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I’ve Had It With The Elf

The Elf on the Shelf and all it’s controversy and popularity totally drive me bonkers. Not nearly as bonkers as the Duck Dynasty extravaganza, but still. Bonkers nonetheless.

This year I woke up and decided….that’s it. I’m done.

Officially, done.


Like I was ready to have an elf burial.

I know what you’re thinking…you are thinking, “What a horrible mother!”

The Elf on the Shelf is suppose to be fun and festive!

I’ll admit…I’ve had a great time with this tradition over the last few years. I even enjoyed him briefly this year when he arrived fashionably late {December 3rd to be exact} hanging from the curtain rod in the bathroom. My 6 year old’s first words after discovering him?

“My elf just saw mommy naked in the shower!!!!!!”

elf shower

Which clearly explains why he looks like he is hanging himself.

The elf is suppose to be helpful to parents across the world who are trying to get their kids to stop screaming “Poopy butttttttt” at church. Or for those of us threatening that Santa is watching when they secretly pee off the couch onto the coffee table.

And while it’s served as helpful on occasion to deter them from the bad behavior…I wouldn’t say I’ve seen an overall improvement in bathroom language or inappropriate urination.

The only CERTAIN thing I have seen? Is that they cry and fight over WHY they can not touch the dumb thing. I’ve tried putting him in places they can’t reach, but honestly…after 25 minutes of straight screaming because all they want to do is “give elfie a kiss”…I give up.

I officially give up.

I can not win with this elf.

Not to mention that at some point last year in all my “the elf is amazing” hype…I bought an elf for each child. Yea, I did that.

So not only do we have to remember to hide one elf each night…we NOW have to remember to hide 3 of these suckers.

Frankly, I’m running out of unique ideas that don’t require spousal conferences to plan. And I’m SERIOUSLY running out of things to do with the darn elf that don’t require me to have to clean up after him when it’s all over.

Because making a mess for myself is the last thing I will succumb to for the sake of elf magic. I have a big enough mess already from three children who could care less that Elfie is gonna tell Santa that they just destroyed the toy room and refused to clean it up.

So, my husband and I made an executive decision this year in the midst of a “WHY CAN’T I JUST GIVE MY ELFIE A KISS MOMMY” tantrum.

We decided this…

“Son, you absolutely CAN give your elfie a kiss. In fact, you can give him 800 kisses. But realize this…. If you do that then your elf is going to lose all of his magic and he won’t be able to travel to the North Pole and report back to Santa.”

Like any good six, three, and two year old they weren’t even worried about lost magic.

And I just want to say… our elves losing their magic has been the best thing that has happened to me this holiday season.

No more explaining why our elf took so long to show up when Ella from school has had her elf since Thanksgiving.

No more setting my alarm to remind myself to hide the elf.

No more searching Pinterest for new elf arrival activities.

No more waking up in the morning realizing that you FORGOT to hide the elf AND…

NO MORE making up some random story about why the elf didn’t move last night.

elfie and me

But the absolute best part about all of this????

My kids will no longer have to be depressed on Christmas morning when their elves are no where to be found. And I won’t have to console them each night, well into February, that their elves had to go back to the North Pole to prepare for next year.

So, I might be looking at this the wrong way, but our elves losing their magic hasn’t been all that bad for us.


  1. YES! We definitely have some unusual elfin traditions going on here too. And it all boils down to mommy’s inability to remember to move them. I give.
    Jennifer-MommyLifeAfterPh.D.´s last blog post ..A little help here, Santa.

  2. Ivett says:

    Thank you so much for this post! I was just wondering if I could get this tradition to our family life next year, when my son will be 3. I still did not see these elves here in Hungary, so I was thinking to order it online, but I will think it twice ;)
    Ivett´s last blog post ..Karácsonyi ötletek 5 – csomagolás + 1 ajándékötlet

  3. Sandy A says:

    Kudos to you!! I am a Gramma and when I was little and when our children were little, Elf was just part of the Christmas Decor. My Mom always our Green and Red elves in the Christmas tree so that is what I did when our three children grew up. We, and they were happy just to see them everyday living in the tree. We just told them that the elves were helping Santa keep on eye on all the girls and boys to see if they were naughty or nice. It worked great! I have been seeing all the stories and events and crafts created my moms for the elves and–Just in my opinion–and I mean nothing bad–this sweet idea of the elf watching has gone a little crazy!!!! I don’t know how these women do it with raising children, working, taking care of the home, husband and family–I am exhausted just looking at all this. I even read a blog where a child said she felt sorry for classmates that their elf only moved around the house and wasn’t part of a created scene. That to me is sad a child thinks something like this is so important. Now if you are one who loves doing it and gets joy from your children you should keep doing it–it works for you. But lots of moms do not reap that joy or just have no interest or craftiness to come up with all these creations for a month or more. And I say to them–do not beat yourself up–put Elf in the tree or where ever–move him when you remember and tell the little ones when you forget Elf was so happy where he was and had such a good view of all the house he wanted to stay there a couple days or more. No Big Deal. And seeing how your kids are more than happy to just be able to love on their Elf says it all to me–THAT is what is important at this time of year or anytime. Your kids know how to love-and are happy–and so are you!!!! Win Win!!! I also blame businesses for their part in creating this craziness–but they are in to make money anyway they can and that part I get. Wish it wasn’t so. But anyway I just wanted to tell you how happy I was to read your post today and you and your children deserve a high five on this!! Have a very Merry and Happy Christmas…

  4. Val says:

    Good for you, Mama!! I love everything about this post. We have never done this whole elf on shelf thing largely because our kids are so young but still..I’m over it and not even participating in this tradition. It seems like just ANOTHER fabricated thing to distract from what Christmas is really all about. It seems so excessive and exhausting.
    Val´s last blog post ..How to Make Your Own Stuffed Animal | Chicken Strips

  5. Nina says:


    You’re a flippin genius and moms everywhere thank you.

  6. Lessie Shmidt says:

    I was dying laughing as i was reading this post because this is me everyday and night. This is the first year we have done it and while it is very fun in the beginging it becomes more like a chore and God knows i have too many as it is. ha! My daughter has been sad from day one about the fact that he has to leave us on Christmas so i am a little worried at how that day will go. Congrats on being free from the elf! I hope your family has a fabulous Christmas!

  7. Nicki says:

    Where you went wrong was buying an elf for each child. WHAT??? That is certainly a death wish! I have three children and only one elf. Trust me that one is plenty! Ha! Merry Christmas!
    Nicki´s last blog post ..Christmas Burlap Wreath & Centerpiece

  8. Lisa I says:

    We started the Elf thing late. My oldest is 18, then I have a 10 year old boy, then my 5 year old girl. We just got the “plush” elf 2 years ago. He and she only do things on Saturday mornings. They can be hugged and kissed. My daughter would die if she couldnt! She is also aware since she watched the movie that she has a special version of the elf. I cannot fathom doing something daily with these two. They leave a note for the kids and a coloring book or treat. Even for my oldest, because my youngest would be upset if he was left out. I think if you have the time for all that hub bub go for it. But do not torture yourself to keep up with what others are doin! I don’t!

  9. Wendy says:

    I decided to not even try so hard this year with the elf and walker has been just fine with it. I don’t use ours to threaten – it’s more of just a fun thing to look for each morning. He basically just jumps from one room to the other. The most creative I’ve gotten with it this
    Year is having him sitting on the Christmas tree!! And Walker has been just as excited about him each morning. I understand it’s frustrating if the kids want to touch it. I’ve put the fear of Santa into Walker with the whole not touching thing. I think it’s crazy that moms are trying to outdo each other with creative ideas for their elves. Just like with everything else. But like you’ve discovered, I think they are just fine without it!
    Wendy´s last blog post ..Are you ready?

  10. Meagan says:

    Ah the elf. Chase has been so funny with the elf. He knows he isn’t supposed to touch it but sometimes things happen to him and Chase can’t come up with how he ended up on the floor. Then we tried to be all cool and have him follow us to my in laws. It was a big fat failure. I’m excited for him to pack his bags!
    Meagan´s last blog post ..Other Christmas memories

  11. […] you don’t believe me… Just read how I almost had an elf burial last week. You’ll get how serious I am after […]

  12. Tina Marie says:

    We never did the elf thing and I’m happy. The thing scares me – I mean, the idea of a doll keeping an eye over your child just creeps me the heck out! Maybe it’s the horror author in me, but no – keep your elf, thanks!

    P.S. This blog post cracked me up! Join me for Home Office Organization Month in January!

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