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If you’re like most parents, The Elf on the Shelf might be on your naughty list. This tiny plushie can make for so much extra stress during a time of year when you’re already overworked and overwhelmed.
Indeed, the holidays are a notoriously busy time, especially for moms and women in general. Survey results from the American Psychological Association have shown that women take on the lion’s share of holiday preparations and subsequently feel intense pressure and stress over the holidays.
Writer Brigid Schulte refers to all the extra physical and emotional labor women put in over the holidays as the “third shift,” (the “second shift” being the term commonly used to describe all the housework and errands women do alongside their jobs outside the home).
So, how can you limit your third shift and ensure that The Elf on the Shelf doesn’t drain you of what little energy you have left every day during the holidays? Look for more parent-friendly alternatives for activities for your kids, such as Reindeer in Here, which is $17.99 on Amazon.
Created by dad and entrepreneur Adam Reed, the mission behind Reindeer in Here is to not just make holidays easier, but also to promote a positive message that being different is cool.
With Reindeer in Here, children are encouraged to take their Reindeer on daily adventures so that it can get to know them better and so that the reindeer can better inform Santa of the child’s true Christmas wishes. Unlike The Elf on the Shelf, the kids are empowered to move the Reindeer rather than leaving all the work up to others and, best of all, the Reindeer in Here comes with a very nice message: “Different is Normal.”
As you may notice, the Reindeer has a short antler that stands in opposition to his other antler. As the included picture book teaches, that’s perfectly fine! What makes him different is what makes him special and parents have noted that this message has helped to promote inclusion and unity in their households. No wonder Reindeer in Here has won so many awards, including a gold Mom’s Choice, Creative Child Magazine’s Best Book of the Year and the prestigious National Parenting Center seal of approval.
For another great alternative to the infamous Elf, turn to Santa’s Lazy Gnome, which is another stress-free option for parents. It’s $29.90 on Amazon.
Whereas the Reindeer takes messages to Santa Claus about your child’s wishes and personality, the Lazy Gnome is there to report to Santa if your child is being “naughty” or “nice.” Unlike The Elf on the Shelf, this lazy guy can hang out in one spot the whole holiday season, meaning parents can get a rest from tirelessly creating holiday magic.
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