I always enjoy reading things our children write. They have written creative stories: Super Hamster. They have written … uhm … horror stories: I Thro-Up. And they have even delved into imaginative, funny stories: “My turkey hates Thanksgiving. My turkey is bad. My turkey loves snow. My turkey loves driving cars.”
So, when our second-grade son wrote a letter to Santa Claus, I wasn’t surprised. I even had an inkling what he would be asking for, but I didn’t know how he planned to get it: “Dear Snata, lets make a deol if I be good…”
Let’s make a deal…? Really?
So, when he is acting like the Tasmanian Devil tearing through the house, our son is well aware that it is not behavior we desire from him. Why else would he want to make a deal with the jolly man from up north?
Oh, yes, because he wants an Elf on the Shelf, too, and he will do anything — even misbehave — to get one.
His letter continued: “Please bring a elf if I be bad.”
I despise Elf on the Shelf. Our son, however, thinks it is fabulous. Last year when I informed him that Santa doesn’t need to send an elf to our house because … well, just because he made his own elf out of a paper towel.
This year, though, a paper towel elf wasn’t going to cut it, so our son went right to the Santa-man himself.
But, no deal was made. An Elf on the Shelf did not arrive in our home yet again this December. And our son is trying everything to justify the need for one.
“Santa’s watching…” has none of the glorious effect that it used to in the weeks leading up to Christmas because nowadays Santa sends an Elf on the Shelf to spy on children in their homes.
This has been great for the Elf unemployment numbers, but disastrous for parents.
So, as Christmas day approaches, I refuse to give-in and bring in an Elf for backup:
Because what happens after Christmas? What happens after Creepy the Elf returns to the North Pole for the next 11 months?
If an imaginary creature is going to help me keep my kids in line, then he’s going to have to sign a 24/7/365 contract, just like me.