Motherly Perspectives: Elf on the What? Elf on the shelf...


12 days ago

Image Source: ABC News

‘Tis the week of December, and all the kids are awake. They are anticipating the short holiday break. Christmas trees are being brought out from the garage with care, and moms of Johannesburg are all shouting, “Liam, don’t you dare!” Exhausted to the point where you can barely speak, you suddenly remember it’s Scout Elf Return Week!

If the narrative sounds familiar but you’re completely in the dark about what ‘Scout Elf Return Week’ is, you’re not alone. It was only after my mother-in-law bought us the Elf on the Shelf starter pack did I investigate all things North Pole spies!

So, what is Elf on the Shelf exactly? Well, it’s a picture book, written in rhyme that explains just how Father Christmas knows who has been naughty and who has been nice. The story is centred around one of Santa’s elves that visit your family each holiday season to scope out the behaviour of the children in the house. The book comes with a little pixie scout elf that ‘watches’ the littles and flies home each night to report back to Saint Nic. Just before dawn, the elf flies home and can be found in a different hiding spot around the house.

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As you’d imagine, this sweet little bribing tool can come in handy, especially since the ‘gimme I wants’ are at an all-time high and ears seem to disappear at exactly the same time of year. It also makes for a fun game of hide and seek, as parents are encouraged to get creative with their elf placements and make up fun scenarios for your newly adopted elf. A quick search of the hashtag on Instagram gives you a plethora of ideas to keep your kids interested in the game (but please don’t be that person who Instagram’s every different elf location. You’ll be unfollowed. Immediately.)

I’ll be honest, I think I still have PTSD from last year’s Christmas experience (I hosted and cooked for my entire family, while 5 weeks pregnant. The day ended abruptly when the rescue dog mistook my Ouma’s walking stick for an actual stick, which was obviously triggering for him and saw her in the emergency room with a bloody leg), so the thought of anything Christmassy still gives me heart palpitations, 11 months on.

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However, I suppose I should think I could muster up enough festive spirit to create a Christmas tradition with my smalls and their new elf friend, if for nothing else, the subtle possibility of good behaviour.

If you’re looking to get yourself an Elf on the Shelf, Toys R Us has the original set for R399.90, with various accessories such as a Letters to Santa set or a Elf Super Hero figurine. The Crazy Store stock a much cheaper, knock-off version called Elfie the Naughty Elf for only R59,99 and a host of different accessories to keep your kids intrigued but the best/ creepiest by far has to be the Elf Surveillance Camera for R49.99. At the risk of completely freaking out your little darling, stick that bad boy up in his bedroom and tell him that Father Christmas is watching him, if your conscience allows.

Meagan is a Joburg mom of two, who loves her hubby, kids and is passionate about equality.

Follow her on Instagram for more Motherly Perspectives.

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