Meet "Ty" our Elf on the Shelf...
For those of you who don't know about the "Elf On The Shelf" tradition, these pesky little guys show up uninvited to your home December 1st and don't leave until December 25th! Each night they (read:The Parent) magically transport their bodies from one area of the house to another. For example, your Elf on the Shelf might do something cute like eat cookies from the cookie jar, write messages with m&m's or hide in the freezer because it reminds him of the North Pole. Other times, make a big mess, forming snow angels in the flour he spilled on the kitchen floor (terrible idea by the way) or seek adventure by clinging to a candy cane/garland zip-line across the living room. (I'm pretty proud of that last one...) Whimsical creativity and excitement abound in your home as your unpredictable friend entertains the family with his latest stunt.
However, if you are considering taking on this time honored, ridiculous tradition, you must know, you will have to lie, a lot. Even more important to know than that, your Elf HAS TO MOVE every night! Lord help us if you forget!! "Mom, my Elf didn't move!" Your child sobs as you wipe away the sleep from your eyes. You were out late, the bionic flu took you down, you fell asleep watching a movie...doesn't matter. The Elf must move. To cover your blunder and keep the magic alive you tell a bold face lie or make up some lame excuse like, "I heard that when he doesn't move, it means he is resting up for a really big crazy move the next night!" You do what you have to do. There is no greater sinking feeling than your child crying at your bedside over their idle, futile, lame Elf.
So you see, it's a lot of pressure hosting an Elf on the Shelf...not to mention isn't the idea here at Alison Burmeister for Balanced Beauty to feel good and lower stress? So you might ask yourself, "Why in the world would I want more responsibility?" Here is why...because the Elf on the Shelf represents more than just a silly tradition dreamed up marketing geniuses. The Elf on the Shelf represents magic and belief in something you cannot see! The Elf on the Shelf inspires creativity! To quote the author Steven Pressfield, "Is there a spiritual element to creativity? Hell yes. Our mightiest ally (our indispensiable ally) is belief in something we cannot see, hear, touch, taste or feel." Something as simple and silly as a little Elf on the Shelf consciously or subconsciously reinstates that life doesn't have to be so serious. There is plenty of time to be serious. When we have the opportunity to encourage fun and creativity in our homes, we should take it on with gusto! To quote another great mind, "Creativity is intelligence having fun." Albert Einstein.
As crazy as it sounds, until my daughter walks into our room and looks me straight in my the eyes and says, "Mom you can give up the Elf act", I will keep the tradition of Elf on the Shelf alive. For I believe we are all growing up too fast today. With the influence of media on every corner and technology accompanying our every move, it is important to get back to the basics. Whether you are 5 or 75 we are all kids at heart. If something as simple as placing a goofy little Elf on a Shelf each day makes you smile, you are on the right path. If that same act makes you and someone else smile...well that's magic.
Wishing everyone magic and a little silliness this holiday season!