Down With Elf on the Shelf

by Marinka on December 15, 2011

Let me just come out and say that I think this whole Elf on the Shelf scam is one huge bag of crazy and it’s not just because I’m so upset that I didn’t come up with concept my$elf.  OMG.  Did you just see that?

My $ Elf.

Need I say more?

My friend Stacey explained that you adopt an elf doll (in exchange for cash, er.. I mean, adoption processing fees) and the Elf arrives, get named and then you tell your kid that the Elf will watch him or her all day and then fly to the North Pole to report to Santa the child’s wishes and also possibly mention all the BAD AND NAUGHTY things that the child did, so, I don’t know, Junior, you have free will and all but I’d watch your step.

The stupid thing is that even though this Elf is watching your kid, you still have to hang around because according to Social Services, you can’t leave your kid in the care of an Elf while you get a quick mani-pedi around the corner.

Where’s the magic in that?

I also suspect that this whole Terror By Elf probably works only until the kids are three or four years old, at which time they’ll start asking questions like “why don’t the Elf and Santa just Skype like normal people?” and “doesn’t Santa know everything anyway, like Jesus?” and “Did the Jews really kill our Lord or is that the Vatican’s spin on it?”

And although I’m all for creating an Orwellian experience for your child, isn’t there something inherently Big Brother about this Elf thing? Big Brother as in unAmerican?  Is hating country really the message that we want to send to our children?

I’m just glad that my children are older so that I don’t have to flirt with treason like that.

One year ago ...

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{ 21 comments… read them below or add one }

the mama bird diaries
December 15, 2011 at 10:05 pm

I’d write something awesomely witty but you just reminded me that I have to go move that god damn elf.


December 16, 2011 at 7:47 pm

I was about to say pretty much the same thing. =)


PattyAnn December 15, 2011 at 10:10 pm

My kid made that elf her bitch on the first day


heather... December 15, 2011 at 10:12 pm

I dunno. An elf/jesus/god watching over you, the only difference being we can actually SEE the elf.


anymommy December 15, 2011 at 10:16 pm

Traumatizing your kids is underrated.


Amanda December 15, 2011 at 10:20 pm

I hate the thing! I got one from my mother-in-law, and while it seemed like a cute idea at first, it turned HORRIBLE within hours!


December 15, 2011 at 10:59 pm

I don’t need an Elf to tell me who’s doing what wrong.

That’s why I had *two* children.


eevie December 15, 2011 at 11:38 pm

I uh, tried the elf on a shelf, but a much less creepy version called Christopher Pop-in-kins, and after I moved him at night, my 5 year old son woke up in hysterics to get the elf away. He said, “the problem is, toys that come alive really are creepy, mama.” Well…he has a point.


WowThatWasAwkward December 15, 2011 at 11:58 pm

Ha, not only do we do this at my house, but the ex does it at her house too. So my kids have two elves watching their every move. I forgot to move the damn thing one night so I had to invent some story about a blizzard, double-checking behavior and that even an elf’s appointment can get delayed – Santa is worse than a doctor’s office during this time of year. Then I moved the elf when the kids weren’t looking and didn’t tell them. A few hours later they finally noticed and thought the elf went to the North Pole and back already. Stupid kids! 🙂


Alexandra December 16, 2011 at 12:40 am

Seriously, the stuff I”ve heard all week. From parents to their kids in stores, etc. “If you don’t behave Santa will know.” “Santa won’t bring you anything if you don’t be good.”

Then what do you do after Xmas? When you can’t threaten with Elf and Santa anymore?

I’m with you.

Behave, because your mother asked you to.

End of it.


Roxanne December 16, 2011 at 12:36 pm

I’m with you, A. Just be a good person, whether you’ll get presents out of it or not.

Besides, those Elves have shifty little eyes and a mischievous smile. They creep me the F out.


December 16, 2011 at 7:34 am

I wrote my fucking elf a poem three years ago to please leave and he STILL keeps coming back, so then two years ago I gave him third degree burns on a light bulb and dude shows up AGAIN.

It’s like a can’t help myself. Asshole elf.


Tinne from Tantrums and Tomatoes December 16, 2011 at 7:44 am

Ah christmas, what a joyous season, filled with loathsome traditions!


December 16, 2011 at 8:04 am

It scares me. I’m glad it didn’t exist when my boys were smaller (or if it did, I was blissfully unaware). One look at its crazy eyes and my blood runs cold. I wouldn’t TRUST that thing alone in a room with my child.


December 16, 2011 at 10:10 am

I don’t have one either because he looks like a tiny psychotic little elf pedophile. With his evil eyes and his creepy wee smirk.

And who wants one of those?


Jen Stayrook
December 16, 2011 at 11:03 am

It isn’t just the Orwellian experience behind the Elf on the Shelf. Think of the creepy factor for adults as well:


December 16, 2011 at 1:05 pm

I didn’t realize there was more to the elf than “move him around the house for fun”! And I couldn’t figure out why all the parents had to move him, because as a kid we always moved the elves around the house, and we moved the wisemen closer to the nativity during advent, too. Not mom or dad doing one more damned thing: KIDS.

But be good because an elf is watching? Fuck that. That is our number one problem with Santa in our house.


December 16, 2011 at 2:25 pm

What a Grinch you are! I love my Elf on the Shelf! I call him Gestapo! And he reports back all he sees and hears to the big guy in charge, just like all the good little boys and girls in Germany did back in the good ole days!


Erin@MommyontheSpot December 16, 2011 at 10:08 pm

This is the most brilliant take on the Elf of the Shelf ever!


Danielle December 17, 2011 at 1:44 pm

My friend’s 6 year old’s behaviour has improved immensely since she got an Elf On The Shelf. How long will it last though? And after the holidays are over, will the good behaviour continue? Anyways, we need to teach our kids to behave all the time…not just so Santa leaves them a ton of toys. Long story short I won’t be getting it for my kids. It reminds me too much of that movie Child’s Play.


Ester Jean December 19, 2011 at 11:22 pm

I always just behaved so my father didn’t beat me, and it wasn’t any more magical than remembering not to tip the chairs back at the dinner table, only speak when spoken to, make no eye contact, and NO LAUGHING IN THE HOUSE! Just kidding[ish], but I agree this is kind of an icky idea. I never believed in Santa, although believing in Jesus and the pending apocalypse from a very young age certainly balanced THAT out, but it seems like weak sauce, parents! I have seen a few posts on Facebook about the Elf on the Shelf, but I also assumed it was a fun little game of moving the creeper around, NOT spying on the kids and sending word to the fat man. Either the fat man knows your every move or he doesn’t (am I talking about Jesus now?). He doesn’t need any spies. Crap. Am I going to traumatize my kids more or less if I tell them from the get-go that Santa isn’t real? So many decisions you parents have… Marinka, I am glad to have you as a guide through mommy-hood. …And as a comic relief 🙂


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