Some time in the last decade, a genius mother-daughter duo convinced us all the magic of “Santa” just wasn’t enough to get us through the holidays; we needed another farce to painstakingly execute. Elf on the Shelf, A Christmas Tradition, was born. Unlike the Santa charade, this “tradition” doesn’t just involve a tray of cookies, a trip to the mall, and a string of white lies. No, this one requires some daily effort and imagination.
Thanks a lot, ladies.
Elf on the Shelf is a cute idea. For some of us, it’s also a daily reminder that we’ve willingly put an extra task on our already full plates. Who can remember to move this damn thing every night? Inevitably, about a week into the ritual we start to see the memes, jokes, and tweets of frustrated parents who are sick of Santa’s little spy friend.
Yesterday, Epic Parenting posted a photo to their Facebook page that’s being shared widely because it’s hilarious:
The image made something very clear: there are two kinds of Elf-parents in the world — the kind who buy the Elf because they mistakingly think it’s just a cute Christmas toy and the kind who really believe it embodies the spirit of Christmas. The latter have no chill. Here are some of the things they had to say about the little Elf’s cast:
“If you’re going to have one of those creepy little buggers in your house, at least do it properly. This takes all the fun out of it, and it’s not like anybody makes you do it.”
“Why even bother having one, if you find moving it around just one more source of stress near Christmas?”
“Sounds like a lazy shortcut. Don’t have one if you don’t really want to do it.”
“If you don’t want to play the game why spend the money on the doll?”
“Funny. or Lazy ????”
“If you enjoy the challenge then great. But if you’re just going to come up with excuses to remove all the fun out of it for your children, don’t have one.”
Personally, I think fancying a mini cast for a toy is the opposite of lazy, but what do I know? Our Elf’s name is “Elf.” My kids touch it every day. He’s basically a doll that comes into our house with the Christmas tree and leaves when the tree comes down (yes, he lives in our ornaments box).
Here’s the deal: this thing isn’t a “tradition” because two genius entrepreneurs claim it is. It’s a toy that comes with a book — and it was born in 2005. Ten years does not a “tradition” make. So those who choose to make fun of this little thing aren’t “lazy” or “not doing it right.” IT’S A TOY. IT’S NOT MAGICAL. IT DOESN’T NEED TO BE MOVED.
And that cast is genius.