Behind it all, though, I really believe it takes glory away from the true meaning of Christmas: the coming of our Savior. You definitely don't have to agree with me about any of this, of course. :)
When I read this article by Kimm Crandall the other day, it pinpointed precisely why Santa bothers me so much. Why the "Elf on the Shelf" and "naughty and nice" lists go completely against the truth of the gospel, which Shawn and I want to impart to our kids every chance we get. And at Christmas, what better chance to teach your kids about the God who loved them so much He became man in the form of a helpless baby. That He died for them to reconcile them to Himself because they can't possibly be good enough. Ever. There's no better news to celebrate than that! Not Santa, not reindeer, not an elf on a shelf.
"It is finished" declared Jesus' annihilation of the naughty and nice list. It was with that cry that He pushed that elf off the shelf so that we could be free. My friends, rest in Him this season. Rest in His goodness and not your own. And please, give your children the greatest gift that they will ever receive: the grace that tells them that they have a Savior who loves them and has come to rescue them from the crushing news that they will never be good enough."