In a world that urges you to be happy and delightful during holidays for the sake of it, this mother is urging her kids to be honest about their feelings.
Christmas is known to be a happy time of the year. However, that isn't always the case for a lot of families. In a video posted on TikTok by a mom named Elisa (@_lampetia_), she spoke about how teaching kids the importance of accepting themselves even on days they don't feel great is important. They also want to push away the narrative that one needs to be happy during the holidays because, realistically as well as statistically, that isn't always possible. One might as well accept themselves for not feeling okay. This mother implemented this in her family by turning the banana man plushie into something more seasonal.
The first frame of the video begins with a picture of the Banana Man plushie standing and waving. The text overlay reads, "We don't do elf on the shelf." It refers to the mischievous Christmas elf people often have in their houses that are said to fly to the North Pole each night to report to Santa on whether the family's children have been naughty or nice. The next few frames of the video tell us that this family enjoys interactive fun and surprises. The frames read, "We aren't big into surveillance for fun, but the kids do love surprises and interactive traditions." In the frames, the banana man can be seen sitting coyly in the refrigerator and leaning on the window, looking outside.
The text overlay in the next frame, where the banana man is sitting between Elisa's kids, says how the family created their own holiday character. The following slide revealed the fun character. It read, "Seasonal Depression Man." The plushie seems to be sitting on the Christmas tree, all curled up with his hands holding his knees close to his chest, wearing a red hoodie. Explaining what the Seasonal Depression Man does, the mom wrote: "He just hangs out and teaches the kids that feelings can be complicated around holidays and you don't have to be all smiles to be loved and included." This sentence showcases the emotional depth of this family and also provides a very realistic breakdown of how emotions work.
The mom adds in the next slides, in which the Seasonal Depression Man is seen snacking and then sitting on top of a cupboard alone: "You can be met where you are and be given space when you need." She then proceeds to say that the best part about being a parent for her is that she never has to scare her kids into not touching the Seasonal Depression Man, as they already know that if Elisa forgets to move him, it's canon.
A lot of people commented on this post, appreciating this wonderful elf substitution. @kimmyberly123 said, "I love love love this. Elf on the shelf disturbs me and teaches the wrong lesson in my mind. How can I get the sad man?" @_rhi.uz.driw.dot.red_ commented, "This is thoughtful. We do EOS, but ours doesn't watch us. He just plays games and helps with our family advent activities. We also didn't like being watched. So we changed it. Our kiddo went with it and didn't question it. He tells other kids their elves were weird for watching them."
In yet another wonderful video posted on TikTok by @natasha.ahuja about holidays and happiness, she broaches the same topic of complicated emotions during the holidays. In the video, she says: "I don't know who needs to hear this today, but with the holidays approaching, it's okay to not be excited." She says that everyone is allowed to feel how they feel, be it sadness, grief or just wanting to be alone. She ends her video by saying these powerful words, "You're allowed to feel exactly what you're feeling inside and it's okay to not be okay."