There's No Elf on My Shelf...and I don't feel bad about it

I despise mommy shaming. Especially when it comes to the holidays. I applaud the moms and dads staying up late and getting up early doing their research to find unique ways to show that your Elf on the Shelf has been to the North Pole, but I'm not sad that this isn't something happening in our home. I also don't feel that my husband and I are horrible parents for having other holiday traditions that have as much, if not more, meaning.

We haven't pushed Santa in our house. We took my daughter to see him when she was 11 months and nearly 2. Last year was a nightmare. She screamed, cried, and did everything but run from the building. This year, when we asked if she wanted to see Santa, she said "no thank you." She told me numerous times she doesn't want anything to do with the man in red, and that's her choice. Though I'm not opposed to Santa, since it's not been her idea to pursue it, I haven't either.

We don't lack in holiday traditions. My daughter knows her family buys her presents and she took great care to ask for four very specific things that she needed and wanted this year. She knows that Christmas is Jesus' birthday and she's had a lot of questions about His story and loves talking about the tiny nativity that serves as her centerpiece at the dining room table.

She is excited about the Christmas lights, we've gone to holiday activities in our community, but most importantly, when you ask her about the holidays, my little girl is excited to get and give gifts to others. She is excited that she will be spending time with her grandparents, aunts, and uncles. Without Santa or an Elf, she told me yesterday when I told her there were 22 days until Christmas that she wished it were "502 days" because she doesn't want this time of year to be over.

So, before you judge those of us who are without an elf and aren't waiting in line to see Santa, our traditions are just as fun, and we are loving celebrating the season as much as you!