If you’re not familiar with Elf on the Shelf, then I’m very jealous of the life you lead. In short, Elf on the Shelf is a little, toy sized elf that sits in various places throughout the house during the Christmas season. He is suppose to bring a little childhood mischief while reminding children that Santa “knows if you’ve been bad or good” so remember to listen to your parents!
But let’s break down what this actually means for mom and dad.
1- The misconception that you actually have a choice
Maybe you got on board with Elf on the Shelf right away. It does seem like fun based on all those adorable pictures you see on Facebook. Right?!
But maybe you were a little more hesitant about starting this tradition. That didn’t sound like a job you wanted to sign up for. But then you realized that ummmm WAY TOO MANY PEOPLE PARTICIPATE IN THIS. Your child will inevitably hear other children excitedly discussing what kind of shenanigans little Snowflake the elf will be up to this year. Then the questions will begin.
“Why don’t we have an Elf on the Shelf?”
“Do you think Santa will send us an Elf this year?”
“Why does Jason have an elf, but we don’t?”
The mom guilt begins to settle in deep. So you hesitantly hop on the elf bandwagon while cursing this new tradition under your breath all season long.
2- Purchasing the elf
Elf on the Shelf comes in a box set along with a DVD and book. This box set will cost you approximately 1 arm and 2 legs so start saving up now. Not only does that little jerk make you do a lot of work, but you have to PAY MONEY FOR THE OPPORTUNITY TO DO THAT WORK.
That’s not the only part of purchasing the elf that presents a problem. You also have to figure out how to buy one without your children around AND make sure your children don’t see them for sale everywhere you look because why does Barnes and Noble sell Santa’s magical little helpers?!
3- He’s always watching
Yes, your children. But also you. I know when there are only 5 more days until Christmas, but I still have 2 weeks worth of work to complete on my to do list. I don’t need those creepy, non blinking eyes staring straight into my soul every day to remind me of that fact.
4- Moving the elf
The biggest part of the elf gig is remembering to move the elf every single night after your children are asleep. The book and movie tell us that every night, the elf leaves to go report to Santa. When he comes back, he chooses a new place to sit in the house.
And as if just remembering to move the elf to another shelf every night wasn’t hard enough, a lot of parents have decided to take it to a whole new level. They have their elves getting into all kinds of mischief every night. When the elves aren’t taking marshmallow baths in the sink or riding in Barbie jeeps with their friends, those elves are creating elaborate swings made out of toilet paper rolls to hang from the ceiling.
In my house, this is what day one of Elf on the Shelf looks like.
So creative, right? Wow. I’m such a good mom.
I don’t even have a picture of what day 30 of elf on the shelf looks like. There’s no time to take pictures when you’re waking up 30 seconds before the kids to throw the elf across the room because you remembered at the last second that you hadn’t moved him the night before.
5- Remembering where you put the elf
After Christmas is over, you can finally breathe a sigh of relief because the elf responsibility is finally off of your shoulders. You may even consider not bringing him back next year. But children don’t forget. THEY DO NOT FORGET. Come next Halloween, they’re already going to be talking about the next time the elf comes back to visit.
So remember where you put that elf. You don’t want to have to buy another one next year. You also don’t want your children to go into the garage looking for last year’s Halloween costume and accidentally see their dust covered friend hanging out in the box effectively destroying the Christmas magic.
But then you wouldn’t have to participate in this terrible tradition anymore…. so that might actually be a good idea…
Anyway, the Christmas season is approaching. So happy elfing, fellow parents!