Holiday Countdown: Day 5 - Adventures With The Elf on the Shelf

A few weeks ago, I received my first Elf on the Shelf submission. Having no idea WTF that was, I did a cursory search to find out the absolute minimum amount of information I needed to know about this small wooden toy in order to get through the holidays on the blog. It’s not that I have a problem with small wooden toys, or elves, or anything Christmas-related so much as I have a hard time suspending my belief for the sake of a child’s wonderment. Or at least for the sake of a child’s good behavior, which is what The Elf on the Shelf is all about. 

{Note: There’s an Elf on the Shelf example in my new Mommyish column, "Six Types of Moms You’ll See On Facebook This Holiday Season." Check it out here!}

To sum it up quickly for all you losers who don’t know what it is, The Elf on the Shelf is a book that comes with a toy elf that "watches over children"  and then flies back to the North Pole each night to report back to Santa about each kid’s behavior. Seems pretty straightforward as far as manipulation tactics go. Every morning the elf has “hidden” in a new location so the kid(s) must go find it. The elf must be given a name in order to get its magic, and it cannot be touched by children or “its magic might go.” There are all sorts of weird details like that. 

That being said, the crazy thing about The Elf on the Shelf phenomenon is not that kids love it so much and their “elf scout” makes them so obedient. It’s that some parents are more obsessed with the elf than their kids are, and they’ve got the social media accounts to prove it. Sure, I’ve gotten a few “normal” submissions about parents who are creeped out by the elf, but there are two parents in particular who I’m fascinated with. Here, I’ll introduce you:


Molly is obsessed with her daughter’s elf, named Frisbee. She’s posted so many updates about the elf that one of her friends finally caved in and sent the evidence to me along with the message, “It took me a few days to understand who the hell “Frisbee" was that kept getting mentioned in posts and blamed for things. Then the photos started…  and they wont stop!" Here are but a few examples.

Drinking On The Job:

Relaxing With S’mores:

Photographing a Staff Meeting:

Lesson Teaching Time:

Nose Paint:

Clearly, Molly is in love with her child’s toy and thinks she’s hilarious. The submitter, however, does not agree.

Then there’s Tracy over at Pinterest.

Tracy thought it would be fun to scribble all over her kid’s head and put the “blame” on the elf that she named Jingles. She posted the pictures on Pinterest, which spurred a lot of comments from followers who were concerned about the safety and/or toxicity of the marker used. After a comment-deleting frenzy, she finally posted a comment saying the marker is safe to use on babies. But what I want to know is, why the hell is Tracy scribbling all over her sleeping baby’s head and blaming a toy elf? 

"Hazard Health Effects":

Bad little elf:

Jingles Was Here:

All work and no play makes Tracy a bored mom:

And there you have it. The Elf on the Shelf, ladies and gentlemen. Growing in popularity among kids and their parents every single day.

To read my column about "Six Types of Moms You’ll See On Facebook This Holiday Season" head over to Mommyish!

(submitted by Anonymous)

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