Curse you, stupid elf

By Kallie Christy ‘25

The Elf on the Shelf really is one of the dumbest Christmas traditions in a household. 

First of all it’s a toy that kids can’t even play with. The kids are notably told they aren’t allowed to touch or play with it which is the whole concept of a toy. Wow, what a horrible toy.

Plus, on the parents’ part, Facebook and Instagram are loaded with self-satisfied adults, patting their backs, thinking they really did something by having the elf squirt toothpaste to form the words “Merry Christmas” on the bathroom mirror. Ho ho ho! Now he’s using magnets to write on the fridge! What a goofy elf we have! People have enough messes in their house and kids who don’t clean up after themselves, so I’m sure that’s another thing parents need added to their plate.

Genuinely, if you’ve got the time to be “sneaking” around at night hiding the darn thing and coming up with some really creative scenarios for the jolly ol’ chap, and if you use Pinterest or Instagram to see the ideas of parents who have a lot more time on their hands to create some impressive scenarios, many people greatly dislike you. 

These elves just feel like another stress at a time of year where things are already stressful enough. 24 days of coming up with ideas, or even more if you’re dumb enough to bring the elf out earlier. There are just so many ideas, especially living in a small home. By day five you would most likely already run out of ideas.

Is all of December Christmas now? This question haunts parents’ brains throughout December (though Halloween is in October so there should be nothing haunting about December.)

The elf, which started as a family tradition, has now become a massive money maker- elf pets, accessories, elf clothing, like is this even allowed? Creating a tradition where there is no money left in parents’ pockets? It feels a bit unsavory if you’re asking me.

But in reality, there’s a bigger problem: the watching part. The Elf on the Shelf puts forth the idea that you are being watched, and if you do something bad I’m reporting you to Santa. 

When children know they are being watched, their actions are ultimately set up for greed. “Are you being nice to your sister?” “The elf is watching you!” Is your child behaving because they always do, or is it because the blue or green-eyed goblin staring at them is going to tell them that they can’t get the gift they wanted all year if they don’t behave? 

The Elf on the Shelf is also known to be mischievous. It’s not some polite doll that sits around the house all day. Nope. It creates huge messes. And a large mess is the last thing any parent needs to worry about.

So parents, if you don’t like messes, if you’re forgetful, if you don’t have lots of time on your hands, if you don’t like creepy dolls, and if you want your kids to behave when no one is looking, the Elf on the Shelf is not the way to go this holiday season.