"Yiayia, look but don't touch. He's right there..on the chandelier over the dining room table." I immediately spotted the newest member of my daughter's family; Alex the Elf. He was a skinny little thing, with a green festive outfit, with matching hat. He was, indeed, hanging like a trapese artist from the roped crystals.
"I see him, Steven. But why can't I touch him?" I asked, playing along with my 6-year-old grandson.
"If you touch him, he won't be able to return to Santa's Workshop tonight! He goes back every night and returns every morning!" He walked away, shaking his head, as if thinking, 'My grandmother is so out of the loop!'
I had heard about this new million dollar craze last year. From a self-published book, three ladies were now reaping in the cash, while parents were making their kids nutty. It seems that the magic of the Elf is born with its "naming." You don't have to do this in a Church or Shoul. The naming, done privately in your home, allows the Elf to come to life. "What is it's purpose?" you may ask. Well, the Elf is sort of a spy. Yes, that's what he does. He spies on the kids during the day and when they sleep he reports to Santa, telling him of their behavior.
After a while, Santa decides whether your child's name will go on the Nice List or the dreaded Naughty List. If your child cannot sleep at night, it may be a direct result of the pangs of guilt, he is suffering from recollecting his mischieve during the day. He may be envisioning Santa's dismay, when hearing from the Elf, how 'awful' he had been.
So why do parents do this to their sweet kids? It improves their behavior..or so it should. After 20 days of any new behavior, it becomes habit. Hence, "if I don't hit my little sister, for 20 days (because the Elf will report me to the fat guy in the red suit) my new behavior will stick and I will no longer want/desire to hit my little sister! Hmmm.
Personally, I would want my grandchildren to believe that Santa is all merciful and forgiving..and like.. you know Who..will place all children on the Nice List and bring them all great gifts!! However, there is a lesson here, somewhere.
Got it! We are not alone. There is always someone watching us. Someone who reports back to "Big Brother." We are always under surveillance. In our office buildings, as we work..in the streets, as we walk and talk, even in elevators and restaurants. Frightful, right? Well, why not bring the idea home to your young children? Let them freak out from an early age! I vote 'No' for The Elf on the Shelf.