I have an Elf on the shelf, I put up my tree early, I’ve spoilt my child. And what?

We have an Elf on the Shelf. Apparently, it’s a controversial topic. People are saying that it’s another gimmick that is dividing children. It’s upsetting children that don’t have one. ‘Why is there an Elf at my friends house and not mine’. It’s supposedly upsetting working parent who don’t have the energy after a full day of working, then parenting, to mess around with an Elf.

Well. Guess who works full time? This Sheila, right here. Guess who was so tired some days she fell asleep sitting up on her couch? This chump. But I love Christmas and I love, love, love the look at my daughter’s face when she wakes up and races around the house looking for him.

He even arrived early this year. Because, you know, 2020.

The same argument has occurred in the past about giving your child too many presents from Santa. It makes children that have very little upset, because Santa is playing favourites. I have been on both sides of this. When she was a baby, my daughter had years where she got very little. There was so much loss when my husband lost his job and we nearly lost our house. My mum, mother in law, aunty and grandfather all passed away. Miss 7 had no grandparents left to spoil her and we were all too broken to enjoy Christmas for several years. Even though it didn’t ‘spark joy’ anymore, we didn’t Marie Kondo it and throw it away. We worked on it. Got ourselves in a better financial position (this makes it seem easy, but boy that was a hard few years paying off debts). Found what it was about the season that we love; the people, the spirit, the laughter at simple things. Like an Elf toilet papering Barbie’s Dream House.

And spoiling my daughter with gifts. I have worked hard for my money. And as a teacher in 2020, I mean stupidly hard. I have spent all year hunting down sales, paying off laybuys and sacrificing half of my wardrobe space to hiding gifts in big boxes.

My now 7 year old never got upset or compared her gifts to others as a little girl. And on the flip side, she doesn’t boast about her gifts or rub it in to other kids. She is a well behaved girl that tries hard in school, appreciates everything she gets and treats her items and others with respect.

How do I teach her to appreciate and have respect? We show her the struggle. Every year we take treats and cards to those less fortunate. Homeless shelters, Domestic Violence Crisis centres, nursing homes and hospitals. This year we even sat and wrapped up some of our shoe boxes. She helped me choose and put away little toys, stationery and games over the months leading up to Christmas. Then she played ‘Mrs Claus’ and took them to several different families that have been destroyed by the chaos of 2020.

So yes, I spoil my daughter at Christmas now. With gifts, love and fun. But I also use the time for valuable lessons and character building. It’s exhausting, but life has come fill circle. It’s a celebration of hard work, what we have achieved. I won’t be made to feel bad about it.

If you have read all the way to the bottom here and want to argue with me about it, let me trigger you with this before I leave. I put up my Christmas tree in November…

Merry Christmas.

Mrs Mama xxoo

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