'Elf on the Shelf' Is the Real Nightmare Before Christmas


elf on the shelfI know he's been around for a few years, but it wasn't until last Christmas that I heard about the Elf on the Shelf. Another mom (who shall remain nameless, mostly because I can't remember her name) at my kids' school tipped me off to the phenomenon, and with a borderline disturbing amount of zeal. "It's the best thing ever," she told me, her eyes wide.

"You put this elf doll on a shelf in your house, and tell your kids that he's watching them all the time and he reports back to Santa every single night. So they're scared into being good! Because who wants to be on the naughty list?"

I smiled and nodded, but the concept gave me the creeps, and still does. The idea of Santa-as-Big-Brother is already pretty screwed up, if you ask me (he sees you when you're sleeping? He knows if you're awake?). Now we're supposed to tell our kids some toy is really a member of the jolly fat man's pointy-eared Gestapo? Sweet dreams!

Anyway, I know I'm in the minority -- seems like most moms are pro-Elf on the Shelf. This year, the "Christmas Tradition" even got its own animated special. (Though I must say the cartoon elves aren't nearly as fiendish-looking as the actual toys, which have a sort of scary retro vibe going on. You know, like Howdy Doody.)

I'm not going to say I've never shrieked "Santa's watching!!" at my misbehaving kids in a moment of sheer desperation, but on the whole, I really do try to avoid using the fear of being passed over by a mythical bearer of gifts as motivation. Kids are supposed to be going to sleep and having visions of sugarplums this time of year, not visions of mean-spirited elves spying on their every move.

Do you think The Elf on the Shelf is creepy or cool?

Image via Amazon



To add a comment, please log in with

Use Your CafeMom Profile

Join CafeMom or Log in to your CafeMom account. CafeMom members can keep track of their comments.

Join CafeMom or Log in to your CafeMom account. CafeMom members can keep track of their comments.

Comment As a Guest

Guest comments are moderated and will not appear immediately.

Leele... Leelee1008

I love him, we have one and have had him for a few years now. I dont think its creepy. Being explanied to you like that is creepy, but if you really understand the gist of it, its not!

chigi... chigirl1228

I saw this at the bookstore the other day. I didnt know what it was. Sounds dumb. I just tell my daughter that I have santas number and I text him everyday to tell him if shes been good or not. It works but then she will see something on the tv or magazine and tell me to make sure I text sants that she wants that item. Its cute but gets irritating after a while. But I created the monster....

Senia... Seniahmom

Dumb. Just a ploy to make someone money.

dreab... dreabug23

It is actually a lot of fun for the kids! Our elf pulls silly pranks like underpants on the tree, eating cookies, and sneaking into the kids' lunch boxes. When they get crazy, I gently remind them that the elf reports back to Santa every night while they sleep. It is hardly creepy and it really gets them in the spirit.

lorid... loridori4

My daughter, at age 7, was freaked out bad enough about Santa being able to get in the house! I had to tell her Santa wasnt real for her to feel safe! No way I could do the "elf is watching you" crap.

Allis... AllisonWD

I don't find it weird at all. In fact, we just ordered ours literally 2 minutes ago.

starr... starrsitter

My biggest problem with the whole Santa thing to begin with is the idea that my children should behave appropriately in order to get gifts.  This takes it to a creepy new level.

momto... momtolittleg

Good lord in the manger, it's all in fun!  I have no problem with using Santa as an excuse for my daughter to behave.  We don't have an elf, but I've considered it.

antfa... antfarmer101

Creepy. I'm sorry but that elf looks like a homicidal maniac. I can't imagine seeing it looking at me from a shelf all the time. Plus, although I won't say never, I don't plan on using the fat man as a way to keep my kid in line.

1-10 of 139 comments 12345 Last