Elf on a Shelf and Baby in Box

1 12 2015

When I was growing up I heard, ” You better watch out, you better not cry….He knows when you’ve been bad or good…” He, Santa, was the Christmas version of the All Seeing Eye! Now Santa needs some help.

For more than a decade a new twist has emerged. It  seems that Santa is sending Elves to spy in the homes of little boys and girls.

According to Wikipedia, the source of all things true on the internet from Thanksgiving to Christmas, Santa has scout Elves, AKA an Elf on a Shelf,  who watch in homes to report back to Santa. At the end of the day, when children are asleep, these Elves fly back to give their summary to Santa and then return before the children wake. To make their spying more effective they hide in a different place upon their return. The challenge is for the children to find them. The logic is that when not seen the less-than-good deeds go unrecorded. Well, it’s really just a game.

To be honest, it seems a great idea to sell toys but a poor attempt to improve on Santa’s spying abilities. Surely someone who could find boys and girls all around the world in a sleigh powered by reindeer, all in one night,  could do better! So, hold  your hats. I am here to break a HUGE story.

It seems that the Black Ops Division of the North Pole has installed wireless cameras in the homes of citizens of planet Earth. They have an unlimited battery life, like reindeer on Christmas Eve.  “Santy Cams“, were placed in the homes of the boys and girls as they were sleeping and without the presence or knowledge of the Scout Elves. The first install began on December 26, 2014 and began full operational status on USA’s Independence Day, July 4, 2015. Sprinkled with pixie dust, they are invisible to the human eye, especially adults. On this past Thanksgiving Day the Scout Elves discovered them. They were not happy.

These automated cyber sleuths report back to the North Pole Command Center in real-time, day and night.  This has proven a more effective method of information gathering since they run 24/7/365 instead of between Thanksgiving and Christmas. The software and firmware  are updated on February 29. This obvious flaw allows that one day every 4 years could potentially wreak havoc on global childhood behavior. Tech support pledges, “We will fix this.”

A spokesperson for S.C. reports that the cost of world-wide installation will  be recouped by the  savings from the Good Little Boy and Girl Production Area in one fiscal year. However, opponents from the Elves Union argue that increased capital outlay for expansion and production  demands of the Bad Little Boys and Girls Area will be through the roof. The local 999 of the PACS, Production of Ashes, Coal and Switches, Union is threatening a walk out on December 1 as increased production has brought environmental and workplace hazards. The snow around the naughty area is no longer bright and glistening. Eye witnesses describe it as  winter grey. When pressed for clarification , the witness said, “Have you ever seen U.S. Northeastern Interstate Highway slush ?!”

The next phase of Santa’s Cyber Surveillance is in beta testing  and will be operational  by mid-December. The Surveillance Division and the Aero-Toys Division have  cooperated  to produce a drone designed to observe and report behavior. Citing a huge information gap when children leave home, this Ubiquitous Air-Cam, also made invisible by pixie dust, will also report back to Command Central in real-time. New software has eliminated the leap year flaw in the Santy Cam.

Sales and Marketing reports that non Santa-grade drones without reporting software or pixie dust are flying off of the shelves by shoppers seeking the latest in trending technology.  Software Development is exploring a means of activating these ‘passive’ drones to ‘active’ reporters at a future date. Shoppers report,  “They are more fun than model airplanes. ” One purchaser shouted, ” These are Sick!”

Of course, all of this is fictional and not intended to disillusion or disturb the child in any of us. But it does cause me to wonder just how far we are willing to allow ‘make believe’ to color our ‘real’ lives.

In saw a Facebook post from the original page, Mommy Made, (not to be confused with http://www.mommymade.com, the web page of the creator of Baby Einstein), It read, ” Santa is the magic and love and spirit of giving to others…What it does do is teach children to believe in something they cannot see or touch….” She concludes this belief in Santa will allow belief in, among other things,God.

As you might guess, I beg to differ not from an expertise in child psychology but from a place of faith. Santa is not the source, motivation or inspiration of loving, giving or belief in the unseen. The Salvation Army kettles are not red because of Santa’s suit. Volunteers don’t ring those bells to be Santa’s heralds. Folks don’t reach in their pockets so Rudolph has enough feed for the winter. The  toys, coats, shoes and a host of other gifts are not collected  to make a sleigh full of gifts for the round mound from the frozen ground. Homeless Shelters and Food Pantries don’t say, “Santa made me do it”. WWSD won’t catch on.

Some might point to an innate goodness within us to move us to action. Maybe. Many claim a humanitarian, Spiritual, religious or faith-based inspiration. But for those us who came to believe in something we could not see or touch; it is because someone shared a story of God’s intimate coming in real-time and space through a Baby in a Box. This wooden crate was  made for feeding animals and wound up cradling the Bread of Heaven.  Such is an immediate and personal expression of love. As Christina Rosetti penned,    ” Love Came Down at Christmas.”

It is good to know the difference between  magic and mystery, pretend and promise. Magic is an illusion. Mystery tells of truth. Pretend is a distraction. Promise sees what will be. To quote Michael Card, ” That’s What Faith Must Be.”  ( Excuse, Skip or listen to the ad, to is up to you.)

Have a little fun with Elves on Shelves, Drones in the Darkness and Santa’s Cyber Sleuths. But know the difference in imagination and inspiration. Teach the little ones the same.   I believe the Baby in the Box is the reason we love, we live and we give. We love because He first loved us. We give because he first gave to us. Love is our plea, our token, our gift,  our sign.

And about this naughty or nice thing…The switches were woven into a crown of thorns. I understand He is not looking to punish but to give His best. .Isn’t that Good News!!

It is a mystery but such is Love.