Posted by loopback First year doing it for my 4 year old and he loves it, we read the book and I move the elf nightly. Don't really use it as a discipline tool. Those who don't understand it, or refuse to do it are short-changing their kids on some of the magic of Christmas, my son loves waking up and seeing where the elf has "landed". And telling the elf that he made a "happy plate" or what he wants Santa to bring for Christmas. He absolutely is enchanted with the elf and the joy of Christmas.
I refuse to do it, and I don't think I'm short changing my kids at all. To me, it represents what I hate about Christmas ( and society to be broader). The commercialization, the expectation to have/do something for the simple fact everyone else does/is, and the social obligations. I prefer a simpler life and am raising my kids to appreciate that. In no way do I think that makes me a bad parent. We have our own traditions that actually mean something to us and us alone. That matters to me. When I think back on Christmases when I was a kid, my favorite memories have nothing to do with any commercial product or social obligation. Its the simple felt angel with the gold pipe cleaner halo that went on top of our tree, making out ornaments, and waking up super early on Christmas morning and sitting outside my parents bedroom door with my brothers and a watch (we couldn't wake them up until 6:00 AM) counting down the seconds until we could go in. Never had an elf or anything else that everyone else had/did (because it was a more individual celebration back then) and my memories are very, very happy.