What do you think about this "elf on a shelf”? A fictional character watches your children and reports to Santa. They are told to be obedient so that the elf will be able to report good behavior to Santa. As Christians—disciples--isn't this lying? Shouldn't we be teaching out children to obey because God commanded it, not because this figure is reporting? Also each night parents collaborate, moving the elf figure to different areas around the home, to make it seem like it's gone to the North Pole. Thank you for your response. -- Dori Acevedo
Actually, I’ve never heard of elf on a shelf. Now children love make-believe, stories, play-acting. As parents, we were happy to see the kids getting into such stories with excitement. Stories and fiction can be such fun, and children thrive on them.
Nursery tales, fables, and much children’s reading is fiction. I myself enjoy a novel or two every month. Of course I know it's fiction--something young minds can't so easily grasp--but still I spend those hours in a fictional world. When they children are young, the line between fantasy and reality is sometimes blurry.
While I myself might feel a bit strange using the elf, we did lead out kids on so that they had great fun in the Xmas season. For example, we'd set out a carrot in the snow, and the next morning it would have been nibbled (daddy nibbled in the night) by the reindeer. We had all sorts of family traditions. Once the kids are older, of course, it doesn't work that way.
So….should we stick to non-fiction? What would happen if we extracted all the fiction—everything not literally true—from the Bible? Out would go the parables; lots of the poetry; most of the book of Revelation… You see where this is leading?
I feel we would lose some of the magic of those early years if we hold ourselves--and our children--in constant check, reminding them again and again that something isn't real. That's my opinion; others may differ, and I'm comfortable with that. Thanks for your question.
Note: at this website you can find other entries related to Xmas, Easter, Halloween, even Harry Potter—you might get into that one!—if you want to explore further.