After ignoring Wall Street, let’s get on with our life one blog at a time … by Julie Klingler

I must admit, I have been sucked in by effective commercial marketing and the magic of Christmas.  Our family has joined the millions who own an “Elf on the Shelf”.  What’s that you say? Well for $29.95 you can purchase a small felt doll that gives you high hopes of good behavior from your children until Christmas arrives.  Too good to be true or a ridiculous price to pay for a doll I could have made on my own? You bet.

I held out as long as I could.  I thought we didn’t need one of these “elves” but for $30 I figured I would split it between both of my children, so I dropped the purchasing cost down to $15 per child.  Then I figured I could keep the magic of Christmas going for at least a good 5-6 years, maybe even longer. My annual elf expense has now been diminished to a few dollars.  I can justify nearly any purchase.

In the evening, our “Marvin” (you name the doll, register it, and receive official adoption records) travels back to the North Pole reporting on our son’s behavior to Santa.  Trick is that we must move our elf nightly so that the children know the elf reported to Santa and has returned to a new landing spot.  Nobody may touch the elf or he loses the ability to return to the North Pole.  I won’t tell you how many times I’ve awoke in the night in a panic wondering if we moved Marvin.  I have been held hostage by a doll, a small cheap felt doll all to keep the magic of Christmas alive.  The marketing gods got me – hook, line, and sinker.