If I could work my will,' said Scrooge indignantly, `every idiot who goes about with "Merry Christmas" on his lips, should be boiled with his own pudding, and buried with a stake of holly through his heart. He should!'
Charles Dickens A Christmas Carol
In the last few years, an old Christmas tradition has been reincarnated, and it seems nearly every child I know has some version of Elf on the Shelf. If you aren't familiar with this particular tradition, a little Elf is sent to your family to scout out good and naughty behavior, then report to Santa every night. He sees you when you're sleeping, he knows when you're awake. When he returns the next morning, the children have to find where he has landed (a different spot in the house every morning--if you are lucky and if you've behaved).
Sometimes the Elf creates mischief, brings gifts, or makes crafts.
And sometimes, if he's like our Elf, Chippy, he just finds a nice spot to sit for the day. (Chippy may be suffering from pregnancy sickness and exhaustion and just doesn't have the will to create chaos this year.)
Much like listening to Christmas music before Thanksgiving and focusing on gift giving and Santa Claus vs Christ, people have major opinions about Elf on the Shelf. Like, major. Vitrol spews from every corner of the internet, rallying against this little Elf.
"He takes away from the spirit of Christmas."
"It teaches kids that he is the ultimate authority in the home."
So here is my advice. If you don't like Elf on the Shelf, don't do it. If you really feel like you need to speak your mind, maybe tell your dog or scream into your pillow.
If you think it's a fun tradition, have at it. Don't worry what other people say about the traditions you chose in your family. After all, Christmas is a time for family. Make it about yours, and nobody elses.