know I may well get flamed for my viewpoint, but please be gentle with me. I am just a mum trying to give my kids the best start in life I can. I never believed in Santa as a child, and do not feel I missed out at all. My MIL hates me for this and undermines me at every turn, telling the kids I am wrong, lying etc. DH is supportive of me.

WaitingForMe Wed 28-Aug-13 05:12:09

I think the "work" depends on your attitude (I don't do it new). I was impressed when a friend said she planned to embroider stockings for her kids - making my own mincemeat is just a bit of chopping and stirring, sewing is hard work! She said it was something to do when watching TV and standing stove side was hard work.

I do a lot for Christmas but only because I enjoy it. All visitors get homemade mince pies in December because I find making pastry calming and I love the smell. It's only a lot of effort if it feels like effort.

StupidFlanders Wed 28-Aug-13 05:23:17

I don't and trust me when I say I embrace most over the top Xmas traditions gladly! (I have already began prep work for my Xmas table and light display and am nearly wetting my pants with excitement!)

To me it just doesn't seem right and I can't bring myself to do it. Maybe because, although I actually avoid ever saying that Santa is real, it's pretty obvious that the elf is orchestrated by the parents so it removes some magic. But that's just me.

Also my dcs did believe that if there was an insider reporting back to Santa about their behaviour they'd be off the present list many times over.

And I just think meh when I see/hear about the "crazy" situations people dream up for them.

StupidFlanders Wed 28-Aug-13 05:27:50

valium actually sums it up well (except I don't mention the nativity part at all). My oldest ds said when he was 3 "as if someone could deliver presents to all the children in the world". He still loves christmas though and people are shocked that I never try to convince him of santas existence.

kiwik Wed 28-Aug-13 05:36:53

Nope, I don't do it either. Last year loads of friends all did it - and DS1 was most confused when told by a friend that Buddy Elf would tell Santa on him. (Partly as we have Father Christmas in our house too.)

It's not the activities or effort involved, but more the fact that I don't want my children to grow up thinking that they have to modify their behaviour due to promises of presents. I want them to behave in an appropriate manner all the time, rather than be bribed to do so or threatened that they won't get presents. Thankfully it's working ok for us so far.

We don't, can't be arsed mainly, but we live in UsA where EVERYONE does it so I'm sure at some point the DC will ask why we don't have an elf.

I haven't started "FC won't bring you presents if you're naughty" but we do use FC for the stocking...all presents under the tree are very clearly labelled as being from the people who spent time and money getting them!

DS is 5 in October, I'm trying to involve him present making and buying this year so he doesn't think it's a day all about him getting presents, sanctimoniously hoping the giving of gifts to each other will override a need to be good to get material possessions

Besid, I have chocolate and cake to bribe him with, I don't need an elf as well

Downfall Wed 28-Aug-13 09:11:55

No flaming at all Valium! I'm not even sure why I'm on a Christmas topic... I really don't like the endless indulging kids with gifts in anticipation of the gifts in anticipation of the gifts... so I clearly do not do the elf or the xmas eve hamper, in fact I have to hide those threads as they make me squirm.

We enjoy christmas as a family tradition, but the santa magic is hugely overdone, IMHO...

DesperatelySeekingSedatives Wed 28-Aug-13 09:20:45

We dont do it. Getting DCs a big advent calender each this year and going to put little presents, christmassy jokes and "tickets" to christmassy things to do (parties, santas grotto, making decorations etc) and sweets on the other days.

The elves thing sounds even more work!

Agree with ValiumQueen in that I dont want Santa to take all the credit! I do all the hard work [pouts] Santa brings the stocking presents and whatever the (one present) is they ask for and we (the parents) give the rest. Inlaws insist that the massive sack of stuff they give the kids was dropped off at their house by mistake by Santa hmm fabulous but would rather DCs thank the right people for what theyve got!

BiddyPop Wed 28-Aug-13 10:53:39

I didn't hear about it really until DD was already aware of Santa, and she remembers EVERYTHING!! We already had a fabric advent calendar that my Mum had made, and she gets a chocolate figure every day and something else every day too (a free colouring sheet from the net, a promise of an outing, a suggestion for a craft project, a reminder that today is the day to tidy her room, and occasionally a small toy or mini jigsaw). It's not actually that much work (I have a list of ideas which is a lot longer than 24, plenty of printables, and DD is also happy to laugh at me the odd time she has to remind me to fill it in the morning rather than me having done it the night before - she has always known Calendar was me).

However, I like the idea of the elves. So I am holding on to the ideas I have gotten since I first heard about them, with the plan that when DD is no longer a believer in Santa, the Elves will arrive.

We will always do stockings (my grown up siblings who sleep "at home" on Christmas Eve still have to put theirs out for Dad to fill with sweets, fruit and a book - the change he made when I got too old as the eldest, but with a 10 year gap to the youngest, I could not suddenly get nothing!) - but I intend that DH and I will get one as well then and we can all be involved in filling them.

And I think that the mischief that the Elves get up to will be something that DD will be interested and excited in. She is another Christmas Nut (like me) - her birthday is Boxing Day, so it is an important time of the year for her. And routines and traditions are also important to her, so changing things are ok once there is some form of continuity. So I think it will go down well in maybe 2-3 years time.

BiddyPop Wed 28-Aug-13 11:01:29

Santa only brings what is in her stocking or a big present right beside that. Everything else comes from the true giver. And there is always a present from "Mum and Dad" under the tree as well, to open with all the other presents.

And while we do have Santa, we also talk a lot about the Christmas story and focus on the needs of others quite a bit too (some of the Advent Calendar activities include bringing old toys and clothes to the charity shop, buying a present for the local "giving tree", getting things in supermarket to include in hampers at school for local families in need and a few other things like that).

I would see that the Elves would continue some of that too, while getting into mischief a few mornings. And I certainly don't think the Elves will be here spying, even if they did come before Santa belief has diminished. We already talk about Santa knowing everything, but also Holy God seeing everything and reminding ourselves to always use our "kind hands, kind words and kind heart".

(And that comes from someone who is rather more on the lapsed side of religion - but aiming to instill a decent moral code to live by, as much as the religious aspect of it).

MERLYPUSS Wed 28-Aug-13 16:23:08

We have an elf. 1st time last year. He brings the chocolate advent calendar and doesnt do a lot else apart from hide over night so DT2 can find him. DT2 is very gullible and will believe most things but knows the elf doesnt hide himself. I just thought they would enjoy the anticipation of his arrival. And they did.

Actually I do quite like the idea of them moving and hiding and set up to be doing mischievous things without having to spy or bring presents

tacal Wed 28-Aug-13 18:54:38

I found out about elf on the shelf last year from mumsnet. I thought it sounded great so order one from amazon. Big mistake! DS was really scared and hated the elf. I also got the dvd which made him cry (the bit where the boy touches the elf and the elf has to go to hospital). Dont think I will try anything new this year.

I don't, scary looking thing for a startgrin secondly I suck at remembering things therefore he would be the laziest damn elf ever and the kids would either fire him or suss when he didn't move for a few days. plus the whole concept really freaks me out. I turn furbies to face the wall because the eyes give me the heebie jeebiesgrin.

I think the idea is ok if it's just the elf turning up and hiding etc (although we don't do it) it's when the elf brings presents with it that it becomes all too much. Especially as people on mn seem to like to do elf presents on 1st dec, followed by playmobil/ Lego as event calendar, followed by presents on Christmas Day. Last year I thought to myself, " they'll be doing Boxing Day presents soon." And lo and behold, someone was talking about Boxing Day presents...

Don't get me wrong, I'm not tight and I looooove Christmas, it just all seems a bit much...

BiddyPop Wed 28-Aug-13 22:23:12

Whispers...^we do Boxing Day presents, but they are for DD as it's her birthday^. Rofl

StupidFlanders Thu 29-Aug-13 00:11:45

supermario made me laugh!

do you not think it looks like something out of a chucky filmgrin anything with weird eyes is not allowed. I can see poor elfin weirdo ending up face down in the vegetable drawer and that's no life for anyone

Brockle Thu 29-Aug-13 09:29:22

a friend of mine tells her daughter that all of her presents are from Santa. even presents from friends and family. she gets really pissed off if friends give her presents for her Dd in front of her dd because she thinks her ff will realise. she seemed surprised that we didn't do this but it seems off to me. does anyone else do this?

we do Santa but I actually wish we hadn't as it is hard work and I am liking the charade less and less!

I definitely won't be doing the Christmas elf.

over here he brings a present for their bed usually something below £10. fills the stockings and thats him done smile

gintastic Thu 29-Aug-13 09:38:46

I had never even heard of it until now. I will not be doing it! We have an advent calendar that tells the Christmas Story and a candle that we burn at tea time to count down.

I honestly have too much else to do without worrying about an elf.

my dog likes to chew things too. doubt the kids would be too pleased to come down and find that their furry friend had eaten santas key worker shock

Lol biddypop I think that's a valid excuse!

MERLYPUSS Fri 30-Aug-13 08:48:48

Our elf is a de-sexed strawberry shortcake rag doll from the bootsale so not expensive or scary. Last year 'he' brought £1 shop advent calendars and hid around the house/up the xmas tree etc. He doesn't bring presents. FC does the stockings and lets mum and dad know what we have to buy so they are from us. I do an xmas Eve gift of new pjs and dvd to keep them away from kitchen and we have a family time before it kicks off the next day from some unearthly hour. We also do boxing day pressies as we go to my sister (she comes to us xmas day) and the kids have hers. With other relations split throught xmas week so it is not bedlam on the big day. This year we are not doing presents for extended family. We are doing lucky dip, filled h/m crackers, pass the parcel and the gifts are bingo tickets which relate to pressies that have been bought in the sales in Jan before. I have great craft stuff for boys, dove travel kits and kitchen stuff.

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