I have many friends and family who have adopted the new tradition of Elf on the Shelf®. For those of you who have not heard of this latest Christmas craze, it is pretty much an elf doll that you adopt and keep in your home to let Santa know who to put on the Naughty and Nice list.

You purchase the doll, name it, register it, and then the elf “receives its Christmas magic and become a part of the family’s Christmas each and every year.” The elf takes in the activities throughout the day, and then each night after the family goes to bed, the elf uses magical powers to fly back to the North Pole and relay what has happened. Before the family awakes, their special elf returns home. “However, since these elves like to play games, don’t expect to find them in the same spot!”

Cute tradition, right? Some parents use this as a behavior modification tool during the Christmas season, but some are taking it to some huge extremes. What started out as, in my opinion, as a cute idea to help bring a little holiday tradition to the family, has taken on a life of its own in many households.

There are websites, blog posts, Facebook pages, and Pinterest boards all dedicated to the happening and shenanigans of these Elves on the Shelves. It has become a staple on my Facebook newsfeed to see at least 15 different Elf on the Shelf photos each day when I login. I think most of the pictures are cute, but honestly what are these elves (moms) doing?

The elves have seemed to take on a naughty streak. There are elves who are hanging from light fixtures, making messes in the kitchen for mom to clean up the next morning, spilling dog food, and getting into all sorts of trouble. I thought the idea behind the Elf on the Shelf was to encourage good behavior? So why are these elves getting into so much trouble?

We currently do not have an Elf on the Shelf, but the idea is a cute one to me. However, I don’t think I would partake in the elfish bad behavior if we got one. I think I would stick to the original idea and keep it cute and funny. The main reason I have not purchased an elf is because I think it would scare my children to death. Just a tad bit creepy if you really think about it. A small misbehaving elf running around at night through the house is something of nightmares for some little kids.

What do you think? Do you have an Elf on the Shelf? If so, does your elf do bad things, or does he stick to his original purpose of keeping the kids in line?

Image Source: Michael Kappel on Flickr