Elf On The Shelf Is A Wuss Compared To Krampus

In 2005 a self published book told of how Santa keeps track of how kids are naughty or nice. Santa, unlike God, is not everywhere. He’s in the North Pole so he needs the Elf on the Shelf.

In 2011 it was made into a cartoon that aired on CBS, and now the Elf on the Shelf has taken over the world.

The idea is that every morning kids wake up and find the Elf on the Shelf doing some mischievous thing. elf on a shelf

It let’s the kids believe that the Elf is alive and helps spread the lie that he’s watching their behavior. Some say it’s harmless fun. Some say it’s from the pit of the Devil.

I say the Elf on the Shelf has nothing on Krampus.

Krampus is the opposite of St. Nicholas. St. Nicolas brings good kids gifts from his bag. Krampus is a demon like creature from German folklore that kidnaps kids who have been bad, puts them in his sack, and carries them to his lair.

How horrifying is that?

Now I wonder how affective Elf on the Shelf and the much scarier Krampus are?

Humans love to rule things by fear. Military men have ruled by fear. Pastors have lead by fear.

This is why the church resisted allowing the Bible to printed. They were afraid of what would happen if the common folk got their hands on it. It might take away from the churches rule.

This is why churches banned things like rock n roll, alcohol, and having fun. The church is afraid that people will go crazy into sin so we’ve lead by fear.

The problem is that eventually fear wears off. I wonder how many really bad kids became good adults because they were scared by Krampus?

I think this is why people say things like, “You can’t lie! You are in church.” It’s as if our behavior has to be different at church than it is outside of the church for fear that God will strike us dead.

I don’t know about you but I want my kids to obey not out of fear but because they understand it’s best. And I want the people of my church to act the same outside of church as they do inside.

Fear only goes so far.

Love drives out fear.

I want my kids to obey even when I’m not looking. I want my kids to obey 12 months a year and  not just one month.

Ultimately I want my kids to obey because their heart has been changed by God. I want the same thing for my church.

I want people to obey God because they have been blown away by his love not scared to death by fear.

“Fear is a great motivator but an awful master.” – Rob Shepherd.

Did I just quote myself? Yes. I did. Quotes seem to stand out more to people so I threw it down.

My point though is that fear can motivate people for a little while but it’s a horrible master. I don’t want to lead my kids, or my church with fear. I want to lead with love. Love that inspires them to love Jesus and thus obey.

Did you celebrate Santa and or Elf on the Shelf with your kids? Why do you think so many people use fear to motivate people?

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Rob Shepherd

I am the full-time husband of a wonderful woman! I love being married! We are proud parents to twins, Hayden and Reese. In my spare time I am the pastor of Next Level Church. I have a relationship with God and it is an adventure. Oh and I wrote a book. It's called Even If You Were Perfect Someone Would Crucify You.

21 Comments

  1. December 5, 2013

    You gave me more of the story of Elf On The Shelf than I had ever heard. It sounds like Krampus is the Boogeyman. I always was afraid that if I did something bad or enough bad things I would have to go to reform school. That scared me.
    I think we try to rule or live by fear because it’s easier. It’s easier to give people a bunch of rules that they have to follow instead of just trying to live doing the right thing.
    Yes, we do Santa.

    Reply
    • December 5, 2013

      Larry, that’s the glory of Wikipedia. I found a lot of info on Elf on the Shelf and Krampus.

      Reply
  2. December 5, 2013

    I have never heard of elf on the shelf. Glad you clued me in so that I can appear “hip” and “with it” around the water cooler at work (that is if we even have a water cooler at work). Also, I love the fact that you quoted yourself. I think this technique can be even more poignant if you refer to yourself in the third person.

    Reply
    • December 5, 2013

      Daniel, Rob will work on that.

      Reply
      • kelly miller
        December 5, 2013

        haha..you make Kelly laugh!

        Reply
  3. December 5, 2013

    Evan’s afraid of everything, so adding the fear of a stuffie coming alive at night and eating his toes is just mean. Funny, but mean.

    Reply
    • December 5, 2013

      Ricky, my kids are too. For me it’s not just that it would be mean it would cause them to wake up in the middle of the night and that stinks for us parents.

      Reply
  4. shepherdmim
    December 5, 2013

    We let belief in Santa happen, but did not do much to promote it, other than mysteriously bring out gifts on Christmas morning (one time on Christmas eve). Kids have great imaginations and sometimes know more than they let on. They like to pretend and imagine as a part of playfulness. They pick up Santa Claus from the cartoons and Christmas specials. Santa, at least stems from a real person, St Nicholas. At times, I become a bit concerned at how secular Christmas is. It has provided the church with a designated time in the year to celebrate Christ’s birth, but even the date of Christmas was influenced by the Roman Saturnalia which was such a big deal that Christians wanted to participate and thus brought “Christian” meanings to a secular holiday that included lights, trees, red & green colors, and an established date which celebrated the coming of light–days getting longer. Not hard to see how Christians could seize on this one and give it new meaning. I’ve never liked the naughty or nice–fear factor. I agree that behavior needs to be constant and stem from values.

    Reply
    • December 5, 2013

      Mim, we are going down a similar path. We are not afraid of Santa but we are not going over board with him either.

      Reply
  5. Joan Bastian
    December 5, 2013

    I did Santa but just recently heard of EonS. I think the elf doing bad things would give the kids ideas.
    Using fear can be downright mean. I think maybe people use it for lack of better things to use. It’s easy.

    Reply
    • December 5, 2013

      Joan, it is easy. I think the Elf on the Shelf is supposed to be more mischievous but some of the things that parents have him doing is down right gag nasty.

      Reply
  6. Jim
    December 5, 2013

    Santa for us. The only Elf we have at Christmas is Buddy!!! I agree with Daniel I love the fact that you quoted yourself. It would also be funny to have a third person blog post.

    Reply
    • December 5, 2013

      Jim, I introduced my kids to Buddy this year. They liked the “Elf” and wanted to watch more of it.

      Reply
  7. kelly miller
    December 5, 2013

    We had Santa in my house when my children were little. I think if knew God then, that I would of told them he was just for fun. I’ve been through a lot with illness in my life. I’m not really afraid of anything. I think people are kind of ruled by fear. I’m trying to teach my children not to be afraid. Worst punishment (if you want to call it that) is time out chair. And, I explain that time out is not a punishment. It is a place to go and be with yourself. To collect yourself, your thoughts back to good; to Jesus. I have studied on the subject of fear in the past and found that when you ask most people to write down one feeling they have the most, they will write, “I am afraid”. My personal advice is to always replace fear with curiosity and courage. We are never alone. “As a man thinks, so he is” is true. So, let’s not instill any sort of fear in our children please.

    Reply
    • December 5, 2013

      Kelly, I hear ya. We do timeout and spanking but spanking is the last resort and not done out of anger. We try not to yell or bully our kids. We do teach them right from wrong and hope that they will always feel love through the discipline.

      Reply
      • kelly miller
        December 5, 2013

        Rob, I’m the oldest of 5, have 3 children and ran my own daycare for 8 years. Nothing wrong with showing them the wooden kitchen spoon or them knowing that the consequence of a spanking is their choice when it comes to toddlers. You’re a great Dad!

        Reply
  8. December 5, 2013

    Yeah ya gotta hate this Krampus character! He seems to rear his ugly head around MY house at least once a month!? Lol

    Reply
  9. December 5, 2013

    I gotta say, elves and gnomes and fairies freak me out! Beings like Krampus don’t bother me. They look evil – you know they are evil. It is the friendly looking ones that scare me. I am among those who believe elf on the shelf is from the pit of hell.

    By the way, well done on the selfie quote!

    Reply
  10. December 5, 2013

    We don’t do the Santa or Elf on a Shelf thing with our kids. It was an interesting decision. I was brought up without Santa, but my wife’s family did the Santa thing.

    Reply
  11. December 6, 2013

    Elf on the Shelf would require me to spend time posting the pictures of all his antics on FB, so I’m out.

    Plus, creepy.

    Reply
    • kelly miller
      December 6, 2013

      Saw him on Miley’s wrecking ball yesterday!

      Reply

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