Look, let’s start out with a full on psychobabble confessional. It is not you. It is me.
The following is really a reflection of my poor holiday self-esteem and NOT your mind-bogglingly annoying behaviors.
You see I am already sick of this season and it has only been in swing for about three days. My intentions were good on Thanksgiving morning. I signed up for a 5K knowing that those running endorphins would carry me through the merciless hours of gluttony to follow. It really was a lovely run and morning. I vowed THIS would be the year I became a LOVER of all things Christmassy–this would be the year I hummed Christmas carols while trimming the freshly hewn tree. This would be the year I did not dream of tropical destinations for the entire month of December.
My intentions fell apart when we remembered the one Christmas tradition that has been a source of angst and pain for us three years running.
The Elf on the [God-forsaken] Shelf.
This year, it was a miracle we even knew where the elf was….we have bought a new one every year for the last several because we can never find his scrawny creepy Elf-self on Thanksgiving day. Not to worry though, our suckiness as holiday parents was not lost as we could not find the book anywhere. So we bumbled our way through a story that involved planes, trains, and automobiles. The Elf of Meyer legend is a cross between Will Farrell and Vince Vaughn. He flies, can only be touched by Mom and Dad, reports all things back to Santa and can basically make or break a kids entire Christmas dream.
After our indulgent Thanksgiving meal, we returned home to “find” Snowy, or Elfie, or Jack or whatever the hell his name is this year, positioned on a tall kitchen shelf.
Hadley promptly began to weep.
Twenty minutes later, we had convinced her that he is not mean or scary. That he just watches and tattles to Santa…that it was possible if she was not good, she would be considered bad…very bad but not to worry….all she had to do was be good…very good. Finally, she agreed that Snowy-Elfie guy could stay in the house under strict confinement: no venturing upstairs and no going in her room.
It has been three days and already, we need a 529 account for the therapy this kid will need. Her first note to the Elf read “I have not been good Snowy. Not good at all. In fact, I have been bad..very bad.”
Naturally, Snowy had to respond, reassure, and basically undo the trauma he had inflicted in the first place.
It pained me so much to see the terror on my beautiful girl’s face that I had to reach out to all of you. We are not in this Elf-hell alone.
Please, it is time for some Elf on the Shelf Parent solidarity. Can we agree to the following?
1. Elf Movement. I seriously am lucky if the Elf moves every day. Can you please keep your elf’s movement simple? I am thrilled that you can rig a tight rope from your ceiling fan to your Christmas tree for him to traverse precariously. I think it’s awesome that your cereal box doubles as some sort of elf sarcophagus. But truly, that crap makes those of us flinging the elf under the couch in a moment of sheer panic while our kid is distracted by their older siblings look really bad. It might be best for your kind to just stay off of Pinterest until January.
2. Elf Clothes. I am really thrilled when none of my kids scrounge their outfits out of the dirty hamper. Clothes for the elf? Really? Let’s agree that Elf magic includes asexuality and a fashion sense akin to my husband. Who wouldn’t be thrilled to live 24/7 in red fleece footies? If, however, you MUST dress your elf, consider this local company: Elf Outfitters–they really are great people–even if they to bring me down—way down.
3. Elf Diet. We have told our child that Snowy is not permitted to eat or drink according to Santa’s laws. Those of you putting out cookies, cakes and five course tasting menus for your well-dressed, acrobatically inclined elf are really out of line. Let’s save the cookie eating fiasco for Christmas Eve, can we?
4. Elf-ography. Oh I do so enjoy the juiciness and hilarity of a well-done Barbie/Elf hook-up scene BUT…I have a SEVEN year-old daughter who happens to be obsessed with Barbie and terrified of the Elf. Do you see how impossible this situation is for me? With all the lights I need to detangle, garland to staple to my banisters and paperclips to invert, I do not have one second to answer “Hey Mommy, what’s Barbie doing to the Elf?”
So it really is simple. We have 24 days till Elf gets sent packing. Those days will go A LOT smoother if we all stick together.
In short, keep your elf in his PJs all day, avoid sudden or elaborate movements, do not feed him at all for a month, and last but not least, PLEASE avoid any and all sexual innuendo.
Hey, looking at those rules, every year on December 26, I could be the Elf.