Friday, November 27, 2009

My Elf on the Shelf - Why Adults Believe in Santa Too

Today my kids found out about the Elf on the Shelf.  We now have a little elf named "Ollie" who sits on our shelf and watches the kids all day.  At night he returns to Santa and reports on good deeds.

Why oh why have we not had an elf on our shelf for years?  My kids got ready for bed so quickly I almost got whiplash as I watched them run down the hall.  They put themselves to bed and fell asleep in record time.  I think I am in love!

So this got me to thinking, why do my kids (and most adults I know) only put forth their best behavior when there is someone watching?  I can promise most bedtime routines are filled with the wails of protesting children, the pleas for more time and the sounds of feet running in the opposite direction from bed.  Tonight I had my children replaced by obedient angels. hmmm 

Santa is a powerful and amazing man.  He judges you and rewards you based on effort and deeds.  This kind of sounds like my last boss.  He was also an amazing man.  He watched what I did, evaluated my effort and the result, then rewarded me accordingly.  So why is it I didn't get giddy when I knew he was coming for a visit?

Have you ever seen a cubical farm full of employees dash to their desks when they think someone in management is watching?  It reminds me of my kids diving into their rooms tonight.  Have you ever seen coworkers explain their amazing productivity at a department meeting? It reminds me of my kids explaining why they "earned" toys from the man in the big red suit.

After thinking about these parallels I have come to the conclusion all adults believe in Santa Claus, if they didn't why would they behave the same way my kids do?  All adults want to be recognized for their good deeds.  All adults want rewards.  All (ok, most) adults try and be good when someone is watching.

That makes us all grown up kids who want a reward, preferably one stuffed in our stocking.  We know "Santa" is all around and we hope he will notice how good we are and how much we deserve praise.  We may no longer giggle in anticipation, but our hope is still the same.

Think about this and start to notice the people around you who could use a little "Santa Cheer" in their lives.  My mom always said Santa was the spirit of Christmas, if that is the case may we all join in and bring a little spirit to those we associate with.  Just like my elf on a shelf, may we take this opprotunity to report on good deeds.  May we reward those who deserve it and acknowledge the efforts of others.

The holidays can get crazy.  Please remember, Santa is watching!

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