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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:
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

MadeOfStarDust Thu 12-Sep-13 15:35:56

Nope.... here Christmas is the day - presents, family, feasting and a film on telly.... We have an advent calendar and that is about as far as we go to acknowledge Christmas beforehand....

The Elf wasn't invented til the storybook in the noughties, not like it is a great tradition or anything... just seems another way to wind up the kids pre-christmas and get more folks to spend more money.....

TheYamiOfYawn Wed 11-Sep-13 13:46:52

We do it, but with a very tasteful elf who isn't a spy. She comes to visit us to learn all about how Christmas is celebrated, and leaves little notes with ideas for activities (choosing some things to give to a charity shop, giving to a bfood bank, tidying up, making a bird feeder, that sort of thing).

GlobalWarning Wed 11-Sep-13 13:41:38

We do it but in our own style. The elf isn't here to watch them. He just comes and causes havoc a couple of times a week. It's great fun thinking of things for him to do. We are in our third year this year. He sometimes leaves little presents. Not just for the kids. He left me wine so has been invited back.

elQuintoConyo Wed 11-Sep-13 13:35:08

with a stick

elQuintoConyo Wed 11-Sep-13 13:33:34

Also, I'm in Catalunya where kids have a log that 'shits' sweets and presents on Christmas eve, when kids hit it a stick.
Caga Tio = shitting log.

skyeskyeskye Tue 10-Sep-13 22:32:31

Not doing it. Never heard if it before MN. Nobody round here does it, or the Christmas hamper.

My DD is 5yo and the Christmas traditions that I have done every year are:

Reading The Night Before Christmas every Christmas Eve
New pair of pyjamas mainly so looks ok in photos next morning.
Leaving a mince pie and milk for Santa

elQuintoConyo Tue 10-Sep-13 21:57:52

Pile of wank. Creepy-looking tattle tale.

Advent calendar with little chocolate/family activity/crafty thing to do
Tradtional food (bar solid farts sprouts)
Cold and snuggly
= enough

No Christmas hamper, either. Present and stress overload - no thanks.

tacal Tue 10-Sep-13 17:49:58

Iwantacat my ds has recently been diagnosed with autism. I did not know he had autism last Christmas when I decided to introduce elf on the shelf. He was distraught when he touched the elf and also could not stop crying when the boy in the elf on the shelf dvd touched the elf. I feel like such a bad parent. This year there will be no elf!

Iwantacat Sun 08-Sep-13 22:05:17

Not doing it!! My DD has autism and would be distraught if she touched it or when it leaves to go back to the North Pole! TBH I don't like giving them the idea that its watching them and reporting back to Father Christmas.

UniS Sun 08-Sep-13 21:41:44

nope- not dong it here either. got quite enough stuff to do in dec with out that one. DS has an advent calender, we start decorating the house early dec and just carry on till christmas day gently making and adding stuff.

SugarHut Sun 08-Sep-13 21:19:27

I have to say, IMHO, the Elf concept is just that step too far.

Let me be the first to say I'm a Christmas obsessive. Panto already booked, cake already designed, most presents purchased already. Walk in wardrobe dedicated to Christmas ribbons, wrapping paper and decs. I adore Christmas. I do 1st Dec hampers for all the women in the family as a relaxation present for the festive period, and Christmas Eve hampers....both of which, frankly are massive overkill, but I LOVE giving presents and can't help myself.

When we already have FC watching during the year for who's good and been bad, and who delivers the presents/stockings, I think the idea of another North Pole character, essentially a spy for December to bring more stuff and report back to FC is just a little too much...and that's coming from me smile Soon the Elf will be merely expected and we'll find ourselves strategically placing Rudolph's around the garden to step it up a gear.

I remember at Easter, seeing Easter Crackers in the supermarket, and thinking, bloody hell, that's just going too far and losing the whole old fashioned loveliness. I think Monsieur Elf smacks a little of that...

<< awaits torrent of bah humbug disagreement ;) >>

70isaLimitNotaTarget Sat 07-Sep-13 21:14:04

My DC have known for years.
I know my DS was told by NDN daughter when he was about 6yo. I asked him to play along for the sake of DD. Which he did

Now they play along for my benefit but of course they know.

DS will ask for a game for his X-Box, or something for his PC (or an iPhone hmm )and says "Father Christmas will bring it" (cheeky glint in his eye)
"No" I tell him "he brings toys made of wood and nails. Not iPhones".

And I want at least some of the credit.

BankerMommy2010 Sat 07-Sep-13 20:49:18

Nothing is from santa in our house, mommy daddy friends and family order from santa (and pay for it) and santa delivers it x

Theimpossiblegirl Sat 07-Sep-13 18:15:12

In our house, Santa does the stockings and a couple of surprises, everything else is from us. DD said (after finding out) that it was better knowing because it makes you realise how much your parents do for you. Made me smile (and shed a proud tear).

jamtoast12 Sat 07-Sep-13 17:26:17

When older not colder!

H2Ointolerant Sat 07-Sep-13 17:25:59

Oh yes and I cannot COPE with those that insist on labelling all presents from santa. I'd snatch mine back if I got wind of anyone I knew doing it. I want the credit thanks very much grin

jamtoast12 Sat 07-Sep-13 17:25:41

That's great that you got them to 10! I hope to do the same as mine are 8&6. I think if they find out when colder, they understand more about the importance of not spoiling it for younger kids. I think the problem is when kids of 4-7 find out as they are not as mature. Plus often they love the fact they know something their friends don't!

H2Ointolerant Sat 07-Sep-13 17:24:43

Just feels like huge overkill to me.

Christmas is exciting enough as it is I reckon.


Theimpossiblegirl Sat 07-Sep-13 17:21:03

My DDs know but wouldn't dream of spoiling it for anyone else. My eldest knew last year but her sister only realised after figuring out the tooth fairy. They are 10 & 12.

They both want to do the whole thing anyway, as part of the magic of Christmas (that and the whole getting more presents thing). We will still be doing stockings, Elf on the Shelf, PNP videos, making a runway on Christmas Eve and tracking Santa on Norad for many years to come.

jamtoast12 Sat 07-Sep-13 17:01:22


I agree. My friend is a bit like this and I get the impression she can't wait to tell her child Santa isn't real! I think she finds the Santa thing an effort etc. I've already told her that ill be very cross if her dd tells my dd he's not real! My dd is 8 and I know kids in her age group can be very mean and love nothing more than spoiling the magic, especially if there are one or two who are aware at the same time. We go overboard on the whole Santa thing and she very much believes as do all the kids in her class....but I'm well aware it'll only take one!

BankerMommy2010 Sat 07-Sep-13 16:47:48

Im not saying all parents, but some have said on here, that they dont like to lie to their child, which is fine, each to their own, but ive heard other friends who have older children complaining that other children are telling them santa isnt real 'cuz their mom/dad told them' I know we cant lead our kids on forever, but reading these threads has made me realise not everyone does santa... it never occurred to mr there would be small kids that weren't led to believe... not having a go, just saying. Id like to at least enjoy the magic for a few years yet!

fuzzpig Fri 06-Sep-13 14:43:15

That's a bit of a leap there banker, just because a child doesn't believe doesn't mean they will ruin it for others. I will definitely be telling my DD when she realises (I think it may be this year) that it is something fun to play along with and she must remember that her little brother and her friends might still believe so she can't go round telling people. She hates upsetting people so I'm sure she will be careful when the time comes smile

BankerMommy2010 Thu 05-Sep-13 21:40:11

I cant believe so many parents aren't bothered about the whole santa thing... I love this part of Christmas with kids and the magic that surrounds it, I guess some littke ratbag at school will tell him "santa isn't real cuz his mom and dad told him so' ill be peed off big time.... these parents that dont care if there kids believe should consider this, as some family's do like the magic Christmas of Christmas hes only 3 so im going to enjoy it while I can! Don't get me wrong were a Catholic family, were not overly religious... my I make sure my son knows the real meaning of Christmas

Ragwort Thu 05-Sep-13 09:44:47

I've never done it, never even heard of it apart from on Mumsnet grin - like a lot of things actually, I often wonder if Mumsnet is a separate universe sometimes.

I enjoy the preparations for Christmas, crafts, baking, carol services, nativity plays shoebox appeals etc but I loathe the 'commercialisation' about it all and the fact that so much is about the presents, instead of focussing on the true meaning of Christmas. smile

fuzzpig Thu 05-Sep-13 09:40:56

I like reading about it on here, seeing what people think up, but we don't do it ourselves. The only elf involvement is that on 24th Dec, new jammies (and perhaps an Xmas book or tree dec) are delivered at bedtime. Last year as we were out all day I arranged them on the stairs with glitter leading up from the door, so we found them when we got home (although DD, 5, got briefly upset as she thought she had missed Christmas confused). There is no actual elf though IYSWIM, we just said the first time "ooh look the elves have delivered something" and that was enough <lazy>

With the Santa thing (always a controversial bun fight thread on MN when it gets nearer Xmas!) we didn't particularly do anything, but when DD heard about it from nursery we played along in a low key way - we do the cookies/carrot before bed, and he fills the stockings and brings one main surprise present. We've never done letters, grotto etc (DD is very shy anyway). I'm not entirely sure if DD - now 6 - really believes or is just playing along. She is quite literal in many ways and has often said things like "ghosts/vampires/whatever aren't real are they mummy, they are just fiction".

I figured it out when I was about 4 or 5 I think - my mum put a note in the pouch of a cuddly kangaroo saying "please look after me" - bless her, she had even changed her handwriting, but I recognised the (slightly dry and scratchy) felt tip she had used! I felt smug rather than sad I think. With my DCs if they ask if he's real, I will say "what do you think?" and if they say yes I will continue playing along, if they say no then I will say they are correct, well done for figuring it out etc, but that it's fun to make believe and we still can if they want. This thread has reminded me I must talk to DH about this to make sure we take the same approach.

Sorry I have totally diverted from the subject there haven't I hmm. Anyway. I like the idea of the elf but I don't think it really suits us. We tend to keep things quite low key and I don't like too much build up throughout early December as I get worn out. They get chocolate advent calendars but I might get a wooden one if I see a nice/affordable one. Would probably still mostly be chocolate in it though.

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