Dear Elf on a Shelfinistas: Stop Making Me Look Like Crap

I wrote this two years ago and the sentiment for many of you fellow moms is the same, especially after reading Jon Acuff’s recent post and seeing this Dwarf in a Drawer.

Happy almost Christmas!


Originally published December 2011

We’d never had a resident Elf on a Shelf until last year.

Meet Steve.

Elf on a Pig

Steve, still at this Elf on a Shelf gig four years in a row and getting tired of the humiliating things he has to do around our house.

I assumed this Elf on a Shelf gig was pretty low maintenance, right? Like most parenting trends, however, a few overcaffeinated, overzealous overachievers can ruin simple, slacker mom fun.

The first thing my girls have done each morning these past couple of weeks, while bleary eyed and still in their pjs, is search for Steve. I’m absolutely thrilled they still hold fast to the wonder of Christmas. Steve brings a touch of magic to our day, a touch of magic that involves zero props or elf hijinks. Steve mischeviously moves every night as the girls are peacefully sleeping. Now Steve just has fun exploring our house. He doesn’t make flour snow angels in the kitchen or bring cute little gifts. Although, Steve? Feel free to bring me a bottle of wine from Santa’s private wine cellar any time, OK?

Suddenly, however, there are minions of mothers hell bent on destroying those of us who subscribe to the quaint and simple Elf on a Shelf fun. These Elf on a Shelfinistas continually set the bar higher with elaborate Elf on a Shelf pranks and portrait sessions that take longer than the Kardashians’ annual Christmas card photo shoot.

I see all you jacked up on eggnog moms posting your artsy fartsy Instagram pictures of your Elf on a Shelf. You’ve got your thrill-seeking zip lining elves, your makeshift hot tub in a coffee mug elves, and your “don’t be naughty” note writing elves.

People, our elf is doing good to just move to a new spot on a daily basis. Between this and an unexpected Christmas morning game changer (in her letter to Santa the 9-year-old asked him to wrap all the gifts he brings for the first time ever) THIS IS ALL I CAN HANDLE.

Every night, usually when I’m good and settled in under the covers with a book, I have an “OH CRAP I forgot to move Steve” moment. Then I quietly sneak down the hall to do the deed. There is not a nanosecond left in my day nor a morsel of creativity left in my brain for extraordinary feats of Elfdom. You see, we have an Elf on a Shelf, not an Elf on a Mission To Give Slacker Moms A Nervous Breakdown.

So all you moms setting up Elf on a Shelf Cirque de Soleil tonight remember that I’m already sitting down on the couch enjoying a glass of wine while you meticulously style your elf for a new Facebook wall photo.

We are simple Elf on the Shelf folk and we mean to stay that way.


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