don't kills the elfYesterday’s blog on the manipulative power of the Elf struck a nerve with many of you. Some of you of were supportive; others were dismissive, and many were somewhere between the two polls.

Traditions: The Good and The Bad 

Before we go any farther, let me remind everyone that I am only calling for the shelving of the elf. I am not advocating for its execution. Holiday traditions are just that, traditions. And I like them. I grew up observing a whole host of fun things in December. Ultimately, what makes or breaks a tradition is the hearts and motives of those who employ it. 

The Elf’s Motive

The Elf on the Shelf can easily be used to manipulate kids at Christmas. The founders of the Scout Elf brand wrote: “All it took was a gentle reminder that the “”scout elf is watching”” for errant behavior to be modified.” You don’t have to use the elf this way. But, it can be. 

The elf can be used to coerce your kid’s behavior. It’s creators even encourage us to do so. If we (Christians) do buy into the elf’s methodology, we miss the beauty of Jesus. We miss the biblical view of parenting. That alone was my point. We need to shelve the ideas behind the elf because we have something better! I have nothing against red fabric and plastic faces. 

The End

So in case your wondering, I will not be conducting the “Eastman Elf Trials” sheparding a childs heartanytime soon. Nor will I be hunting reindeer or attempting to bag Santa. 

I apologize if I caused you any unnecessary confusion. I hope everyone can still enjoy their hot coco this December. 

If you want to explore gospel focused parenting in more depth, I encourage  you to checkout Shepherding a Child’s Heart by Tedd Tripp. 

Merry Christmas!

Peter  

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