elf on the shelf

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Yesterday we gave Ashtyn the ‘Elf on the Shelf’ and I was surprised about how into it she was.

Names I suggested to Lindy for our elf:

  • Oprah
  • Madmartigan
  • Darth Vader
  • Marty McFly
  • Andy Dufresne

Ashtyn picked “Elfie” and Lindy agreed. Forever outnumbered -__-

No doll better represents the Christmas spirit, or the NSA.

6 Holiday Traditions We Should Stop Pretending to Enjoy

#4. The Elf on the Shelf

“The Elf on the Shelf” became a Christmas tradition when a book of the same name said it should back in 2005. Basically, it involves placing an elf doll somewhere in your home and telling your children that he’s there to watch them and report the findings directly to Santa Claus, which he does by going all the way back to the North Pole every single night. He then “returns” the next day, positioned in a new spot, where he can once again rule over your child’s behavior using nothing more than his dead-eyed stare.

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I KNEW IT.

If you use an Elf on the Shelf to extort your kids into good behavior this Christmas, it may have graver consequences than sheer creepiness. So says University of Ontario professor Laura Pinto, a digital technology expert who recently published a paper about the doll titled, “Who’s the Boss?” Pinto explains:

What is troubling is what The Elf on the Shelf represents and normalizes: anecdotal evidence reveals that children perform an identity that is not only for caretakers, but for an external authority (The Elf on the Shelf), similar to the dynamic between citizen and authority in the context of the surveillance state. Further to this, The Elf on the Shelf website offers teacher resources, integrating into both home and school not only the brand but also tacit acceptance of being monitored and always being on one’s best behavior — without question. [CCPA]

“You’re teaching [children] a bigger lesson, which is that it’s OK for other people to spy on you and you’re not entitled to privacy," she summarized–Bonnie Kristian