Tuesday, December 2, 2014

The Peer Pressure of the Elf

Well, it was bound to happen...my first vent-type post. However, I bet there are a lot of parents who share my sentiments. This post is not meant to bash specific people or to be ugly - just my random thoughts and observations.

Our elf just sits on a shelf...and watches.
This morning, my children woke up all excited to look for "Magic" our elf on a shelf only to be disappointed that our elf didn't do anything "funny" like such-n-such's elf who does this-n-that. Hearing their "aughhs" of a let-down after sighting him upset me and got me thinking about how disheartening it is that we live in a what seems to be an ever growing "one-up" society.

I chuckle at the pictures I see on Facebook, Instagram, and Pinterest of other's elves and always impressed with such cute and creative ideas. I also try to shake it up every now and then with a little glitz and magic with our elf. {I think "Magic" is fancy to Lily's Tinkerbell tree topper. Ha!} But really when it comes to it, I'm lucky if I can remember to move the damn thing...like this morning :/

It seems this simple and sweet story, meant to encourage children to be on their best behavior, has gotten out of control with whose elf can out-antic an antic.

Personally, I don't have the time nor do I feel like making the mess as pictures show for an elf that my children see a few minutes in the morning and a few hours at night. They know the point of his presence and when they are misbehaving, I point to "Magic" or say he's watching y'all and they quickly straighten up.

This type of out-doing does't just lie with the elf, consider these:

Look at how teens are now asking dates to Homecoming or Prom -- by way of a production with posters, yard signs, lights, and the entire family involved. I ask, why? If teens are dating, isn't it just a given they would go to these events together? What happen to "hey, we're going to the Prom, right?" or "Lets start making plans for the Prom. Yay." If asking someone for the first time, how about simply asking face to face, "Would you like to go to the Prom with me?"

Or, when did Easter become a second Christmas? I was raised with the Easter Bunny who just left colored eggs and chocolate candy, maybe a little summer item or two as we got older. That same ole Easter Bunny visits my kids, too.

Kids under 10 with smart phones. Again, I ask why? Who do they have to call or text or why are they on social media?! It's such a scary thought to me. My 18-year old drives me nuts with his phone. I can't image giving that type of power to such young children. I know there are lots of parental controls, privacy settings, rules you can set, etc. (I believe I've invented a few) but I have seen first hand they know how to get around it...scary.

Ok, now this is a tricky one because I love party decorations and ideas...but let's be honest, some birthday parties I see are just way over the top. Search any party idea on Pinterest. I certainly don't have a strong opinion with decorating for special occasions. I design party invitations and decor printables for goodness sake. In reality, decorating for a party is time consuming and can be expensive. I just think, how much time, how much money, and did the kids have fun? I try to keep my kids's parties simple and inexpensive but still filled with fun decorations and the basic cake and ice cream, of course.

So, what are we teaching our children, or some adults for that matter? When did everything that was once so simple become something that now has to be a spectacle? No wonder people are never satisfied. I'm sorry but I just don't believe bigger is better. Why the unnecessary pressure to "keep up with the Jones?"

Here is a definition of peer pressure -- social pressure by members of one's peer group to take a certain action, adopt certain values, or otherwise conform in order to be accepted. Something to think about...

To those reading this and may feel offended, my apologies. To those who think: well, just don't do what others do. Guess what? I really don't. I do find it more and more difficult to stay confident in sticking to what I consider my values and minimalist ideals. It takes soul searching, prayers, and reality checks to stop feeling bad for not doing what other's do. Call me old fashion or maybe boring but I feel that my little family is doing just fine with keeping it simple.

So why do I stay on Facebook and other social media if what I'm seeing makes me feel this way at times? The same reason everyone else does, to see what's going on. It's a double-edge sword. LOL!!

Well, I hope I don't lose many readers because of my thoughts...but it is my blog ;)

Santa may reassign "Magic" to a more clever home next Christmas.


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