Some Christmas traditions cause more headaches than they're worth. Pretty sure the Elf on the Shelf is one of them.
Humor Parenting

Why That Elf on the Shelf Is Staying in Its Box

Some Christmas traditions cause more headaches than they're worth. Pretty sure the Elf on the Shelf is one of them.
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By Ambrosia Brody of Random Aspects of My Life

It’s that time of year again! Time to pester my husband to go up to the attic to lug all the Christmas decorations so I can pilfer through them. One item I’m hiding under the extra wrapping paper is the damn Elf on the Shelf.

That Face: Have you looked at the elf’s face? I mean really looked at it? It’s freaky. Its little blue eyes peer at you as you sneak a Snickers from the candy dish or as you lazily dust around the picture frames on the mantle, ‘cause who has time to actually duck under items? That little creep is always judging.

Time: Elf on the Shelf setups are an extension of Pinterest with parents posting photos of incredibly adorable, time consuming, soul sucking Elf on the Shelf setups. No matter how hard you try, there is always someone out there making their elf do the impossible – wrestling with dinosaurs, playing poker with 100 Lego men, dangling from the shower rod in an elaborate web weaved by hand. Ain’t no one got time for that! Maybe some people do, but not this mama. I’d rather spend my free time doing what’s really important: drinking a glass of wine on the couch while watching Gilmore Girls for the 1,000th time.

Creativity: This ties in with the timing aspect of the Elf on the Shelf since it’s the parents who have to figure out where to put the elf and dream up what he (or she) will be doing. I’m not all that creative. And I’m a little lazy.

My husband and I thought up some really great  scenarios before we hit Amazon’s “add to cart” button. In our minds, the elf would be the main character of a tea party that would include Elmo and our daughter’s favorite Disney princesses, complete with little scones and napkins, and the elf would be pouring the tea. But then reality hit the night we tried to put the scene into action.

That night the toddler wanted five books read before bed, the infant whined whenever I’d try to put her down, and my patience was waning.  By the time we got around to setting up the Elf and her friends, we were tired, so when Elmo continued to topple forward and Rapunzel’s tiara wouldn’t stay on her head, we gave up.

“A Christmas Tradition”: There are so many traditions that our little family does not enjoy. For instance, we would not be caught caroling at anyone’s doorstep, and drinking egg nog would result in three upset stomachs since lactose intolerance runs in our family. We do take the time to bundle up on a weekday night and drive to neighborhoods where residents deck their houses with strings of Christmas lights. We also endure the 1-hour line to see Santa. But there are some traditions that cause more headaches than joy.

And I’m pretty sure this whole Elf on the Shelf is one of them.


About Ambrosia Brody

Ambrosia Brody is a working journalist, editor, and mother to two under the age of three. Connect with her on her blog Random Aspects of My Life or on Twitter.