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Elf on the Shelf: a holiday rant

November 30, 2011

I have lots to say about Thanksgiving, my fat doctor, glitter and Christmas decor but all I have been able to think about is the damn Elf on the Shelf.

I love the concept. Truly I do. We’ve had one for years: Bertram. Bertram is a civilized elf-or well aware I’m lazy-as he won’t make his first appearance until Dec. 1, tomorrow. By The Facebook and The Pinterest I can see that many people already have their elf off the shelf and out and about. That’s fine for them.

Bertram is hiding in a kitchen cabinet hidden behind cooking appliances I either didn’t know what they were or didn’t know what we had. My passport tends to reside in the blender. This is a pretty good hiding spot as bratchild would never open that cabinet and I forget about it.

Bertram is fun and he hangs out until Christmas Eve and he generally leaves bratchild a “handmade” gift just from him complete with a letter written in tiny elf handwriting on Santa paper. He tells her what he’s proud of, what he likes about her and maybe one or two things she needs to work on (ahem-cleaning up her room.)

But I currently have several annoyances with the whole Elf on the Shelf gig.

 First? They are EVERYWHERE. It’s Christmas Magic people and that’s hard to enforce when 900 elves are staring at you behind plastic perched on the end cap at Target. Elves come from the North Pole-not mass market retailers. I don’t even remember where I bought our elf OR how many years we’ve had him. (A small boutique? Three?) I don’t know if that’s due to elven magic, much like fudge stripe cookies, or to me being old or buying bunches of crap but I KNOW I didn’t buy him at a big store while I was toting my child along. Hmph.

Second? Now there are accessories? A Claus Couture Collection Skirt may be purchased for the female elves:

Shut the front door! If I would have known an accessories line would be available JUST for the female elves, our Bertram may have been a Bertramette. I may buy Bertram a skirt and add some sparkles to his jaunty cap. Couture shouldn’t be just for girl elves-maybe we’ll just have a cross-dresser. Take that marketers.

Third? I am a little overwhelmed by the lengths people will go to to have their elves do “fun” things. I’ve seen ones in the shower wrapped in mini towels, riding roosters (fake ones which somehow I find more disturbing) towards a hand-crafted finish line, fishing for marshmallows. You know the moms who stay up all night compulsively making cupcakes that sing or candy creatures that are battery-powered or picture perfect envelopes for invites? And then while being all silently smugly superior they assure you it’s nothing while they give your cookie cake a pitying glance? Is Elf on the Shelf a new evolution of competitiveness among moms?

It’s called ELF ON THE SHELF not elf rides an f-ing dinosaur or vacuums your house. Though I could totally get behind the latter.

Do you have an Elf? What does he or she do?

(Also. I’m going to get it out there now. The 12 days of Christmas STARTS on Christmas. That’s not when it ends. Consider this your Christmas public service announcement. Now back to our regularly scheduled glittering.)

7 Comments leave one →
  1. November 30, 2011 9:19 AM

    We have an elf. Who does NOT do crazy things like mess up the kitchen with flour or toilet paper the room [ideas I’ve seen]. He simply sits in one spot all day, goes home to Santa at night and is in a new spot in the morning.

    I fully agree – the end cap at Target? Pissed me off! Jaysus, it’s like shouting “He’s Not Really Magic!”

  2. Audra permalink
    November 30, 2011 9:38 AM

    We have an elf…GoJingles is his name. I adore the thought behind the story, however, ive had to come up with stories as to why he isn’t moved to a new spot in the mornings. For example, too many glasses of wine last night sent me to bed without giving a thought to moving that judgemental looking little creature off of the xbox and to a new roost before the kids woke up this morning. I had to call the “elf house “this morning to ensure that he had actually flown to the north pole overnight. Yes, please let me add another to do item to my daily list….or maybe I should stop wining on Tuesday nights. Nah.

  3. November 30, 2011 10:36 AM

    A group hop out of Santa’s sleigh during the Christmas parade (which is usually the 1st Saturday after Dec. 1— you know I haven’t checked, it is this Saturday, right?) and go hang out at my house. One each tucked away in the kids’ rooms, the kitchen & the great room. They just watch. On Christmas eve, they hop back into Santa’s sleigh to report to the “head elf” Bellsnickle who gives Santa the thumbs up (or down) on our lids’ behaviors. That’s just what I grew up with.

    Knowing my kids, our elves wouldn’t have time for any hobbies or shenanigans, even if they wanted to!

  4. November 30, 2011 9:47 PM

    And the scarecrow said, “Out of everyone in blogworld, you are the one I miss the most.” Or something to that effect. Gaaa, I miss you, girl. This is I what I have hated about stepping away from the blog world temporarily. Your blam.

    I don’t have an elf. But I think I need one. Yours is pretty cute. I would also store it in the back of a cupboard. I found one of my missing footies in the pencil drawer the other day, so…

    I used to do all those same magical things for my girls. But guess what? Now that they’re all teenagers, I don’t miss doing the whole magical thing one damn bit.

  5. Kathy permalink
    December 5, 2011 10:10 AM

    The night our elf Max was coming to town (and we do not do anything crazy either), I found that my 5 year old had been hiding his dinner under the couch. Somehow I came up with the notion of having our elf “find” the pizza … this required me to write a note asking about how the pizza got under the couch. My son confessed that there was more dinners under the couch! Day 2, my son was looking for another note from Max … I wrote something quickly and for the past week have been writing notes only because (1) he’s starting to read and (2) the lessons have been hitting home much better than when they come from me!

  6. December 6, 2011 12:18 PM

    BWUAHAHAHAHAHHAHA!!!!

    I have seen so many posts lately on this whole Elf on a Shelf phenomena but yea, it’s strange that they’re now cropping up in stores everywhere. I imagine that would lead to lots of questions and parents having to diffuse many answers. Weird.

    Also it’s completely ridiculous that there is now a fashion line, but I’m all for a cross-dressing elf so have at it. :)

  7. Karen permalink
    September 22, 2012 3:52 PM

    If you want to make your elf a girl, check out this listing:

    http://www.etsy.com/listing/110181215/girl-elf-on-shelf-tiara-earrings-and-pom?ref=sr_gallery_5&ga_search_query=elf+on+the+shelf&ga_view_type=gallery&ga_ship_to=ZZ&ga_min=0&ga_max=0&ga_ref=auto1&ga_search_type=all

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