I admit it. I got caught up in Elf on the Shelf mania this year. After two years of watching my friends post hilarious photos of their elves in mischievous scenarios — from making snow angels in powdered sugar to taking a ride in Barbie’s sports car — on Facebook and Pinterest, I wanted in.
I was just as excited as the kids when we brought our Elf on the Shelf home from the store. When we took the Elf out of the box, we learned that we had to name him. It kind of reminded me of “adopting” my first Cabbage Patch kid nearly 30 years ago. My boys gave their elf the name “Elfy.” When we read the book, we learned that Elfy reports to Santa in the North Pole every night up until Christmas, and when he returns, he moves to a different spot in the house. It’s pretty much a big ploy to get kids to behave leading up to Christmas Day. But as a parent, sometimes you’ll do anything to encourage good behavior.
They were excited the next morning. The kids woke up earlier than usual and raced downstairs to find Elfy. They found him perched on the mantle next to a snowman figurine and were delighted about the whole experience. They talked about Elfy all day and kept asking, “Where do you think he’s going to be tomorrow, mom?”
Score! Mom of the Year award, here I come.
The next few mornings the kids found Elfy in a number of positions – from sitting on the couch with an iPod on his lap playing Angry Birds to reading Frosty the Snowman. They even found Elfy holding my 5-year-old son’s wallet with a dollar bill in his hand. I thought it was hilarious, but my son was confused. “Why would Elfy want to take my money?” he asked me? I chalked it up to silly little elves and had the perfect idea for an even bigger practical elf joke.
The next morning, the boys woke up to find that Elfy had used a permanent marker to draw faces on a framed photo of them. I thought I was being funny. What’s a little mischief amongst elves, right? I mean, I’ve seen dozens of families do the same thing — if not worse — on Facebook and Pinterest. Well, my kids didn’t get it. They didn’t understand why Elfy was being so bad. My oldest son asked, “Are we supposed to tell Santa that Elfy is being naughty?” And my youngest son pleaded, “Mom, are you mad? Please don’t send Elfy back. He’ll be good.”
This elf is taking it too far.
Read the rest of this blog post at Redbook’s Mamarama blog.