Meet Nacho, Our Elf

Here is the tale of yet another mother’s love/hate relationship with the Elf on the Shelf:

The leaves have fallen off the trees, you can see your breath when walking out the door, we’ve done the turkey and pumpkin spice everything; all these can only mean one thing: Nacho is here!

Nacho is our 11-inch, 2-pound friend, also known as the Elf on the Shelf. Some elves are boys, some are girls, some have creative names, others are more basic, some fly through the living room while mine sits in basic spots.

We have had Nacho in our house for two years, and since he has been around, I have come to love him. But I also wish he was not a reminder of all the mom fails I am having.

I am someone who loves Christmas and am 100% all things Christmas starting the day after Thanksgiving. From Black Friday shopping to finding the perfect Christmas tree, I love anything and everything Mariah Carey’s “All I Want for Christmas” reminds us of. But since we have introduced Nacho (named by a 2-year-old at the time) to our son, Christmas time has changed a little for me.

I love that my 4-year-old talks about Nacho all year and often reminds us that he comes Thanksgiving night. I love that my son cannot wait to see where the elf is going to be each morning. I love that he knows Nacho means Christmas is coming. Lights will be outside, stockings hung somewhere in our condo, and Christmas music all day long. My son is just as excited about Christmas as I am and, I can thank Nacho for some of that. Most 4-year-olds don’t get excited for Black Friday or picking out the tree, but they do get excited for a magical friend.

On the other hand, I feel it. I feel the mom fails commencing on Black Friday, just as we enter into the Christmas season. I love Pinterest, but I do not love Elf-on-the-Shelf Pinterest. I am a creative person and love crafts, but I just can’t do it.

I can’t find creative places for Nacho to be hanging, floating, or swinging from. I cannot make the props, find the outfits, sew, or glue for Nacho. Most nights, when we remember, Nacho is moved to another room or behind some piece of furniture in the house. And, you know what? He is just as magical. But I feel the guilt. My son is 4 and in preschool, and he talks a lot. And I am hoping and praying parents of the other children at preschool are not using all their creative abilities for their Elf, because I am not. 

I think we moms need to make a pact or something. Elf on the Shelf only moves, doesn’t ride matchbox cars, doesn’t play basketball with Ryder, Chase, or Rubble. He just sits. Because you know what? 

All these elves are doing the same thing — watching our children from Thanksgiving until Christmas — so you, Mom, can survive the craziest, most hectic but, also most joyous and wonderful time of year. 

Krystal is a Massachusetts native who grew up in the 'burbs and is now loving the city life in Roslindale with her husband and 2 boys (3 and 1). She and her husband met eight years ago downtown working at a restaurant together, and since then their love of restaurants has kept their date nights exciting as they try out the latest places. Learning Spanish has been something Krystal has loved ever since middle school, and that has become her passion as a Spanish teacher in Boston, wife to a Salvadoran, and mother raising her children bilingual. Loves: family, friends, playing with her kids, a comfy hoodie on the beach when the sun goes down, nachos, baking, ABC Family movies, Christmas time. Not so much: loud music, putting away laundry, terrible threes (whoever said it was twos, was wrong), and black pepper.