Quit Ruining the Elf on the Shelf® -- You Christmas Grinches

Rant 30

What the hell is going on with all the Elf on the Shelf® hate this year? Because I can't visit a social media site without running face-first into someone's rant about how much they dislike the Elf on the Shelf ® and would never ever have it in their house in a million years because it's so creepy and weird and awful and also here's the place on the doll where the bad Elf touched me and oh my god SHUT YOUR CHRISTMAS-MAGIC-KILLING FACEHOLE.

*pant, pant* Okay, I'm sorry. It's just that my kids love the Elf on the Shelf® . They bolt out of bed every morning to find him, and they nearly keel over with delight when they do. The Elf on the Shelf ® is a huge part of our holiday cheer, and what IS it about this innocuous little toy that encourages grown adults to post daily December rants about how stupid and pointless they think it is?

I mean, did Santa come early this year ... and jam a giant lump of coal up your ass?

I'm not entirely certain what triggered the recent outpouring of Elf Anger, but I suspect it may be Pinterest's fault. In fact, I'm just as irritated at these creative Elf Visionaries as I am at the people who rail against the Elf. Since when did the Elf become a merry prankster who enjoys unraveling toilet paper rolls and getting wasted on Diet Sizzurp with Barbie? Do we not have enough holiday pressure without dreaming up complex staging scenarios including a candy cane pole and floating Goldfish? (And does the idea of "fishing" anything of a child's toilet fill you with tidings of comfort and joy?)

The Elf is supposed to be on a SHELF, for crying out loud. Not ziplining, doing yoga, adorably reclining in a marshmallow bubble bath, or drawing "hilarious" mustaches on family portraits. And what kind of asshole Elf dumps powdered sugar all over the place? Who's going to clean that crap, Rudolph?

Basically if you're posting all sorts of incredibly contrived Elf photos on Pinterest and Facebook and whatever, you're the reason everyone is so fired up about the Elf. SO KNOCK IT OFF. Pose your Elf next to a massive pile of dumped-out flour if you want to, but 1) don't share that shit, and 2) you know you're sabotaging the whole reason the Elf is awesome, right? How can your Elf motivate good behavior if he's a rule-breaking hooligan? COME ON.

As for the argument that the Elf is just plain creepy-looking, what kind of heartless monster hates the original Rudolph movie? Because that's totally what the Elf looks like: the fey, kinda-prissy little guy who wanted to be a dentist.


Slap on some molded brown hair and boom, Ambiguously-Gendered Elf Twins.

In conclusion, can we all just agree that the Elf is an optional part of the holidays that many children totally enjoy? And that the original concept simply involves moving it from one shelf to another instead of competing for the most-pinned Elf Tableau on the Internet? And that saliva-laden rants about totally inconsequential things are ... um ... against the Christmas spirit, and ... no, shut up, YOU'RE hypocritical.

Your turn: how do you feel about the Elf on a Shelf® ?

"'The Elf on the Shelf' is a registered trademark of CCA & B LLC."

Images via Linda Sharps, GoodTimes Entertainment

family, christmas, holidays


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Mama2... Mama2MonkeyBoys

He's creepy. We got Christina Marie Pop-In-Kins to be our elf. The kiddos LOVE her. And her brother, Christopher, visits their cousin - which they get a TOTAL kick out of as well.

We get creative with her, but I don't post pictures. I think it's fun, and the genuine sparkle in their eyes when you see that they believe in magic is invaluable.

mommy... mommytojack0524

Do it if you want. My son is too young, but I have something else in mind:  the Christmas angel. http://www.yourchristmasangel.com/.

Parents also hide her around the house for the kids to find.  She has a note (or you can write it in the glitter she came with--no thanks) that asks you to do a good deed for someone. It might say "bake cookies for your neighbor" or "sing a Christmas song to grandma" or whatever.

I like the message of this much better. Christmas is about serving others and celebrating the birth of Jesus in our family. Not (primarily) about getting things for yourself. I want to teach my son that he gets gifts because we are blessed to have him in our family or because Santa brings them. It is not about naughty/nice. Gifts are about grace.

Laura Palmer

I think it's a super cute idea, I haven't gotten around to buying one, but my step son is too old for it and my youngest son is too young yet, so maybe next year! And I really appreciate the Arrested Development clip! COME ON!

Deweymom Deweymom

"How can your Elf motivate good behavior if he's a rule-breaking hooligan? COME ON."


Jacobet Jacobet

My friend does Elf on the Shelf and she posts pictures everyday and generally they are naughty but not too naughty and I have to admit that seeing her pics always gives me a nice little laugh and puts me in the Christmas mood.

Maias... MaiasMommy619

I think it's hilariously cute!! Thinking about doing it next year for the kids!!

Randi... RandiBear

 We do a mailbox for 12 days before Christmas. Every day there is a little note about love/christmas/God/whatever and a small gift or activity for us to do together. Then, Christmas morning there is a piece of candy with a letter from Santa. We relate Santa to Christ in our house by teaching our son that he is one of God's special helpers to bring joy to our world. He is always excited to see what's in his box in the morning and I love seeing his face when I read his notes.

nonmember avatar kristiina

I have friends who do it and my kids have been asking to have Santa send an elf. I just told them that we asked Santa not to send one to keep an eye on them...he IS creepy, but more importantly, I'm lazy ;) And, I have never used the Santa is watching you as a behavior motivator. Not that my kids are angels--I just am not a fan of that approach for our kids (but I've heard it works for others!)

nonmember avatar krista

Great article Linda! You are my favorite blogger on this site-your posts are relatable and down to earth. Keep up the good work :)

ittyb... ittybit2012

He's creepy.  I refuse to have that possessed little thing in my house.  

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