Guess who’s making headlines this holiday season?
No, Angelina Jolie doesn’t have a seventh child on the way. And girl, I’m sorry to say but Ryan Gosling isn’t back on the market to kiss you under the mistletoe.
But the internet is abuzz with a certain someone who dresses in a red bodysuit and pointy hat. That’s right, “the Elf on the Shelf” is causing concern during this season of joy.
We’ve seen him all over our Facebook news feed. And even some of our favorite celebrities are joining in on the fun. On Thursday, actress Ali Landry posted a playful shot via Instagram of the Elf tangled in the milk jug for her 5-year-old daughter Estela.
So what seems to be the problem with the lil’ guy?
According to their official website, the Elf on the Shelf is an “interactive holiday hide-and-seek tradition perfect for children and families of all ages.”
But child psychotherapist and parenting coach, Andrea Nair, says the newest Christmas tradition causes some “serious concerns.”
“Although I love all things Christmas, I was quite dismayed to discover the Elf on the Shelf,” Nair writes on her website. “It is terribly cute, and if all it did was play hide-and-seek with children each morning, that would be fabulous. But unfortunately, it is not being marketed this way.”
The child counselor says the holiday toy may be damaging our children.
“My concern is that the elf is being sold as a spy to judge child behaviour,” Nair says. “This is taken from the official website: “Have you ever wondered how Santa knows who is naughty and who is nice? The Elf on the Shelf® – A Christmas Tradition is the very special tool that helps Santa know who to put on the Naughty and Nice list.” NOOOOO!!!!”
“As parenting educators and researchers, we have worked so hard to get “good girl” and “bad girl” out of parenting language, and this just puts it right back in,” Nair continues.
Nair goes on to encourage parents to “just use it as a fun toy to hide each night, enjoying the pure fun of the season.”
Does she have a point?
And not to be a total grinch, but is it really OK to lie to our kids about Santa Claus? Hollywood dad Brad Pitt doesn’t think so.
“I’m not real big on the whole Santa thing,” Pitt, 49, recently shared. “I thought it was a huge act of betrayal when I was a kid. I didn’t like that. When I found out the truth, I was like, ‘Why? Why? Why would you lie to me? Why?’”
Regardless of his feelings, his six children with Angelina Jolie – Maddox, 11, Pax, 8, Zahara, 7, Shiloh, 6, and 4-year-old twins Knox and Vivienne – have already sent in their letters to Santa in Kent, England.
So what does he say to the kids about the Christmas legend?
“What I tell them is some people believe it’s Santa, and some people believe it’s parents, and you get to believe whatever you want,” Pitt said.
So what do you think? Is the Elf on the Shelf potentially damaging our kids?