Be Good For Goodness' Sake

I have a number of friends who love this time of year because it allows them to get out their Elf on the Shelf. They then spend hours each night moving the thing around and having it do crazy things. This is, most often, also coupled with extreme importance being put on the fact that Santa is watching. (Here is where I wiggle my fingers, make a spooky face, and go "ooooooooo" in a fright inducing manner.)

The Elf on the Shelf, for those not in the know, is a book and doll set that come together. The doll is a 50's era creepy little elf doll that probably was used as the first model for Chucky. The idea (as I'm told is given in the accompanying book) is that the Elf (assign your own name here) watches you from the shelf and reports back to Santa if you're good or bad during the month of December.

And here's the crux of my problem. Though I guess it's two pronged.

1) We don't really do Santa. We talk about him in a generally joking manner, and when the kiddo asked me the other day (just before we went to sit on his lap) if Santa was real, I said no, but he's fun to pretend. I'm not going to lie to my kid and try to convince him that Santa is real. Because eventually he's going to figure it out and then what he's really going to learn is that mommy is more than willing to lie outrageously to him. So does he still get a gift from Santa? Yeah, he does. But he knows full well that mom and dad are Santa and that Santa is just a fun thing to pretend during Christmastime and that he's a fun way to help celebrate Jesus' birthday.

2) The Elf on the Shelf...I want my child(ren) to be good all year because it's the right thing to do and/or (when they're young) because I told them to. Not because they might not get gifts if they aren't. Not because a creepy doll is watching them. If they really need someone watching them as their motivation, then fine, be good because Jesus is watching. And He's watching all year long, every day and every night. Does he withhold gifts if you're bad? Not in the sense that kids understand, no, but I hope that I'm teaching my boy(s) well enough that they understand that making Jesus and mommy and daddy sad with their disobedience is not what they want to be doing.

At the end of the day, I want the kiddo to be good because he wants to be good. Because Jesus lives in his heart and helps him to be a good person. Not because he wants a Red Rider BB Gun with Compass in the Stock.


Anonymous said...

Somebody introduced me to the Elf on the Shelf concept the other night at a party. It immediately gave me a creepy feeling and I remarked that it sounded like something out of a Stephen King novel.


beth said...

Very Stephen King - and if you've not seen the little creatures, they really do lend themselves to the stuff of nightmares.