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elf shelf I get it. He’s funny and mischievous. He watches over your kids and has them behaving. (For a  month at least, right?) It’s neat and exciting for them to wake up in the morning and find where your Elf is in the house. Trust me, I get it.

But here’s the thing: I DON’T HAVE TIME.

I have enough to think about with the advent calendar, Fairy Door, and Christmas Eve box. And those three things combined take up more time than I care to talk about. Because I’m not such a grinch. I want them to have fun and believe in magic and in things they can’t see or explain. I do want that. But 30 days of remembering to put your mischievous little brat–I mean Elf–in a new mess (a mess I will have to clean up in the morning, mind you) is something I am fully capable to admit that I will not be able to do. I really admire those of you who can. Seriously. I would love to know how you do it.

I’m not going to lie. I bought one of those creepy, errr…cute, yeah, cute little elves a couple of years ago. Did I remember to do it. Nope. Not once. Did my kids mind?  Well Quinn was two so she didn’t really get it and Trey was an infant, so no. They don’t remember that I didn’t stick with it. Thank goodness.

What made me change my mind about the Elf on the Shelf in the Richardson household? When a friend came over with his little ones and the six year old shouted “Hey Dad! They still have their Elf! Why didn’t theirs have to go back to the North Pole?!” That’s when I  decided right then and there that the Elf thing just wasn’t for us. Not only were my own kids going to be disappointed, I had started to make other children second guess this whole Elf on the Shelf bit.

Here’s what I am going to tell my kids when they come home saying Suzy at school has an Elf and so does Billy and Michael:  I’m going to tell them not all children need an Elf to watch them. That Santa takes care of some kids himself and sends his helpers with the other ones. Will it work? Gosh I hope so.

(I’ll explain more on the advent calendar, Fairy Door and Christmas Eve Box later. Good traditions that don’t take nearly as much of your time!)