There is no elf on this here shelf

The Monday after Thanksgiving, Z came bounding off the bus, barely waiting until her feet hit the pavement before telling me about this amazing ELF! That's on a SHELF! And it has magical powers and it's going to be in a new spot in her classroom EVERY DAY and it reports back to SANTA!

"GREAT!" I said, by which I meant: Is no place free of this damned elf on a shelf nonsense?!?! SCREW YOU TEACHER!

I first heard about the elf on a shelf a few years ago, when friends started posting photos on Facebook of the cute place they'd hidden the elf that day. I even, momentarily, considered getting one as I knew the girls would love the excitement of finding him in a new place every morning. But then I remembered the other posts on Facebook, the ones lamenting the need to move the effing elf yet again or moaning that they'd woken up early in a sweat because they forgot to move the elf and didn't want to make the kids cry AGAIN.

I wake up in a sweat about enough things, thankyouverymuch, especially this time of year. I would like to rid myself of some holiday imperatives rather than willingly BUY MORE.

So there is no elf on this here shelf. And I quickly decided that the elf on the first grade shelf is a great thing, because then we don't need one at home!! TEACHER, I TAKE IT ALL BACK.

But then.

Our 7 year old neighbor came over one day last week and asked to see our elf and looked astounded and sad for us that we didn't have one. This is the same child who watches grown up action movies regularly, will only read books if they are about vampires and/or zombies and makes fun of my 6 year old for watching Dinosaur Train and yet she still believes in Santa and has a freaking elf on a shelf?!

Well. I would like a medal for not telling her just how ironic that is.

This girl will not let up. Every day she asks if an elf showed up yet. EVERY. DAY. And then looks pityingly at Z, as if she might give her a pat on the head and a lollipop for her suffering.

Z seems fine about it though, thank goodness. She just says "No. No elf here yet," and moves on.

Let's see how long I can hold out.

Do you do the elf on the shelf?


Ann Wyse said...

Oh! Oh! We have an elf! I was supposed to move him, eh?

He's been stuffed in the same drawer since somebody patted us on the head and gave him to us three years ago. Oops.

(Nobody is missing him.)

Laura Diniwilk said...

Hah, I am one of the people who has one and kind of hates it. But Adriana just gets SO! EXCITED! every morning that it warms my black little heart.

Stephanie said...

I feel EXACTLY as you do about this - really? one more thing during this crazy time of year? - and I managed to avoid it at my house . . . until Wednesday. I caved, and my girls are over-the-moon into "Candy Cane."

*Throws hands up in defeat*

What can you do? They're only little once, right?

Mama Bub said...

I don't love our elf, but my husband has taken over elf moving duties so I've kind of checked out of the whole process. Holiday spirit, FTW!

april said...

We don't do an elf, and I am a-o-k with that.

Erica said...

Holding out.

scatteredeverywhere said...

My mom got an elf for my son before they were en vogue, maybe about 4 years ago. I thought he was too young at the time so he stayed in the box for a year. I think this is our third Christmas with "Soot." I have it programmed in my cell's calendar so it will alert me as a reminder to move it. :-)

kate said...

I ran out and bought one a couple of years ago, but then when I read the book and looked at the elf we ended up finding it slightly creepy and definitely too labor intensive. Anyway my daughter didn't seem like she was going to get on board with the idea that it was anything more than a doll. So I packed it up and gave it goodwill and I'm currently living happily ever after :-)

Marie Green said...

We didn't do it either, as I was against it for the same reasons (plus I think the elves look cheap and ugly). HOWEVER, I was shopping with my 9yo (she was sick, but well enough to shop, so that's how we roll), and this is her (and her twin's) first year of NOT believing in Santa at Christmas. She saw the elf at Target and stood looking it over, and then thoughtfully explained to me why our other two (believing) (well, not the baby, not really, but you KWIM) would LOVE the elf. And then she said how much fun it would be for her and Joan to move the elf every night... and I SOLD OUT and bought it!

BUT! The almost-10yos are TOTALLY in charge of it, so I think in our house it's a win-win. *I* don't have to do anything about it, my girls are VERY unlikely to forget between the two of them (they take turns picking the spot and ALWAYS know who's turn it is), AND it helps them be involved in the "magic" of Christmas now that the gig is up with Santa. I think they feel important and "adult-ish" being in charge of that stupid elf.

So, until 5 days ago I would have said no, but now? SIGH. Yes, we have one. :)

twisterfish said...

I am an anti-elf-on-the-shelf type gal. I prefer the old fashioned Christmas magic that we've done for years (advent calendar, santa, flying reindeer, nativity, etc.). That little elf is too creepy for me and is just too much work. Plus, I'm not into the whole "be good or the elf will tell" thing, instead I'm more a "be good 365 days a year because I said so" kind of mom. Yes, this elf and it's huge popularity just aren't for me at all.

If that neighbor girl said something like that to me, I'd be ready with some comment about how her elf might hear her and not send goodies her way, since she's budding into Z's business, and that's not polite. But I'm mean like that.

momof3 said...

I am so confused with the schoolsl and what they will and will not do during the holidays. Your daughter's school principal will not allow "curriculum" time used to conduct a service project allowing the students to write a 2 word note to Santa or Mr. Macy (if they don't believe in Santa for relgious or other reasons)yet he allows one of his teachers to put an elf on a shelf? I am in the creeped out club and agree with Twisterfish children should be taught that their behavior counts all year long not just during the weeks between Thanksgiving and Christmas.

Amy said...

I do, and here's why: http://bit.ly/U6CkTL

Doing My Best said...

Nope. I just can't do ONE! MORE! THING!

grammalouie said...

This is the dumbest toy I have ever heard of. It seems like just one more ploy to commercialize Christmas and has very little if anything to do with the real spirit of the season. I am all for simplifying life and this just makes it more complicated. Who needs that at this time of year?

k said...

We do Elf (name: Alphabet), but we keep it mellow. He doesn't rat out behavior or get into involved hijinks. He's mostly a seasonal visitor and I do move him about each night. Mostly he likes to lounge on the couch with a book or the remote.

Monica said...

Our local My Gym has an elf on the shelf, and Amelia terrified of it reporting back to Santa. If I want her to behave at Christmas time, I just have to threaten her with the possibility of buying one, and she falls into line. So, we have all the benefits of an elf without the responsibility, which is a win-win in my book.

Kathimc said...

The door bell rang one day and it was Mira's playdate arriving and she handed me a bag and said,"this was on your porch". I took the bag and opened it and the kids grabbed it. It was an elf with a letter from Santa. The playdate ran in and said, "we have an elf and he moves every night". I am thinking "wow, where did this elf come from and I guess he is going to have to move". Then I called my mother to see if she had anything to do with it! The kids LOVE it! And M reports back to her friend at school every morning about where the elf is. I keep wondering why these elfs don't come with iPhones and special apps so they will remember to move on there own!

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