That is the question! Being it's Christmas and the holidays are next week I thought this was a great way to introduce this post. However my rant goes deeper than just Elf on the Shelf.
Being a parent is hard. You have to constantly make decisions that effect your child and your family. Everything you do or say: breastfeeding or not, daycare or stay at home, cloth diapers or pampers or even which if they watch tv or not. It doesn't stop there, oh no. With all those decisions on your mind, you have to constantly worry about being judged as a parent. Are you a good parent? What are other parents doing? Parents (especially moms) should all be in this together. There should be no judgement on how I am raising my kids vs. how you are raising your kids. You just never know what the family or child may be going through. I realized this we had our last stay at Riley Hospital; Every kid in there is sick and all of us parents are doing the best we can.
Christmas is a such a magical time for me and my family and we hope to pass that on to our kids. I have been reading so many negative thoughts, comments about how other people are raising their children that it makes me really sad. Don't worry about what someone else is doing. If a parent wants to use elf on the shelf to bribe their kids to behave, or do crazy different places where their children find him, then that's okay. That's their choice. Riley isn't old enough to understand the concept but when she does we will do it all season. I don't have time to do anything crazy, like take apart my xmas tree and make it seem like the elf did it, but if it makes her smile every morning to see her "elf" in a different spot and know that he is talking to santa then that makes me happy. It makes me happy that she believes.
That's what the spirit of christmas is to me and my family....believing in something so big that it fills up your heart. I don't think it's santa's job to make sure your kids are naughty or nice but if that is something you have to do to stay sane during this season then that's okay. I don't know what your day to day life is like and you may need that to teach your children. I won't judge you if you don't judge me.
I don't think you can "ruin" you kids or make them into brats because you get them gobs of gobs of presents. That comes from someplace deeper then the holiday season. One day isn't going to make your kid into a spoiled brat. We will teach our kids that giving isn't just enough, you have to give to someone or something that can't give back to you. The magic of Christmas is not about presents but about faith, about life, about love. I want them to know about the birth of Jesus and this day is because of him. Everything is because of him. If you don't, that's okay to me- I won't judge you if you don't judge me.
If you choose to not do santa in your house, or want you kids to make believe, that's okay. I want my kids to believe way past santa claus. Know that there is more to the spirit of christmas then santa claus, but if they believe then all things are possible. It's a magical time of year. I want it all: santa, elf on the shelf, trees, decorations, carols, traditions and family. If you dont that is OKAY with me- I won't judge you if you don't judge me.
Remember...we are all doing the best we can with what we have.