What’s wrong with Elf on the Shelf? Everything.
You’re 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 and they spy on children and report back to their tyrannical leader. That allegedly quaint little elf doll was invented about 25 years ago as a new, and for some toy company, moneymaking tradition. Fortunately for me, I wasn’t aware of The Elf on the Shelf when my kids were young enough to believe in it.
Parents put these toy elves on a shelf and tell their children that the Elf can’t 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!” Is that a dated reference? Does anyone else remember Bugs Bunny saying that? 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 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 a 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 to be too terrified or too tired to misbehave. It’s 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 had 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 this creepy little doll with the frozen scary clown smile 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 is 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 this holiday season you could give my books, Time To Lie and the sequel The Last Locked Door, available on Amazon in paperback, e-book, and Audible. Give the gift of reading this holiday season and have a great weekend! ~Phil