Why I'm happy to shelf that elf in the Christmas Eve Box

The Farriday family's elf cooking up serious trouble in their kitchenThe Farriday family's elf cooking up serious trouble in their kitchen
The Farriday family's elf cooking up serious trouble in their kitchen
A Christmas elf made a whistle-stop tour by the house this week for a late night word with the four-year-old who has in the last few weeks given that other pesky festive resident in the form the of '˜Elf on the Shelf' a run for its money in mischief.

Upgrading the advent calendars to that of a Playmobil version was enough this year without putting in a request to Father Christmas to send us one of his creepy little helpers to wreak extra havoc for a whole 24 days.

Chaos already reigns in this household without a peculiar little man in a red hat trying to take on Ken for Barbie’s affections in a very odd manner.

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Any further organisationally challenging activities in the run up to Christmas – also count me out.

It’s not a case of bah humbug.

The sight of the elf serving up Kevin the humble Carrot and his immediate family on the grill pan was a little bit of devilish genius and there have been many ‘creative’ scenes drummed up by these very imaginative little fellas, who seem very well acquainted with Pinterest and Google searches for ‘naughty ideas' just for the enjoyment of their Facebook friends...I mean the kids of course.

They certainly enjoy their reign of madness in their attempts to ‘break the internet.’

Now research is showing these ‘new’ pre-Christmas rituals are over-riding the family traditions of old such as watching the Queen’s Speech, dusting off the family albums and sitting down to a good old-fashioned board game.

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One study has found 26 per cent of us have started new family Christmas traditions in the last few years.

More than one in five introducing Christmas jumpers and one in four welcoming the ‘Elf on the Shelf’ and his mischievous activities.

Now it’s the Christmas Eve Box becoming the new staple for parents across the nation.

Not in this house – why?

As selfish it sounds, the 24th is my birthday .

If in the last 33 years it hasn’t been overshadowed enough, with shared gifts and my pet hate birthday gifts in Christmas wrapping, the idea of dedicating even more of

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the day to ANOTHER unnecessary Christmas activity is a non-starter.

When we introduce boxes of treats on everyone else’s birthdays maybe I’ll get on board (It wouldn’t surprise me if this actually becomes ‘a thing’).

Last year I got as far as finishing opening the last of my presents when ‘mini me’ said ‘So it’s Christmas now?’

It was 9.30am.

Coming from a huge family, where Christmas is very much the getting together – the children are showered in offerings throughout the day, so there is no guilt putting them to bed without a new set of pyjamas or loading them with sugar from a box ahead of the Big Man making his night stop.

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The children equally love sharing this time with their grandparents, great grandma, aunties, uncles and cousins - that really is enough.

And even though there is absolutely nothing enjoyable about participating in our annual family quiz, it’s a firm fixture we all kid ourselves will definitely run much smoother the next year round.....

So this Christmas will be a case of more of the festive old and less of the new give me the chance to find that coin in the Christmas pudding any day.

Suddenly it’s New Year’s Day and even though we've gone all out with our new Christmas wardrobe we realise (between the rows) not one of us remembered that Christmas portrait either.

Now that's where a magic elf would come in handy.

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