Happy Christmas Eve – haha- says the Grinch. You know by now I have no love for Christmas although I try not to ruin anyone else’s fun. However, I can not let Elf on the Shelf go. A mom and daughter duo wrote a book in 2005 and it became a marketing juggernaut. I can’t even imagine how rich these people got. I’m not saying that they had any nefarious thoughts when they came up with the story but now it is “tradition” to have an elf spy on kids and that nanny cams are okay. Using devices like Elf on the Shelf is, in my opinion, a dangerous parental crutch. Call me crazy if it makes you feel better but aren’t you conditioning kids to accept surveillance and have them believe that it is okay for people to spy on you and report you? If a kid grows up believing it is okay for Santa to have a spy that reports them for being bad, then will they also think it is okay for NSA to report their whereabouts to the government? I see some of you rolling your eyes but the connection is there. They are not even allowed to touch the elf and play with it. What kind of message does that send? This is no longer a toy. Then there are the overachieving mommies who stay up and stage elaborate scenes with the thing. Are they not busy enough during the holiday season? Why have moms taken on ANOTHER thing when they have enough to do already? Remember when all parents had to do was eat the damn cookies left out by the kids for Santa and stay up really late to make the tree or presents appear like magic? Now, these little plastic and felt bastards have parents doing insanely complicated set ups that take hours of manipulation and clean up afterwards. There is not enough payoff for that kind of timesink. I say all of you that are ready to ditch this narc elf should use 2020 as an excuse. Nothing has gone right in 2020 so why not have your Elf take a long time quarantine or have Santa say that they spread COVID so they must retire at the North Pole? I’m sorry to ruin your fun but the Elf grates on my nerves and every one of my parenting instincts say it is wrong wrong wrong. There is much too much emphasis on bad behavior. We should be kind because it is the right thing to do, not because some mythical being will bring you that giant LEGO set or the PS5. I teach my kids to behave morally because that is how we become a productive member of our family and community. I read 1984 and Elf on the Shelf can just go to hell – the snitch!