I was an early adopter of the Elf on the Shelf. Our elf, Snowy, finally gave me an accountability mechanism to stand behind my claims of Santa’s remote dissatisfaction with my children's behavior. My once empty threats of telegraphing the North Pole to cancel all gifts, now had a beady-eyed, stuffed accomplice who has provided enough pause to the children to think that, at times, I may be serious. Our four-year old just stares at him with utter dread. In fact, over this weekend, Peter walked right into a wall while trying to tip toe past Santa’s spy.
It made me wonder if Snowy should return to the North Pole permanently as to avoid further injuries. It also made me wonder how much I may lead like the elf on the shelf. Do others experience me as a silent judge simply waiting for the next mistake? Am I causing people to hit walls out of fear or am I helping them to move toward “a love that gives meaning to our existence"? As Snowy continues to watch the children, what do I need to watch in myself this Advent to make sure that, instead of getting in the way, I am showing the way?