Tuesday, December 9, 2008

no time for elves

My children's friends have elves. The elves sit in the homes without moving and watch the kids by day. They report to Santa each night. They return before the children wake but are usually found in a new location each morning. Some of them create mischief and are found next to a pile of food or toys they didn't clean up. They might even bring early Christmas presents to kids. I've even heard of one who moved the car overnight from the garage to the street and was found inside the car the next morning.

I don't think to myself, "Oh, how creative." I think to myself, "Oh, that mom is making my life too difficult." Because I do not have time for an elf. I do not want an elf. I do not like the idea of a snooping elf in my house. But my kids keep hearing about the elves which inhabit the homes of their friends. They want to know why they don't have an elf.

I don't want to get into the issue at all, it feels too much like lying. Yes, Santa comes to our house, but really, I try to say as little about him as possible. And I never pull out the "Be good or Santa won't come" sort of stuff. But now with the elves, I'm getting forced into conversations about specifics. Last week a friend explained to my children that she had to have an elf at her house because her kids were naughty, but maybe we were lucky because we didn't need one. I'm not sure what the boys thought of that explanation, but it only solved a temporary problem, if that. It created more myth about the elf than I really wanted.

How does one deal with this? I ignored it last year and hoped it would go away. It didn't. It came back this year with more intensity and more questions. If I explain the truth to the boys, no matter how carefully I word it, they will spill the beans to the kids who have elves. After all, Bug is only four. He lives in Pretend and Fantasy every day. This fits right into his view of the world. But if I let it go, they'll continue to feel cheated out of this fun. And I do believe it is fun. I just don't want to be coerced into playing.

1 comment:

  1. There are only so many elves, so they have to take turns, and this year isn't your family's turn?

    Wow. I've never heard of this one before, and my reaction is similar to yours: who needs that kind of pressure? (Parents or kids!)