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elf on a shelf, elf, Christmas, holiday traditions

The Elf on the Shelf Problem

by Deborah Cruz

Our elf on the shelf elves have once again arrived. Well, three out of the five have arrived. Currently, we have Ed, Analee (because someone who shall remain nameless forgot to remove the nametag…. I’m talking to you Grandma) and Rick Astly ( that bastard’s never gonna give you up! Can you say Single white Elf Male?) We are still missing Herbie Hancock and Rick (i) James (bitch!)

So you’re probably thinking that maybe I have some sort of nasty little elf on the shelf fetish or way too much time on my hands, I assure you that it is neither of those. Well, maybe I do have a little extra time on my hands seeing as I was just downsized from one of my 12 jobs. Damn, what ever will I do with all of that free time the last week of every month? But I digress, we have so many elves because when the girls were small we were moving a lot and the elves got packed away in storage lost on their way back from the North Pole! So every year, we had to replace the lost elf. Look, my mommy brain is not what it once was and I forget shit…like where elves went into the witness protection place the year before or sometimes even the night before.

elf on a shelf, elf, Christmas, holiday traditions


Our elf on the shelf problem started with Analee.

He came in a beautiful gift box with a letter from the man in the red suit because he knew the girls were having a horrible year leaving their friends and everything they knew and moving across the country. Analee came to give love and moral support.

The next year, Analee “lost” his way to our house because we had moved back to Indiana so “Santa” sent another elf, Ed (this is what happens when Daddy names the elves) to entertain the girls while their daddy was living in Iowa for work. They only saw the Big Guy once a week and we assured them that the elf could check in on daddy each night before he went back to the North Pole and reported to Santa.  Then one day, Analee found us and just showed up on the Christmas tree like a damn serial killer stalking his prey and then the two became Santa’s henchmen because we don’t tell our girls about the boogie man.

The following year, we had moved in with our in-laws because 2 years apart was too much for all of us. Unfortunately, we had forgotten our two little buddies they couldn’t find us because we had moved yet again. Enter, Herbie Hancock (he likes to rock down to electric avenue) coolest elf ever. He even has a naughty and nice placard to let the girls know where they stand.  But by this time, Bella was 6 and Gabi was suspicious of that damn placard, “Mommy, why does he look like a stuffed animal?” (Because we spare our children the damn traditional scary elf on the shelf) “Because Santa doesn’t want children to be afraid” Near miss. This kid is on to us. I just know it.

elf on a shelf, elf, elf on the shelf, Christmas


Then last year, we moved into our house and it was the mass exodus of elves. They descended upon our house like locusts. Analee, Ed, Herbie Hancock, and then Rick Astly ( what a mischievous little guy he is. You never know what you’re going to wake up to.) He looks like the traditional elf on the shelf, I’m trying to throw the 5-year-old off the scent. Then she demanded to know why no one arrived in the official Santa box and you guessed it, Rick(i) James showed up a couple days later in the box from the North Pole with an official  letter addressed to the girls.

So the winter of my discontent 2012 was the year of the elves (that were very mischevious). The mischievousness rubbed off on the girls and so we had to tell them about Santa’s “special” cameras that are installed in the fire alarms throughout the house. Elves were popping up in toilets and refrigerators, backpacks and boxes of cereal or not moving at all or being chewed up by crazed puppies.Kids were dancing naked in front of the fire alarms mooning Santa and blaming shit on their sister. I was still stumbling across rogue elves covered in cob webs in April.

This year we have 5 elves, 3 have arrived, 2 will be here any day I am sure of it. Oh and Gabs is back on board, since finding out that a classmate of hers had a pocket elf who has gotten elderly and now in his wheelchair talks openly to the child. No longer hiding his secret. What an imagination and guess what she prayed for that night? Her very own pocket elf, but not “an old one in a wheelchair” a regular one. Now, we have another elf to remember to displace. As of yet, he is still nameless and harmless ( no baby Jesus stealing or conga lining with the 3 kings…yet) I’m think we name him Too Short or maybe Prince Napoleon.

elf on a shelf, elf, Christmas, holiday traditionsSo to all of you who say that elf on the shelf is stupid, I say to you…stick to your guns. Our elves have played a wonderful part in comforting my girls when they were small and our lives were upside down and we all missed the Big Guy but now, the elves are running amuck and I keep forgetting where they are at night and one keeps stealing baby Jesus and eating all the Fat Boys and Mentos in the house.

I know it’s nonsense and has absolutely nothing to do with why we celebrate Christmas but I also know that my girls love their elves and look forward to their magical appearance every year. It is magic and I am not taking that away from them.

What’s your most creative idea for elf on the shelf shenanigans?


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leighann 2013/12/11 - 9:04 am

We have an Elf and we love him! He gets into trouble and is funny and my daughter LOVES him! I say that’s reason enough to have one.

Christa Mcintyre 2013/12/22 - 1:39 am

The story dictates that the elf’s main priority around the family’s household is to keep watch over the children’s behavior during the day and return to the North Pole overnight to report their behavior to Santa Claus, detailing any acts of obedience or misdeeds performed by a child during that particular day, returning home by the following morning. Starting from the day following Thanksgiving to Christmas Eve , the elf remains with its family to ensure that they behave properly throughout the holidays. However, the top policy regarding the Elf on the Shelf is to refrain from touching the creature, as doing so could permanently erase any Christmas magic with which the elf had been bestowed upon being named by the family. It is no longer capable of fulfilling its duties of recounting the events of the day to Santa Claus, cautioning that he may or may not learn about a child’s behavior should the Elf on the Shelf be stripped of its holiday enchantment. Every day, the elf’s position changes, providing the family with the responsibility of locating its current perch before its departure for the year on Christmas Eve.

I Miss La Nochebuena from my Childhood #LBCMoreMerry @Sears #ad - The TRUTH About Motherhood 2014/12/12 - 11:42 am

[…] out from the tree and out to the middle of the living room floor every year. This is why we have 5 elfs on the shelf and watch every single holiday classic. I’m trying to preserve their childhood magic for as long […]

Celebrating the Holidays Biculturally - The TRUTH About Motherhood 2015/12/15 - 12:41 pm

[…] under the tree and out into the middle of the living room floor every year. This is why we have 5 elfs on the shelf and watch every single holiday classic. I’m trying to preserve their childhood magic for as long […]

Groovinmonkey 2018/11/29 - 9:23 pm

We accidentally packed our elf I ordered a new one but not sure how to introduce new elf and cover for our regular elf

Deborah Cruz 2018/12/04 - 9:33 pm

I’ve got you covered. Post going live in the morning. Also, make sure there is an introductory note that comes with the new elf and explains that the new guy was sent because….did you move already? Then tell them a new house, new elf. If not, tell them the original elf was needed in the North Pole by Santa for a special skill so he was sending his best elf in his place.

Elf on the shelf ideas for Parents who are Out of Ideas 2018/12/07 - 1:22 pm

[…] READ ALSO: The Elf on the Shelf Problem […]


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