‘Elf on the Shelf is a HARD NO for me — Here’s why.’

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“Greetings, fellow parents, It’s that time of the year again — The Holidays! A chill in the air, the magic of Christmas all around, sugar-feral children with 8,000 get-togethers, running around like maniacs… it’s all, well — a lot.

Errands to be run, potluck dishes to be baked, and gift shopping that never ends. After my long days of searching for random toys that my kids will play with for 3 minutes (WHAT IS A FREAKING L.O.L. SURPRISE! DOLL?) and doing everything possible to make the season as cheery as possible, I find myself with absolutely zero leftover energy or time at the end of the day.

…So, why not add a magical elf that requires as much maintenance as another tiny human!? Right? WRONG. NO. NO! Absolutely not.

If case you aren’t familiar, here’s my understanding of the Elf situation: for a mere $30, you can purchase your own elf all the way from the North Pole! It comes with a book about how the magical elf works, but the gist is this: the elf will stay in your home from Thanksgiving to Christmas and report back to Santa daily about your kids’ activity. Each day, you’ll find it in a new spot. But, if a child touches the elf, it loses its magic and the kid gets in trouble with Santa. Also, the elf is not actually magical, and you are responsible for it.

What in the fresh hell?

When the elf comes to your house, it’s given a name like ‘Tiddlywinks’ or ‘Barnabus’ and then becomes YOUR DANG BALL AND CHAIN.

Feeling exhausted after a long day of, I don’t know, being a parent?

Is your only desire to drain a glass of chardonnay and sleep after working 8 hours and doing 4 loads of laundry?


In case you’re all tapped out of ideas, you can always visit Pinterest. Easy enough, right?


Here are the top pins on Pinterest for “Elf on the Shelf Ideas” — and I HAVE QUESTIONS.

Collage of Elf on the Shelf set ups

Who are these mothers!?

Where exactly do these miniature props come from!?

Where does one find an elf-sized fingernail polish?

How did you have time to FREEZE YOUR DAMN ELF?

Did you just… cut out solo cups to make a tiny set of ‘The Voice’?

Why are the elves always behaving like drunken fraternity boys?

Four elves from Elf on the Shelf sit around glass of milk with four straws in it
Courtesy of Natalie Dobry

Why would I ever give my child the idea to poop in the sink? I don’t know, I just — I feel that this is unwise.


These things require more maintenance than a ‘74 Chevy.

Plus, God forbid your kids wake up and the elf hasn’t moved. That’s a way to really spark the panic in a child — and in the mind of the parent as their mind races to find a way to finish making breakfast and move that freaking Tundra Demon.

I can barely remember to shower every (other) day — how am I supposed to remember one to move a tiny man doll all around my house?

Moreover, how do we really feel about Santa’s need for double agents?

I’m not really sure how I feel about introducing my kids to a Peeping Tom that reports back to Santa. I feel like this is how illegal things start.


Listen, I understand that Christmas is a magical time. No one loves Santa and Christmas magic more than this chick. I am all about the Christmas Spirit and (only minimally) threatening my kids with Santa and his bag o’ coal. But this mama needs not one more thing to do this holiday season. My creativity is shot. Mama is tiiiiired.

So when my kids go to bed tonight, I will enjoy my Netflix and boxed wine. I will see my mom friends on social media scramble to move that elf and take an Insta-worthy picture of their creativity, and I will appreciate it from afar. Because ain’t nobody (at least, not me) got time for that.”


This story was submitted to Love What Matters by Stephanie Hollifield of Momstrosity. It originally appeared on their blogSubmit your own story here, and subscribe to our best stories in our free newsletter here.

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