It’s not you, it’s me.
You’re a bit of a heart-breaker, aren’t you? You’re adorable, with your mischievous grin and your well-planned pranks. You may be a bit of a tattler, but you’re such a prevalent part of Christmas that I don’t mind at all.
You work hard watching and listening to children all day. I don’t know how you find the time to travel to the North Pole, tell Santa everything, and then head back to wreak havoc in the sweetest way. But you do find the time, all for the enjoyment of children everywhere. And I believe that really is your purpose – to add to the excitement and anticipation of Christmas.
I just have one bone to pick with you, dear Elf. You see, my daughter seems to think you’re real.
You and I both know that’s not true. And like many other moms, I should probably just go along with your ruse and your back story. Really, if thinking that you’re watching her makes my daughter behave, who am I to look a gift horse in the mouth?
She loves you, my daughter does. She met you just this year at school. Her teacher introduced the two of you. My little girl loves your magical talents and the fact that you always think of funny things to do.
But you did cause a bit of a disturbance in our house this year.
You see, our family values honesty. I know it’s not as popular as it used to be, but we still believe it’s important. We want our kids to be able to take us at our word, and to know that what we say is truthful.
Mr. Elf, your very existence has caused my daughter to doubt my words and to question my integrity.
Her teacher has told her about many things you did before coming to the classroom, about how you visit Santa each night and about how you watch the children so closely.
But you and I know that my daughter’s teacher was lying. She was making it all up. Whether it was to entertain the children or to attempt to control their behaviour really doesn’t matter. The fact is that you have been presented as a real being, alive and able to do all of the wonderful things that your stories say you can do.
And now my daughter believes that I am the liar. I am the one who is being dishonest and who is preying on the gullibility of small children.
Elf, that makes me just a little angry deep in my gut. I’ve taught my daughter to trust the authority figures in her life, but to think critically about what they say. It seems that you have cast a magic spell over her and she has forgotten her thinking cap at home.
My hope for education is that it will open my children’s minds, but that doesn’t seem to be the case here.
I know she will grow out of it. I know she’ll realize the truth soon enough.
But for now Mr. Elf, my daughter thinks she can’t trust her own mother.
And that right there breaks my heart.