TBT! The Elf From Hell

This isn’t really a throwback because it’s timely and relevant every year and I intend to keep posting it until all the demented parents stop waging psychological warfare on their young children.


(12/22/2012) Most of you are familiar with the Elf on the Shelf right?  In the Elf on the Shelf tradition these poorly dressed little plastic elves are mischievous minions of the red suited overlord who spy on the every move of children and report back to their tyrannical leader. That allegedly quaint little elf doll was invented about 15 years ago as a new, and for some toy making company, moneymaking tradition. Fortunately for my kids I wasn’t aware of The Elf on the Shelf when they were young enough to believe in it.


Parents put these little Elves on a shelf and the children are told that the Elf cannot be touched or it will lose it’s Christmas  magic. The elf allegedly flies back to the North Pole to report to Santa every night. Man kids are gullible! In the immortal words of Bugs Bunny, “What a bunch of maroons!” The nightly flight is how parents explain that the Elf is in a different spot when the kids wake up each morning.

Of course this crazy little ruse makes kids behave in the weeks leading up to Christmas! They’re terrified! Are you kidding me? Even now if you told me a Chuckie doll was going to sit on my shelf and stare at me while I slept, or that it might be moving around my house at night? I would never go to sleep again. The kids have got to be too terrified or too tired to misbehave. No wonder they have a weeks vacation from school after Christmas. They probably spend that week sleeping for the first time in a month.



I have a friend who says that after her kids are asleep she will pose the Elf somewhere to make it appear as if the Elf had gotten into mischief overnight, such as putting him next to a tipped over jar of something, or maybe on a desk next to some torn up papers. So her kids wake up imagining that this creepy little doll with the frozen scary clown smile is moving about the house in the dark destroying things. How much longer before someone imagines the doll picking up a knife? What if in some home where they’re torturing their kids with the Elf on the Shelf, just by coincidence, their elderly dog or cat were to pass away during the night? What do you suppose those kids are going to think for the rest of their lives?

This tradition sounds like psychological warfare against children. How long before we see kids who have grown up with this tradition seeking counseling for PTED, Post-Traumatic Elf Disorder?



Happy Holidays to you and your families. If you really want something mysterious and far less traumatic to just appear somewhere this holiday season you could give my book, Time To Lie,  available in paperback, e-book, and Audible. Give the gift of reading this holiday season and have a great Thursday! ~Phil

16 responses to “TBT! The Elf From Hell

  1. I’m glad I’m not the only person who has serious concerns about the mindset behind Elf on a Shelf – so glad it never became a thing over here in Australia – it just creeps me right out!

  2. I have, and will continue to, unfollow people on social media as soon as I see those ridiculous elf postings pop up. Drives me bonkers!!

  3. There is too many things that scare children these days this been one of them. I remember once looking on YouTube kids performing the trick with 2 pencils and asking charlie charlie are you there. Which to me doesn’t work anyway lol… But yeah children shouldn’t be terrified at Christmas.

  4. It’s such a craze lately. Thank God my kids are too old for that sort of stuff. I couldn’t imagine thinking of new scenarios to place the elf in each night! That would do my head in!!! 😉

  5. We have one but I’m too lazy to set up scenarios or anything else. Our Liam just sits on the mantelpiece looking happy. Little Miss Six loves him!

  6. OMG! All of this is sooo true! Well written! I am going to attempt another “scene” with the elf on the shelf tonight and let’s just say it’s a scene out of Silence of the Lambs.

  7. I have never heard of this tradition, Phil. It does sound quite torturous for young kids.

  8. I torture my kiddos in other ways. I don’t need the Elf. Plus, it’s just extra work for me. And I can’t remember to move the little bugger every night.

  9. Thanks for exposing yet another way parents try to get the upper hand.

  10. I hate crazes like this. Our foster kid grew up with the elf and was horrified when we told her he never came to our house. So I went out and bought a mouse elf to appease her but it’s so annoying to have to think up messes for the critter to create. 🙂 This kid has already been traumatized so we grudgingly keep doing it. I keep hoping someone at school will break the news to her that it’s fake.

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