Christmas is next Wednesday and Tara's friend, Suzie the Elf on the Shelf has been having some fun at the house. She loves having Suzie around and that's why I find this so surprising. Some people have been saying that the Shelf Elf could have a negative effect on our kids. WHAT!!!

It's supposed to be a fun thing for kids and if it helps them behave during the Christmas season, that's an added bonus! Tara takes a picture of her every day and posts it on Instagram with a funny comment.

Here's what else is being said about our seasonal "friend."

Laura Pinto, a digital technology professor at the University of Ontario's Institute of Audio Technology, published a paper titled, 'Who's the Boss'. In it, she talks about how the "Elf on the Shelf" could condition our kids to accept surveillance, much like the NSA.

She calls the elf "an external form of non-familial surveillance." Okay, if you're going to call my, I mean Tara's elf a name, at least use words that normal parents can understand.

Pinto thinks that we're saying it's okay for other people to spy on us and we're not entitled to privacy. She also says it could condition children to accept the government acting that way too.

HELLO, it's a little elf sitting on a shelf (and other places) not Big Brother. Pinto tries to clear it up by saying, "If you grow up thinking it's cool for the elves to watch us and report back to Santa, well, then it's cool for the NSA to watch us and report back to the government." WHAT!!! I think my head just exploded.

I don't know about all that hullabaloo but I know how much Tara looks forward to finding Suzie every morning, even at the age of 15. Finally, this is what I say to Ms. Pinto is 'phttttttt' and Merry Christmas from Suzie, Tara and the rest of our family.

What do you think?

[via Ontario's Institute of Recording Technology]