I decided to bite the bullet and get an elf to torment my kids into behaving this holiday season. Plus, I thought it would be fun to add some frivolity and a bit of 'be a good boy and girl' that any parent craves during the holidays. However, I wanted an alternative to the Elf on the Shelf and found Christopher Pop in Kins. Yet, at the end of the day, which is best? Elf on the Shelf vs Christopher Pop In Kins?
The Looks: Elf of the Shelf vs Christopher Pop In Kins
I fall into the ranks of thinking that the Elf of the Shelf is a bit creepy. However, I checked out the girl elf on the shelf and she seems less so. Thus making the creepiness thing a bit under rated now. But still a big thing for most people. I do like that the The Elf on the Shelf elves come in various skin tones to make it more relatable for many families. They also now come with tons of accessories.
Alternatively, the Christopher Pop-In-Kins and the girl Elf, Christine, seem to be cuter overall in my opinion. However, they are the only options. Yet, you'll have to get over the fact that it looks like the Pop In Kins elves are missing an ear. (Of course, the hat is covering one side, but still.) The Pop In Kins are also bendable with 'Gumbie" like material, so it is fun to place them in more positions and places around the house.
Each book comes with the Elves. Although some parent feedback on the Elf on the Shelf book is that it is a bit heavy handed on the 'watching you' concept. One parent did not like the reference to prayers in the Elf on the Shelf book. The Christopher Pop In Kins book was rather boring all and all. There were a lot of dedications that spoil the surprise so it may be something you want to rip out before giving to a child that can read. So if the prayer reference doesn't bother you, the Elf on the Shelf book is the better of the two.
Elf on the Shelf and Christopher Pop In Kins both come with books, though the Elf on the Shelf brand also has DVDs and accessories like clothes, stuffed toy elves and even a board game. The Elf in the shelf has at least 4 versions (boy/girl, light/dark.) Even the website has games and activities and even encourage Birthday visits. Plus there are Elf visits around the country.
So if you want to really get into it, the Elf on the Shelf is the clear branded winner. The Pop In Kins brand only has the two elves (and a stuffed cat), but the website is interactive and there are Elf appearances around the country too. All in all, I went with Christopher Pop In Kins because he was bendable and cuter. Plus, I really didn't want to go down the route of books, DVDs, and accessories. I just wanted a cute, simple elf that I could place around the house who leaves little surprises in our Christmas Advent Calendar each day leading up to Christmas. And it seemed to be the simplest option for us. However, if you don't think the Elf of the Shelf is creepy, then it has the most options for holiday fun.
So which version did you go with, or did you have an third alternative altogether?
Image Credit: Metrowest Mamas. Thumbnail by tab1962 via Canva.com