I see you all over social media. You’re into the flour again or hanging from the fan, or on a date with Barbie. You’re making kids laugh with your antics, and they’re scrambling downstairs each morning to see what new mischief you’ve caused. Supposedly it’s all fun and games, and parents are enjoying the chaos as much as you are.
But, sorry Elf, I’m not buying it…and I’m not buying you. There’s really no nice way to say it, so I’ll just put it right out there: You are not invited to our house.
I’m no Scrooge when it comes to the holiday season. There are about 1,367 fun (they ARE all fun, right?) things we are doing to get ready for the holidays, and you, my friend, are not one of them. Let me outline some of the top reasons why:
1. We are already TOTALLY maxed out. No, seriously, I cannot add one more chore or responsibility to potentially forget. Nor do I want to start researching funny, quirky ways to arrange you each night. Maybe there are parents out there that really do enjoy all 24+ nights of finding places and positions for you. All the power to them! However, I seem to hear more parents complaining about having to get so creative at 10 p.m., or freaking out at 4 a.m. when they wake up panicked that they forgot to move you. I know myself, and I know my limits. I’m barely holding it together between the breakfasts with Santa, train rides with Santa, field trips to train shows, Christmas crafts, Christmas concerts, parties, cookie decorating, wreath making, Christmas tree cutting, tree trimming, Christmas card sending…you get the picture.
2. You are creepy. There, I said it. There is nothing endearing to me about your pasted-on smile or the idea that you are watching my children and moving during the night. When I was younger, moving toys were in R.L. Stine books or horror movies (Chucky, anyone?). I do not need my kids up with nightmares because they are afraid that they will wake up and find you moving around. I’m already dealing with my oldest child’s nightmares about evil Santa, whatever that means. It’s enough for my kids to deal with the idea of people or bunnies or fairies breaking into our house and leaving things…we don’t need something magical LIVING here everyday. Which brings me to my next point…
3. I can’t tell any more lies. I’m already fielding a million questions about how Santa lives where it’s so cold, how he gets into our house if we don’t have a chimney, how he gets toys from the store if elves make them, how he makes it all the way around the world in one night. I’ve already come clean that all the Santas we see everywhere are fake. Please don’t give me something else to lie about to my kids. I’m running out of stories.
4. I don’t agree with your reason for being here. Like I said before, I think it’s creepy to have a doll watching you and moving around in our house at night. Even stranger, I don’t like to think of you reporting what my kids are doing to the man in red. It’s a mixed message: my kids are supposed to be good or else you’ll tell Santa. Meanwhile, you can go around making messes and being mischievous? Why the double standard?
5. We’ve come up with a better substitute that works for our family. Like I said, Christmas is already chaotic enough without you hanging around. So we’ve moved on to a leprechaun that visits during St. Patrick’s Day. At our house, Lucky the Leprechaun comes for a few days before the holiday, a holiday that has nothing else for children attached to it. Lucky is never seen, he does not live in our house, he is not watching or reporting on us, he does not stay for weeks on end. We get the fun of watching our kids surprised by green snow or green glitter in their bedrooms and BOOM! we’re done.
So, you see Elf, you simply are not welcome in our home. I hope you have fun getting into trouble in the homes of friends who actually enjoy having you around. And for those families that don’t, I hope you have the courage and creativity to send your Elf on a permanent vacation.