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Over Achieving Elf on the Shelf Mommies Revisited


This post was originally published December 9, 2011.  If you want to see the original click here.

By now we have all heard of the adorable little Elf on the Shelf.  Almost everyone I know has one.  Some people even have two!  (Now I'm having guilt for not having two, because apparently I need two because when my kids are adults they'll each want one from their childhood.  Ugh.  Not looking forward to that conversation with the Hubs when I tell him why we need another Elf.)

The Elf is a handy little thing to have.  The little bastard keeps my children in check this time of year.  When there is even a HINT of rebellion all I have to do is say, "Elf" and they snap back in line.

If he's so good, Jen, then why did you call him a bastard? you ask.  I called him a bastard, because even though my children think he's magic, I'm the one doing all the "magic" and I totally suck at it.  I forget to move him all the time and when I forget I have to spin even MORE lies than usual.  ("No, Santa can't give you the $400 Lego Death Star.  Even though he says he makes everything, he can't make Legos and he has to actually go and buy them and he can't spend that much money on you." or "Well, I don't know why he gave it to your friend last year for Christmas.  I'm sure his mommy and daddy paid Santa to do that and we don't pay Santa."  Thanks a lot, asshole parents who gave their kid the Death Star from Santa!  As parents, let's all make a pact that any gift over $200 comes from grandma and grandpa rather than Santa, OK?  It would make my life a lot easier.)

But back to our Elf.  Our Elf has been a lazy SOB this year.  He usually makes his first appearance Thanksgiving night (I get him out when I'm on my way out at 3 AM for Black Friday).  This year we left town and I forgot.  He waited until we came back and then he was ready join our family.  Since then he's only gone away 4 maybe 5 times.  We are always forgetting to move him.  And it should not be difficult.  I am literally moving him from the top shelf in my kitchen to the bottom shelf and back again.  I'm such a loser that I can't even do that right.

I heard some over achieving moms talking one day about how they like to make their Elf do "naughty" things. What exactly does that mean? I asked.  "Oh, you know, he bakes cookies in the night and leaves a huge mess for me to clean up in the morning."  WTF???  "Yes, or one time last year, he took all the ornaments off our tree!  Teeheeehee."

Teeheehee?!!  Why in the world would I make my Elf do something like that?  I'm the one who has to clean up his mess and redecorate my tree!  All so my kid could ooh and ahh over the magic of the Elf for about 3 minutes until the next shiny object caught their eye?  I decided these women were insane.

But then I started listening closer and realized they are not alone.  There are entire blogs out there right now dedicated to naughty/fun Elf behavior.  People like Danielle over at Blossom Bunkhouse.  I read her blog and I got really pissed off.  I should have known she'd irritate me when I read her perky-mom-who-loves-to-make-amazing-homemade-memories-with-her-kids-when-she's-not-secretly-downing-Valium-and-Vodka-so-she-can-be-so-damn-perky-and-fun title for her blog.  (In case you haven't guessed, I'm proudly un-medicated and I have the mood swings to prove it.)

Blossom has 101 Fun Ideas to do with your Elf.  ONE HUNDRED AND ONE.  As a friend pointed out, there are only 25 days until Christmas - why 101?!!

I wanted to punch her as soon as I read her top 2:

1.  Have a marshmallow fight (marshmallows everywhere).
2.  Have a pillow fight (feathers everywhere).

OK, seriously?  Does she have a clue how much a feather pillow costs?  The hell I'm going to destroy it just so I can sweep it up again in the morning!

Or like I have time, desire or resources to make this red carpet entrance for a doll.  I can barely get him out of the box and prop him up on the shelf.  We haven't even read the book yet this year and she wants me to literally roll out a red carpet for him.  When does she do laundry?  When does she work?  And most importantly, when does she sleep?

20.  Make faces on school pictures with a marker.

I lecture my children constantly on appropriate materials to write on with markers.  A photograph is not one of those things.  It would take years to undo that damage if I did that.  I'd have mustaches on every photograph in my home.  "The Elf did it!"

24.  Read a book.

Yeah, I tried that one on my own the other day (didn't even need Blossom's help to come up with that one). The Hubs didn't see him on the couch reading and he sat on him.  Kids couldn't find him because he wasn't on his usual shelf.  So much for trying to think outside the box...shelf.

32.  Switch clothes from one closet to another.

And I do this when?  4 AM when everyone is asleep and I'm hauling dresses and jeans from one room to another?  And we're assuming my children would even NOTICE I did this.

42.  Take picture of child sleeping.

This is one I would do just to scare the snot out of them.  I'd like to perch the Elf right on their sleeping heads and take a picture of that.  I could probably whip that picture out in the summer when they're being bad and it would scare them enough to knock it off.  I'll bookmark that one.

44.  Knit a scarf or hat.

When I'm not trashing my house with feathers, flour or drawing on the walls I'll whip up a handmade hat, Psycho.

64.  Learn multiplication facts.

Huh?  Just set him on the table with flashcards?  I guess I could do that, but it sounds as boring as my shelf.

80.  Elf packs school lunches but mixes up everyone's lunches.  (Each child receives sibling's lunch - great conversation piece at dinner.)

Or source of meltdown at school - you pick.

93.  Sit on toilet OUTSIDE on front lawn - if you happen to have an extra toilet being stored.

WTF?  Who has an "extra" toilet they can put in the yard?  Either she's grasping at straws to get to 101 or she's white trash.

He's called The Elf on the Shelf, not the Elf who Skydives, Takes Bubble Baths and Shaves the Dog!  Leave him on the shelf so the rest of us slackers don't look so bad.  I think I'm just going to lay my Elf on his shelf, tape wires and hoses to him and tell my kids he's in a coma and hopefully he'll recover before Christmas.  That should give me some flexibility.

This post has been read over 2 million times since it was first published in December 2011.  Thank you to everyone who has ever read it, shared it, laughed at it, peed their pants, cried over it, told me I validated them and I even thank those who called me an asshole and an unfit mother.  I am grateful to each and every one of you!  

This essay is an excerpt from my book Spending the Holidays with People I Want to Punch in the Throat.  If you liked this post, then you'll LOVE my book (click the link to buy now)!  

Follow me on FacebookTwitterPinterest and Goodreads - I write good stuff all year round.  You won't be disappointed.  Check out my latest post here.




96 comments:

  1. Am I the only one who just sticks with saying Santa won't bring you presents if you're bad, or threaten to take them back to the store? I really have no idea about this whole "Elf on the Shelf" stuff? I remember having Christmas decorations like the Elf as a kid, but do not recall a story attached. I am kinda glad that I don't have to worry about the fuss of it.

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    1. I am with you, DNB! All the way!

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    2. I refuse to give into the Elf. My son is afraid of the army of elves that I told him will come in the night and take away his advent calendar if he opens more than one gift a day...& Santa, oh the looming eyes of Santa. I don't need a scary toy that is more work for me. I am with you, DNB.

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    3. The stupid story now is made up and not the original concept of the elf. Just one more thing to commercialize and make money off of

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    4. I TOTALLY agree with you guys.. I have enough to do without all the Elfie junk to add to MY LIST..

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    5. No, I won't do the whole elf on the shelf, and if I did, it wouldn't be naughty, it would just sit on a shelf and make sure the kids behaved. I wouldn't even move it. Hell a Santa rug pinned on my kids bedroom wall was all I needed for years to convince them Santa was watching them to make sure they were always being good, as it was Santa's Magic Portal to watch them. And the whole concept of the elf being Naughty, doesn't make sense, isn't that teaching them to misbehave, since the elf is allowed. Maybe the kids should be the ones cleaning up the mess.

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  2. I'm not going near a creepy Elf. Looks like Chucky's Cousin Eddie. I'm with you on just sticking with the Santa thing.

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  3. hahahaha! I feel the same way! Is it laziness? Is it being realistic? It's like my hubby insisting on going ALL out and finding elaborate gifts for the kids you have to import from Japan... and they are happier playing with the box. Seriously.

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  4. Even better the second time around.

    I am the only mother in America without a damn elf.

    Although I'm an OAM in other ways...lol...

    Sharing it at my facebook, to add a few more hundred to the 2 million:
    Nicolette

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    1. I don't have an elf either and I don't ever plan on getting one!

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  5. Thank you for the validation! I can make it through another year!

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  6. I still laugh when I read this post. I've never done the Elf thing because, like you said, it's ME who has to clean up after the rat b@sta@rd. I do have 2 elves from the 70's that look like "him" but they just sit on the lower branches, as they did on my parent's tree.

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  7. O.K. I'm in. I just became your newest follower. LOVE this. I can't remember how I found your blog, shoot. I can't remember what I had for lunch yesterday.
    Thank goodness I never heard of the elf when my kids were little. I don't think he would have lasted a week in our house. My luck, the dog would have eaten him.
    My latest problem is Santa. My husband thinks the jolly man needs the ax and I refuse. Not this year. My child is 18 and has Down Syndrome. God love her, she thinks Santa is the real deal, hook line and sinker and I adore her for that. I want one more year. Then I can start in January explaining...
    Lynn

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    1. Isn't it just easier to let her believe? Our kids need to believe in everything that brings them joy, for as long as they can!
      The alternate to Santa, the Easter Bunny, and the tooth fairy, is the realization that someone can come into your school and take your life and the lives of other innocent children. Why are we rushing our innocents into the scary adult world? Let em believe!

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    2. Lynn, I have a daughter that has a cognitive disability...when she was 13ish, we let her know that Santa was not real. The reason we did this was we did not want the typical kids that she goes to school with to laugh at her or make fun of her because she belived. Every year she wrote a letter to Santa...I wish I could have just let her believe for the rest of her life! We have come up with a solution though, we have a 2 year old grandson that she now gets to help play Santa for. She is finding great joy in that.

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    3. My aunt is in her late 50's with Down's and Santa has visited her for each and every one. It is the most pure joy to watch her in the morning, please think twice before taking away a once a year magic when much in this life is a challenge for her.

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    4. there is a letter circulating pinterest that tells how santa is in each and every one of us. keeps the magic but also brings it to reality. I wish you and yours the best.... It is on my boards if you want to see if you can find it ... Alicia Ayres ( amomayres)

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    5. Lynn, my husband and I visit our friend Cliff's house every year dressed as Mr. And Mrs. Santa. He has a daughter who is 25 now, and has a severe cognitive disability disorder. She has the mind of about an 8 year old, and will never progress past that. Every year they go to the trouble of YES, the Elf on the Shelf! lol, and getting their friends to dress up and visit her on Christmas Eve. We have done it for 11 years now, and it is magical every year. I asked our friends if they were ever going to tell her, and they said "Why? No one believes in magic any more, and we were more blessed than most people in living with someone who will always believe." I say let her believe, and let her spread her magic around.

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  8. Never got an elf. 1. I'm pretty much like you and KNOW I would forget to move him and 2. I'm pretty sure it would scare the crap out of my son.

    He's all about zombies on tv and video games, but throw an inanimate object at him that 'moves' on it's own and he would freak! I can already hear the "I can't go to bed I'm scaaaared" Yeah, that's my son ;)

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  9. I knew when I read the title of your blog I would love you! I read this and TOTALLY agree. Also, isn't the elf supposed to be watching kids and making sure they don't do bad things? When he is doing naughty things, does he have an elf watching him reporting to Santa? I only have a three month old and I'm lucky I can do laundry and keep ANY part of my house clean after work. Who has time to make messes and then clean them up?! It's called elf on a shelf for a reason...

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  10. I'm amazed at the ways people find to 'out do' one another...
    back in the 'child' years... our 'elf' just sat in the Christmas tree and observed.... never moved an inch once he was perched! He was a home made elf, tho... and none of my kids has asked for him, either!

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  11. Elf is lucky if he moves every other night at my house. No tricks. Nothing fancy. He props himself up on whatever shelf, curtain rod, nail I can find that is out of reach of kids. (I'm not about to put him down low & then have to deal w/ the trauma of the youngest touching the little F'er and the oldest freaking out about killing the elf). Merry Christmas.

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  12. I'd like to say that I don't have an elf..but I can't.
    My 16 yo son is in Broadcasting class and had to make a video for class.He wanted to make it about an elf that was out to get him.His 4 yo brother comes in and saves the day with his lightsaber and ninja skills.LOL
    I don't think our elf is going to be naughty as he's scared shitless by the 4 year old.

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    1. That is fantastic. Please post when he is done!

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  13. Our Elf just sits there. If he hasn't moved from morning until E gets home, he wonders if something's wrong. Yes something's wrong. You and mommy leave at the same time in the morning and you get home an hour before she does!

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  14. It's so great that lots of good came out of one post about that creepy Elf. Congrats! (And yes, this still makes me laugh)

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  15. Still laughing one year later....

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  16. Yessss! I laughed even harder this time. It really seems like those OAM elf on the shelf mommies are stepping it up this year. My facebook is FLOODED with pics of things their naughty elves do every day. I saw one today, no lie, who had written on her table in marker ELVES RULE!! wtf lady.

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  17. So I screwed myself and thought of you. Last year I did nothing but move our elf from one spot to another, in fact someone sent me a link to this blog last year about the Elf thing. This year I forgot to move the stupid thing one night and my son was devastated. So the next night I put the elf on a tissue box like he was asleep, complete with blanket and pillow. My son talked about for two days, now I am stuck being creative with the stupid thing.

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  18. Love this post! While my elf does move around the house, he doesn't do anything as elaborate as some of my friends do. But I enjoy watching my son try to find him and figure out where he is. And the elf gives this dad the creeps, which cracks me up! I'm pretty sure that if I hid the elf in the refrigerator, he would possibly end up MIA.

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  19. I read the story last year about this. I knew about elves, but, not how far the parent will go with it. I first saw the elf concept while subbing at local elementary schools. They would put the school's elves in different spots like over doorways. The kids thought it was funny. Kids would bring their elves to school also. I held out buying one until this yr because my 3 yr old is out of control lol. I got one for each kid. The arms and legs bend, so, I can have them hang from stocking hangers or "climbing" on stuff. Only issue that I have is finding where the kids left them so that they can move. I would never have them do the so-called naughty stuff. Mainly because I tell my kids that they are reporting to Santa for behavior, it makes no sense that the elves can't behave? I write notes from the elves to the kids saying what they saw them doing and what they need to work on. The kids won't ever be perfect of course. But, if they were pretty good, the elves leave a piece of candy. I have bigger treats like $5 toys or crafts for when they do really well. My sister will give bigger stuff, which I wont do because we are over run with toys already and that is what Christmas is for! My 3rd grader's teachers have the kids' elves do stuff like lock the door to the room or be in weird positions while they are away for lunch or recess.

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  20. I thought of you and your blog the other day when my 5YO came home from school wondering why WE didn't have an elf. I guess his Kindergarten teacher has one now, "Bob." And a friend has one and she was bragging how hers "played with her Barbies" one night. Now I'm feeling guilty but December has already started and we'll be traveling over the holidays so I will try to muster up the willpower to defer this nasty task to next year.

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    1. Tell him you don't want the elf breaking or stealing his things so you have a no elf policy!

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  21. Oh - and this is #4 on my list of "things I swore I would never do". Unfortunately I've already broken the first 3 - most recently #3: running all over creation and paying WAY too much to buy one of the "hottest toys of 2012". (The first 2: driving a minivan and holding a birthday party at Chuck E Cheese fell a while ago) Sheesh - the things we do for our kids...

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    1. I went for the cheap version, it was the one that they can touch without the book, but by son doesn't know the difference and our elf is not naughty - the whole purpose is trying to help him remember to be good. The other day the cat got him, pulled him down through the tree. We stood there looking at him trying to figure out if WE touched him if the magic would go away. This morning he is back on top of the fridge, safe away from attack cat.
      About the mini van, miss mine and Chuck E Cheese forget about it, birthday parties in the park, Military theme, face painting done by the older sister, toss a bunch of GI JOE men on the grass and have them rescue them, water balloon toss, pinata with pull strings, home made cake (from a mix), decorated by the birthday boy with his plastic toys. Gift opening, write letters and draw pictures for the troops overseas then sweep the mess into the trash can and go home. Wonder how many GI Joes got run over by the lawn mower. p.s. The Elf gets moved only because I'm an early riser and the Elf just arrived at house this year cause my son needed help believing in good and the spirit of Christmas (it's been a hard year).

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  22. "Either that or she's wite trash..." OMG I love your writing! So glad I added you on my bloglovin in time to get this post! Thanks for inspiring me to write!

    Kelley
    www.kdiaries.com

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  23. I don't have kids so I'd never even HEARD of the Elf on the Shelf until I read your post a year ago. This year I was in a bookstore and finally got to see a real,'live' Elf in person, and caught myself saying "Lazy little shelf-sitting bastard." I think my view of these little elves has been corrupted forever, and for that I thank you.

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  24. Our elf isn't naughty, he's mischievous! My son loves journaling with his elf and Buddy answers back. Maybe it makes a difference that I love being creative and what fun is a elf that just stares at you and tattles on you? We never went by the book... I allow him to touch him gently, and as a grown up I can move him if needed. If he's on a light we need to turn on. Ours is bendable so he can hang from things, zip line across the room, and hold things. I wouldn't change a thing and I don't knock my friends who aren't as creative and have more than one child. Either you love it or don't. Each their own and our choice is mischievous elf who enjoys eating our sweets and teasing my son(will replace stockings by the fireplace with son's undies). Yes, I'm crazy, yes I enjoy it to no end and yes I realize the time will come and he won't believe anymore! He has even had friends come over, he's 9, and they'll tell him, 'our elf is not real, my mom moves him', then my son will show them the journal and they have asked him 'how'd you get a REAL elf'?!! Turning the non-believers into believers, because once you don't believe you get underwear and socks!!!

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  25. The Elf on the Shelf is NOT for everyone. My 4 year old son started crying when I told him the Elf watches over him. It scared the crap out of him. He put a pillow over it and begged me to tell the elf to not look at him. We also had to pack up all the other bears and what not (anything with eyes) in his room and put them in the attic. He could not sleep in his room until we did.

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  26. Like your blog title - yeah, it's a long list.

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  27. I teach my kids to behave year round, not just at Christmas. I told my kids that Santa only sends the elves to houses where he thinks there are naughty kids, so if they behave themselves Santa won't send them one. Even if they are naughty I'm not getting it. I refuse to be held captive by commercialism at Christmas. That stupid thing is a ridiculous waste of money. Instead, I am going to teach my kids to be generous with what they have at Christmas, we will take that $30 and spend on items for the homeless and hungry.

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  28. #93 LOL. Enough said, this if freaking hilarious.

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  29. This was awesome, so true and exaclty how I feel. THANK YOU!

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  30. Wait, the Elf is bad, but the children have to be good? That would not fly in my house. My almost 4 year would say, "but the Elf does it" all the time. NO WAY! Besides, I think he's a creepy stalker who haunts you in your sleep. No elf in this house...EVER!

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  31. Our Elf is a a lazy SOB, but then again I keep forgetting to move him. God only knows what that says about me, lol!!

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  32. I haven't seen our elf in days. Last time I saw him our 20m old had him and she growled at me when I tried to take it. I truly thought I was the only one that just sat tge ugly little thing on the shelf. With 5 daughters I'm not about to make an extra mess to clean up. My 4yr old and the aforementioned toddler had a bag of marshmallows and 500 Q-tips thrown all over my house today all because I took a minute and a half to brush my teeth. Thank you for the laugh and validation!!!

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  33. I am SO sick of seeing everyone's daily little posts about their stupid effing elf. WE GET IT, YOU'RE ADDICTED TO PINTEREST. LOVE this article you punctuated every feeling I have about that damn creepy-faced minion. We'll NEVER HAVE ONE. My kids will just not be able to join in on that "Remember the Elf on the Shelf??" convo when they're sitting around with their douchebag friends in their 20's. Clearly I am unmedicated as well. ;)

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    1. Haha.I agree with everything u said.I'm right there with ya

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  34. I'm not bothered what folks do with their elves, but thankful that my offspring are too old for this now. In my house growing up, we had 2 frogs with squeakers that we would hide in the christmas tree. That became our tradition and I took the frogs when I left home and they still hide in the tree every year, though one poor dude has lost his squeaker. It's our silly little thing and not forced on us by a company.

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  35. We don't do the elf on a shelf.just one more thing I have my kids focusing on of it was in our house.I barely focus on Santa but rather on giving.my boys talk more about giving rather than getting.maybe I'm old fashioned or just have a fear of raising self focused children.I buy minimal things for them and throughout the year we are involved in charity stuff.when I see and hear about the behaviors of other children I then understand it after seeing how their parents are in society and it has only been a confirmation I'm doing a decent job in raising my 3 boys

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  36. I want to add that the focus is giving like Jesus has and that one thing Santa and Jesus have in common is they are giving:)

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  37. I never get tired of this post! Love it and love your writing! Thank you for saying what the 'normal' people are thinking!

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  38. We don't even do Santa not even going to think about the Elf. Love the post!

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  39. My elf quit. How's that for overachieving?

    http://www.thekidsmademefat.com/2011/12/elf-went-for-drink.html

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  40. What I don't understand is that if the elf is supposed to watch kids and make sure they are being good, why would he do naughty things during the night? What a contradiction! Mine just moves from the tree to a couple different shelves and that's about it.

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  41. In the words of the great Jenny Lawson (a.k.a. The Bloggess):

    "Moms (who are far less lazy than me) will throw flour and applesauce all over the house and then pretend that the naughty elf did it. Except I would never do that BECAUSE SOMEONE HAS TO CLEAN THAT SHIT UP."

    My elf wrote a scathing letter to my kids:

    http://daddyscratches.com/2011/12/20/a-note-to-my-children-from-the-elf-on-the-shelf/

    Also, he drank my beer. Little bastard.

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  42. This just made my day! You are so my hero!

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  43. Sitting here laughing my butt off! Thank you, I needed to laugh this morning! My kids mean the world tome but I am NOT doing things that make my life more stressful just to call it'magic' at this time of year. Heck, we don't even have an Elf on the Shelf, and no plans to get one.

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  44. I had never heard of this till my friend posted a rant about it on FB and a link to you. Dude, Santa is stalker enough for me. I hate clowns and this little elf is just that - a Stephen King freak job let loos on the holiday season.

    You are so right about the Valium and Vodka. Though here in Utah it's prescription drugs and Diet Coke. Thank God I don't use either and am still able to enjoy the holiday.

    Seriously, whatever happen to doing things together as a family? When I bake or decorate I have my daughter help me. MUCH better memories for both of us.

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  45. I read this post last year and thought it was so funny, I just did a Google search to find it again! It just amazes me that people have time for this, in an already hectic season. Someone needs to come with something cute to get us through the slower times of the year. Oh wait...there are never slow times of the year with kids.

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  46. Huzzah to that. Elf on the Shelf is the enemy. Here's my addition:

    #102 Set elf on fire and extinguish. Wrap as a surprise present.

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  47. I don't have kids, but my friends who do often share how stressful the damn elf on the shelf is and yes apparently remembering to move it is the most challenging. Clearly, the mom with 101 ideas needs a hobby...or a job.

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  48. Hilarious post!! It screams everything I think about these freaking elves everywhere! We don't have one & I'll never get one. My 8YO son has never even mentioned it & I couldn't be happier! I am far too busy to go & make a mess of my house just to scare my son into being good when I would have to turn around & clean it up again - ridiculous! Besides, he's been taught how to behave all year round. And really, that flippin' elf is scary as hell!!

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  49. I LOVE this! I'm doing some of the low key ones, but nothing that's gonna cause too much clean up!

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  50. I posted a pic of mine tonight sitting on my DVR. I put "Oooooohhhh, Fred is ON the DVR!!" I got alot of likes. My cuz posted one that said "Even YOU could do this Dev" and her elf had made a snow angel in an ENTIRE BAG of sugar she had dumped on the counter!! I replied "GOOD LORD!! Is that real sugar?? Who in the hell is going to clean that up?? NO WAY!!" She didn't answer back, I think my cousins think I am a bitch.

    Also, happy ONE YEAR ANNIVERSARY of me stalking Jenn!! Woo Hoo! Here is to the next year, cheers babe! Devan

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    1. Not only that but you wasted perfectly good sugar that you had to BUY!

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  51. Just so you guys have someone else you want to punch out today, there are about 30 elves moving at our house. Lots of them are vintage (cheaper). The kids (boys 8 and 10) wake up every morning and rush out to see where the elves have moved next. They've noted before that sometimes the elves don't move to very creative places, so I've inspired them to put on their thinking caps and find new spots. Not too many antics over here but lots of moving. I tell myself, "I love my kids." every night when I get my *ss off the couch during my TV time to move them! They are only young once!

    I did laugh while reading this blog post. And, I think I'll use the take a picture idea since I'm a photographer!

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  52. I have a friend who is very into elf on the shelf.... Every night she does this massive set up and makes a huge ordeal with these elves from baking to elf date nights, writing all over the windows, all sorts. On top of all the crazy crap she does with them she has ridiculous names for the elves that make me want to scream.

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  53. Just had to mention...my mom saw this post mentioned on HLN news the other morning. You're famous! Tina should be calling any day now.

    (If this was mentioned earlier I missed it because I was too lazy to read the other comments...sorry!)

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  54. I think that if my kids were still small and had the Elf, I would probably forget to move it. Hey, I'm the mom who has forgotten to deliver the money from the tooth fairy. Thinking quickly, and to buy time, I had to make up the excuse; the tooth fairy must have already had enough teeth of that size. Then, I sneaked into room later, planted the dough, and suggested we look one more time. So, back to the Elf, I guess if I had one, I would have mine be disabled from an accident in the toy factory or runaway reindeer with sled, then tell my kids they had to help move it. Thus teaching them a lesson in kindness and helping those who need it.

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  55. I find this funny because it sounds like a competition of the elves, I am one of the overachieving moms I guess. My kids love to find him every morning to see what he is doing and I like to see that. I do not throw sugar or flour all over the house though. I think it is just one of them family traditions, some families do it some don't its your choice.
    It like some wrap ALL the presents from Santa (I do not like to wrap presents that much) and some rush to take down the decorations the day after Christmas (mine stay up a week or two). Its ok to do thing different that is what makes the world interesting but everyone should voice opinions respectfully. I seen some comments that parents with a elf are slackers. Thats just wrong.
    I did enjoy reading this.
    http://dailywoman.blogspot.com/2012/11/nate-elf-on-shelf-adventures-2012.html

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  56. My mom just had to shoot me a look. She still does it, and I'm 24 (doesn't work anymore though). I think it's sad that people use an elf to make their kid behave. And it kinda takes away from what the holiday is about. And all of these 101 ideas!?!?! I read them and was thinking the same thing as you with each one you commented about. It's so messed up! Sure, if you have incurable insomnia, tons of extra time with those maids and house managers you have, and/or a big bottle of Adderall, go for creativity. But if you don't do creative, or don't have the time/energy, don't stress it. An elf doesn't make happy memories for children, but reading to them by a fire, or sharing hot chocolate, or making separate gingerbread houses, etc. do. You know you're doing it to compete with other moms anyways. But if you seriously want to do these, prepare in the month ahead, get a cheaper elf that's cuter and explain the rules yourself-- the official elf is ridiculously priced, and make them creative ideas that are tailored to your kids. If they like Beetlejuice, dress him as a ghost.

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  57. I must say....I told my child that the elf was there for HER...if SHE didn't clean up after it, Santa might not come. I haven't had to clean up anything yet....

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  58. I agree totally. For me, its bad enough I have to pretend there's a Santa. There's no way in hell I'm lying to kids about some stupid elf. I don't own one and never will. They are almost at the age to bring down the whole scam and I couldn't be happier.

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  59. Loved it! And...here's what I don't get. The elf is supposed keep an eye out, encourage the kids to be good, and report back to Santa every night. Why in the world would I want my elf to be naughty and do the things that would definitely result in
    "coal" if my kids did them...really! The most creative things mine has done was bring printed out letters from Santa (from a free, fill in the blank website) reminding them to be good. And, mine is a little slacker too. On the nights he forgets to move he is being "extra tricky" becuase who would expect him to hide in the same spot 2 days in a row!

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  60. so... i had to look up what an elf on the shelf was recently... and im kind of horrified. so much psychological trauma in one box.
    i mean its seems bad enough to me that parents make up a fictitious character who breaks into houses to leave presents based on a subjective scale of morality. (which imo detracts from the meaningfulness of knowing you got presents from people who love you) but then you invite this characters spy into the house and encourage kids to make an emotional connection by naming it? not to mention creepy factor as it "moves" through the house!?!?!?
    makes me shudder.

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  61. This is the first year we've had an elf...it's very low-key here. I move it around every night, no messes, no big scenes, no threats to tattle to Santa... A couple of times our elf wrote to my daughter (she's 7) but only because my daughter wrote to the elf first. She's enjoying it. And don't worry-she goes to Catholic school and knows what Christmas is really all about. This is just another thing we do in our family-like lighting a candle on the Advent wreath every Sunday, or going to choose and cut down our tree.
    Oh-I also blew the Tooth Fairy thing this summer and forgot to leave money-it was her first lost tooth too (>.<)

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  62. HAHAHA! This is my first year having the "Elf on the Shelf" tradition thing. I started it on Thanksgiving night, after dinner and what not, read the book and my daughter LOVED it! She wanted to hug him and play with him but I reminded her she couldn't touch him. So we placed the box on a flat surface and I told her that during the night he would get out himself and find his place. So after she fell asleep I opened the box, and put the little elf where I thought was fit. I left the box opened and put the plastic piece that covers the elf back but had it look like he got out himself. The next morning she was excited, saw the box and found him. A few nights I was into it and found a new place, but not even a week later he stayed in his place for a week (or more.) I think I have moved him a total of 3 times since the first week passed. His butt is now shoved into the wick/melted hole of a candle that was previously lit (a long time ago I must add, I didn't try to kill him, though it wouldn't be all that bad if I did haha!) He has been there for almost a week. I am very lazy to do anything with him. He is a pesky little bugger since every time my daughter asks why he hasn't moved, I come up with a crazy reason. She believes it and then that night I move him. Thank god I didn't pay for him, got him from someone who wanted me to have it since they didn't want it anymore. I thought it would be cool and exciting... guess that has worn off for the both of us!

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  63. The first time i forgot to move the elf i told my kids that if they are bad, the elf tells Santa and goes back to the same spot. That way, you know if he gave santa a good report or a bad report. I still forget to move the stupid thing at least 4 nights a week. So glad I am not the only one.

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  64. I'm so glad I heard about the elf after my kids were grown and had moved out of my home! the end

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  65. I was going to write a blog today about my daughter wanting one and came across your blog. HILARIOUS! I had to link it in my blog as well.

    http://bit.ly/R3keXc <-- My blog :)

    Kristin @ Mommy Miscellaneous

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  66. What's wrong with actually telling our children the truth instead of lying to them about so much so young? Our kids should know to do the right thing but its good, not because some "santa" or "elf" is watching them.

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  67. This article is hilarious. We just got our elf and I do enjoy although I was not sure before I got it. But I do not believe in the naughty elf ideas. I think it encourages bad behavior instead of good.

    As far as moving the elf, I have a group of fb friends that are all doing the elf on the shelf and one does roll call each night to remind everyone to move it. I love traditions and creating magic for my son so I like that aspect of the elf but I am not about to create messes for me to clean up. that is just ridiculous.

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    Replies
    1. I agree... the whole idea is that the elf is there to report on the child's behavior to Santa, so, why is it fair that the elf gets to do a bunch of naughty things?

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  68. Ah my dear, can I share the story of my little Jewish daughter's obsession with getting an elf on the shelf? This is her first year out of the Jewish day school so she is surprised and delighted to learn all about Santa, Christmas, and thand ese horrible elves. Her friend at school told her all about her Elf and my daughter just had to have one. This particular elf cost $30 plus $18 for shipping and handling. I still can't believe it. But, I did it and all I can think of is how creepy the entire concept is. I have already made my 8-year-old cry twice talking about how the elf broke her friends foot and how I was afraid it might burn our house down. How can it not scare a kid to think their toy is coming to life at night to be naughty?!

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  69. YES! Thank you! Can you address the over achiving moms and toothfairies, or back to school fairies, or any other time a mom leavs things for their kids and say a fairy did it?!?

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  70. Funniest FB update I've seen this season was from a friend who had just gotten a text from her daughter that the dog had chewed the head off of her brother's elf and he was hysterical. Who the heck gets a text that says "The elf just died"? Ha! Weirdest thing this season? At least two friends who are either childless or whose children are grown who have purchased elves just so they can do the whole creative elf photo thing. Crazy. We got an elf in 2007 and my son loved his antics. We were both pretty sad last Christmas when, at age 11, he finally had to give up believing in magic. :/ But I never made costumes for my elf or did any of the TOTALLY crazy stuff that's happening now.

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  71. I read this last year and shared with all my friends. It was pure laughter!! We don't have an Elf but after reading your post, I will definitely be getting one next year:)

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  72. OMG LOL...I am a 53 yr old mother of 3 and grandmother of 2, and I had NEVER heard of this elf until this year...wtf..was I sheltered or something? Anyway, I will never look at one of those elfs again without thinking of this blog and Laughing My Ass OFF. I think I might look for one on the clearance racks at the store, just so I can torture the crap out of it next year. I would put that thing in the grossest places..hehe...what am I thinking...it's NOT real, it could care less where i put it...oh geez...AM I turning into one of "those" moms, only evil? Well, trust me, I will NEVER have him make a mess somewhere, just so I can clean it up in the morning. Not. Gonna. Happen!!!!! OH..btw Jenn..I am new your blogs and am now OBSESSED. You're the best!

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  73. oh dear g-d.
    i think you and i were best friends separated at birth!
    I have no idea how i found you in the blog world...but i am SO glad i did!
    we got our first elf this year-my kids are 19, 16, and 13...they neamed him CHAD after Chad in Wedding Crashers and he barely made it from the box to the house.
    next year, he'll be in a coma for certain!

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  74. You know, I worked in a store that used to sell these and even though I worked in retail a stunning/depressing 10 years, some of my most horrible memories involve that creepy bastard. Mostly( much like Precious Moments collectors) because the people buying them were douchy douchebags. I could not take that shit seriously and people were obsessed and evil. I must have sold hundreds and those customers were pretty much...exactly like you might guess. Especially ELFGATE the multicultural fiasco. We had no elves of color. Angry. Angry people wanting diversity in their elves all blaming me when I didn't even control our shipments. I can't even think about it without getting panicky. I wouldn't have one of those things in my house ever.

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  75. I posted a blog about our elf's guide for Momma's holiday survival - if you don't have a sense of humor, it won't be for you. Check it out: http://horriblyirreverentmom.wordpress.com/2013/12/17/an-elfs-guide-for-mommas-holiday-survival/

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  76. I laughed so hard when I read this as I struggle to find things for the little buggar to do each night that have zero impact on me the next day!

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