If you've spent any time over the past few years wishing you were Jewish during the period between Thanksgiving and Christmas, you're not alone. Ever since the Elf on the Shelf made its way onto the holiday scene, parents have been bemoaning yet one more thing to do—every single day—during an already-busy time of year. Not only is it more work, but it's also more money (you could probably get away with the basic $25 model, although now that accessories are available, all bets are off as to whether you'll ever afford to retire).
The Elf on the Shelf was a quasi-cute idea until it morphed into a kind of silent parenting war (i.e. who can post the best Facebook photos of their kids' elf in the most irreverent and most mischievous poses). It also instilled a kind of big-brother fear into children, never mind how it dragged out an entirely too commercial holiday that gets more watered down by the year.
But why limit insanely unnecessary lies to children to Christmas-time only? That's where the My Best Tooth Fairy Friend comes in. Sold for $34.99, it's "a spunky and lovable companion for any child who's about to lose a tooth. Inside this box is everything parents need to create a lifetime of memories. It's easy, it's fun and you'll always be ready for those magical moments." Included in the purchase price is a doll, book, "tooth vessel," keepsake note cards and sticker badges. The New York Post has appropriately branded it "insane."
Whatever happened to just sticking a tooth underneath the pillow?
Yet some seem to love it, with one reviewer on Amazon raving, "The moment I confirmed (my daughter) had a loose tooth her eyes widened as she gleefully shouted out 'THE TOOTH FAIRY IS COMING!' I knew we had to make this much awaited milestone special for her."
And while, indeed, anyone with small children can verify an imminent visit from the tooth fairy is thrilling, does it really merit an entire kit to prepare? Whatever happened to just sticking a tooth underneath the pillow and then dipping into your 401K only to have the newly toothless child awake with disappointment because the cheapskate Tooth Fairy left a $2 bill and not an iPad?
There's something to be said for making a child's formative years magical. On the other hand, rewarding kids even more for simply passing through each stage of development with I-did-nothing-to-deserve-this-trophy-but-I-feel-entitled-to-it-anyway gifts can only be setting kids up to act even more spoiled. First day of school gifts, last day of school gifts, rewarding children who turn in all their homework (and not necessarily doing it well, but just doing it at all, which is their job)—it's as if Pinterest has turned into a living, breathing horror film where boards and pins come to life and attack (coming to a theater near you, Halloween 2017!)
If the Elf on the Shelf (or Mensch on the Bench) is already super-glued in your family's holiday lexicon, fine. But these things have a way of spreading like an outbreak of super lice. So do everyone around you a favor: If you insist on getting your kids a My Best Tooth Fairy Friend, keep it quiet, don't post any photos on Instagram, and be sure to tell your kid they have a one-of-a-kind doll so no other kids think they can possibly get one, too. All parents, everywhere, will thank you for your support.