Magic Horse on a Shelf

5 Feb

Anyone who is Facebook friends with multiple yuppies with children probably found their Wall full of “Elf on the Shelf” pictures in December.  Mostly pictures of elves doing over-the-top creative things, or pictures of elves doing “boring” things along with language about how the parent couldn’t manage to do some fancy Pinterest-worthy stunt.  (Don’t get me started on Pinterest.)

Throughout the month, I held my tongue about my belief that it’s a bad idea to use an elf to threaten your kid into doing stuff they should do anyway.  You know, “If you don’t brush your teeth, the Elf on the Shelf will see and tell Santa.”  I’m not a fan, and Mike and I are on the same page that there will be no elf on our shelf in the future.

Fast forward to a week or so ago when Mike’s dad and stepmom came to visit us.  They brought with them the tradition of the Magic Horse.  It’s a gorgeous little wooden vessel that, as I understand it, Mike’s Grandpa used to put coins in for his grandkids.  When Bruce and Lynda arrived, Grandpa told Michaela that if she went to bed like a good girl, the Magic Horse woud make money.  It didn’t necessarily make her go to bed better (her schedule was all thrown off from the excitement of having special visitors), but it certainly made her excited to wake up and check the horse!

I love that it’s a tradition passed down from Mike’s grandpa, who has long since passed away meaning Michaela won’t ever meet him, but I can’t help but feel like a hypocrite because we have encouraged the Magic Horse while abhorring the Elf.  Maybe it doesn’t matter.  Or maybe this is just a natural part of being a parent, proof that my attempts to stop saying, “I’ll never do that with my kid!,” are a good move.

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