Morning TV Host Reveals Secret Behind 'The Elf on the Shelf' ® & Ruins Christmas for Kids Everywhere

OMG 20

You've heard of the "The Elf on the Shelf" ®, right? That cute little stuffed Elf that sits on a shelf in your house and every morning finds himself in a different location.

Apparently he's one of Santa's minions waiting to be adopted by a loving family. Once he's taken home, given a name and had his story read to your kids, that little Elf gains his special Christmas Magic. He observes whether you're naughty or nice, runs back to tell Santa at the North Pole and makes it back to your home by morning.

It's a cute story and a sweet Christmas tradition. That's why it's impossible to believe that Lara Spencer blew the whole thing on a Good Morning America segment.

She not only told viewers that it's parents who actually move the Elf every night while the kids are asleep, but she... gasp... touched the Elf on her set! Everyone knows that touching an Elf can make him lose his magical powers!

Now I don't think it's the end of the world, but even I think that's pretty shoddy journalism and downright inexcusable. And I'm Jewish! I don't have an "Elf on the Shelf" ®, and won't ever keep that tradition with my kids.

I don't know if Ms. Spencer was intentionally trying to tick off parents or ruin things for kids everywhere, but she had to be aware that kids watch Good Morning America. Or are at least running around the house listening to the TV in the background while their parents watch.

It's a simple story, sure. But it's really no different than telling kids the truth about Santa Claus. Or the Tooth Fairy. Or bipartisan resolutions.

It's fine if you don't want to "lie" to your kids and you don't want to show off an "Elf on the Shelf" ® in your own house. Go ahead and don't talk about Santa with your kids. Heck, do whatever you want. Just don't spoil it for anyone else.

It's obvious Ms. Spencer wasn't aware of the controversy she'd cause, because the next day, GMA ran a follow-up where they all talked about their Elf and how it was okay that she had touched it yesterday because, well, they hadn't named the Elf yet. So it hadn't earned its magic.

To me that pathetic "retraction" of a story was a lame attempt at trying to appease the audience.

What kids are going to listen to that malarky and believe it? And what about the sleepless nights those poor little boys and girls had as they cried themselves to sleep because Mario the Elf was nothing more than a stuffed animal?

Good Morning America may not be the pinnacle of journalism but if you're on TV and you're on in the morning, use your friggin' head. Kids are going to be watching. Kids are going to be listening.

There's plenty of suckiness and evil in this world as is. Why even risk taking an ounce of innocence away from kids? Be a responsible adult; keep the magic alive.

Do you have one of these elves?


Photo via Theodore Lee/Flickr

toys, books & media, christmas

20 Comments

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.

kelti... kelticmom

That's awful. Last Christmas our church had a new pastor, who took it upon himself to announce from the pulpit that there was no Santa Claus, that parents buy the presents. He was speaking directly to the kids in the congregation. Parents were furious! It was not his place to do that. If a parent chooses to tell their kid that Santa is a game/make believe, that is their responsibility.

ethan... ethans_momma06

I don't really think being a 'responsible adult' means continuing on a fictionalization under the guise that it's the 'gods honest truth'. Personally, my son knows that Santa, is dead.


However I really really REALLY think that the 'responsible' adult thing is to let your children know that there is so much more to Christmas magic than these fictionalizations. That that magic isn't gone by NOT believing these things to be true. That way, gawd forbid some random person lets the truth slip- they aren't persecuted for ruining the holiday.


That the joy of the holiday isn't sucked away because a child knows the truth and reality.

amazz... amazzonia

Was I the only one who never heard of this tradition? T me this is a stupid one, and everyone should start remembering what Christmas is all about 

jalaz77 jalaz77

The kids should of been in school anyways...my kids believe in the magic and also know that holidays are about family. Can't MY kids have both without people being so bent out of shape that I "lie" to my kids. Yea Santa isn't real but I will not ruin it for my kids til they question that.

Mrscj... Mrscjones

If you never lied to your kids then her saying the elf isn't real wouldn't have caused any harm no would it. But why would we want to be honest with kids their just little human beings? And no kid needs to be lied to for an imagination ask them to tell you a story and see how much imagination they have. You tell kids some magical man gave them all these for no reason other then being good in December and you wonder why they don't respect what they have why should they no one paid for it. Nobody worked hard extra hours, extra days, saved for months whatever have you some magical man from a magical town gave me these toys for free.

Claud... ClaudiaLynn

Really? Is that all there is to write about? If the child was old enough to comprehend what Lara was saying, then maybe they need too hear the truth, tactfully of course.

nonmember avatar sarah

ya'll are just a bunch of grinches. when your a kid Christmas is a magical time and its up to the parent how they choose to explain. its not up to anyone else to decide that a child should know the "truth" about santa. The true meaning of Christmas is about the birth of Jesus and we give and receive gifts because Jesus was given gifts and we have a tree to represent the tree he died on and we put lights on that tree to represent the Jesus is the light of the world. when i was a child this was made clear to me and i will make that real to my children as well but that doesnt mean we cant make things fun by letting our kids believe in santa or the elf on the shelf and let them be innocent and believe in magic for just a little bit longer.

hello... hellokd87

I was going to agree with Sarah about knowing what Christmas really is about. Regardless of religion, that's the true meaning of Christmas. Jesus was(is) a King, and he was born in a humble manger. He didn't have a cradle encrusted with jewels (ahem, JLO). He didn't have servants tending to his needs.


What I am going to say is boo-freaking-hoo. Like, seriously? That's when you get the chance to explain to them that not every body believes in the same things as you do. That's when you explain that there are people that don't believe in magic. It's not that they're wrong, they have a right to believe what they want to believe. But just because other people don't believe doesn't mean they shouldn't either. Simple as that. No need to get your panties up in a bunch so early in the darn morning.

nonmember avatar Irrelevant88

I told my daughters that only I could touch the Elf. LOL! Even if my kids had seen this I would have told them that the anchor was full of it and didn't know what she was talking about.

Also for those who think "lying" about these pretend games is harmful you really need to read some child development books or something. These minor lies help a child learn over time the difference between reality and pretend. That's why most children grow out of it over time. I mean my six year old has a pretty good grasp of reality and is at times skeptical of Santa and this Elf. But she has fun playing along, and that's the point.

Elena Duran

@kelticmom omg I would have been really angry. It's up to parents to decide when to have that conversation.

1-10 of 20 comments 12 Last
F