Elf On The Shelf


Full disclaimer: Yes, I collect gnomes. There is a big difference between gnomes and elves. The biggest one being the smile. Elves are always smiling. It is annoying. And creepy. And devious. I could go on. Gnomes, well, the little guys know how to keep it real. They are grouchy and they don’t mind showing it. With an elf, who knows what is lurking behind that smile?

I hope to never find out.

Did you know I was such a fantasy creature bigot?

If you like your Elf On The Shelf maybe you should not read further. This gnome has a lot to say (in a tongue-in-cheek, please take it in good fun way):

The story:

I called my friend the other night, and as we were talking, the subject of her Elf On The Shelf came up. She was deciding where exactly he was going to show up the next day.

I had a suggestion.

It was outside. It was hollow. It holds disgusting things (which makes it perfect). It only gets picked up once a week (not so perfect).

If you do not know what Elf On The Shelf is, well, you are not alone. I discovered the creepy little guy only three short years ago. I had read about him on some forum and I loved the idea of him. I sought him out…and that is when the nightmares began.

I don’t get it.

I don’t get how thousands upon thousands of households every year host this weird creation. Am I the only one that thinks he might possibly be the scariest thing ever created just a tad bit disturbing?

I will admit I probably would have bought one. The idea is so cute. Right up my alley. Every day, the little elf gets posed throughout the house in various degrees of mischief. The children discover him upon waking up and get excited to see what he is up to.

Cute, right?

But those eyes. And that grin. And those crossed spindly legs…

When a family adopts their elf, they name him and that is when he gets his magic and spies on them all day and then reports their indiscretions deeds to Santa at night. Who knew the jolly red fellow was such a voyeur?


I like the rules that come with him in a book. There are only two.

I can think of so many more.

1. You cannot touch him.

Um, no problem there.

How about let’s make that a vice versa kind of deal? How about let’s make that a rule?

2. He cannot move while anyone in the household is still awake.

Then, when they are asleep he wreaks havoc.

How many nights do you think I could go without sleep?

Do you think the toothpicks holding my eyes open could be used as a weapon against me?


So, my husband and I both agreed we would never be buying this monstrosity elf. It was agreed upon. Signed. Sealed. No more discussion.

But we were shopping at Costco the other day. Do you see where this is going?

My husband stopped in front of me. “Do you think we should get one of those?”

I looked to where he was pointing. It. Was. A. Mountain. Of. Elves. On. The. Shelves. (Literally. They were on the shelves.)


“I th-th-thought we agreed that that was n-n-never, ever going to happen,” I stuttered.

“We did. But, look! This one is a girl. She doesn’t look as creepy.”

I looked. Indeed it was a girl. She was smiling. I looked again. They were all smiling.


They thought they had won.

I could see them planning their home invasion.

Not so fast there Ms. Elf! Don’t ya know gnomes trump elves every time.

I grabbed my husband’s hand and led him away from the cute cunning demons creatures.

I turned and smiled back at them in triumph.

I swear I saw one of them wave.

Or maybe it was another gesture…

34 thoughts on “Elf On The Shelf

  1. Hahaha. Oh my gosh, I am so glad I am not the only parent who refuses to do that stupid thing. I looked into it last year after seeing some cute post on pinterest,thinking it would be something my little guys would love. Once I saw it up close and read the super creepy story about it, I put the box down and never looked back. Sometimes I feel like a bad parent when my facebook feed is being blown up with the dumb elf, but mostly I just feel relived that it is not “watching” me or my children. Plus, it is beyond creepy. You should just make up your own version with a cute little gnome!

    • Ha! Yes, you are not alone. The mother and daughter team were geniuses inventing it, though. It is a creepy smile gold mine. Good for them!

      I was at Target two days ago and the elf was flying off the shelves. Three people bought one while I took those pictures. I was in shock. I thought it would be more like 50/50 as far as people liking him.

      I have thought of the gnome idea. ; ). But I would need a noncreepy plush to go with the “Gnome in your home.” There is all ready a dwarf in the drawer.

      Thank you for commenting! Have a fun, elf-free evening! : )


  2. I’m so anti-Elf on a Shelf. Just for the effort alone. But I agree with you – they’re also kind of creepy. I was shopping with my 3-year-old daughter at Target the other day, and she pointed to one and said she wanted it. I was just like, “Absolutely not,” and diverted her attention to something with Dora the Explorer on it.

    • Hi Rebekah!

      I am very lucky. My kids are getting older. I think it would be hard to have a little one nowadays, because a lot of their classmates would have the elf. It would be hard to explain.

      You are a genius to divert your daughter. My son loved Dora. Ny daughter was too old for her by the time she came out. Much better than the gnome!

      Have a lovely Tuesday!


  3. Thank you for this post, Jenni! It just made me laugh out loud. I had never thought of the Elf on the Shelf as being creepy until I was in Costco the other day and heard an exchange between an adult woman and her mother.

    The woman was sweetly suggesting that they buy the Elf on the Shelf for her kids, and the mother said, “Hellllll no. That creepy little thang ain’t goin’ in yo’ house to watch everyone all da time!” LOL What made it even better was that the mother was probably in her early 80’s.

    And Chris just said the other day that he wants us to have lawn gnomes when we get our first house, so I guess you aren’t alone in your love for them. 😉 LOL

    • Thank you Casey!

      That is so funny! I heard three opposite conversations when I took those pictures. Everyone who walked by him just loved the little guy. They must have looked him in the eye. It was a mystery. And all three families bought one.

      I am glad we stuck with our decision. The holidays are hard enough. I cannot imagine having to pose this little guy, too!

      Have a terrific Tuesday!


  4. I am thoroughly creeped out by Elf on the Shelf. I don’t think it was “thing” when I was growing up – or if it was, I never heard of it! A few years ago though, suddenly I was seeing it everywhere at all my little piano student’s houses.

    One time, the elf was sitting in the middle of the piano keys when I showed up for a lesson. I didn’t know that if you touched the elf you “killed” it. I moved it so we could have our lesson, and let’s just say trauma ensued…

    The next week, the little girl informed me that they had a new elf.

    What the crap.
    It’s just strange.
    I don’t get it, nor will I ever feel compelled to participate.
    Plus, those smiley eyes FREAK ME OUT.
    Hate it hate it hate it.

    So no, you’re not alone at all! 🙂

    • Oh my gosh!

      I had to share your story with my husband. What was that mom thinking? She knew that there was piano that day. How the heck were you supposed to do your lessons?

      And they got a new elf!!! They really blamed your for killing their elf?! Oh my gosh, that is so wrong.

      That would make me be very anti-elf, too. What a nightmare.

      Thank you for sharing. You had me laughing!

      Have a wonderful week!


      • I truly have no idea what her mom was thinking! The mom wasn’t upset about it, but the little girl definitely was. So when I came back the next week she told me they had a “new” elf, but I’m pretty sure it was the exact same one and the family just renamed it. I just can’t handle those layers of lies!

        Plus, I am defenseless when it comes to answering children’s probing questions. I would never be able to be convincing enough! Woe betide the child who asks me is Santa Claus is really real… The best I can do is, “Well what do YOU think?”

      • Okay. That makes me feel better. I thought perhaps the mom just told her daughter they got a new one. But, the mom did put the doll on the piano right before a lesson. So, I was not sure.

        And, I agree about lying. Of course, I believe in all the magical creatures (elf on the shelf is not in this category), so to me, it is not lying. ; )

        I think your answer is a good one. It is the one my brilliant friend employed for years. And it really works!

        Sweet elfless dreams! : )


  5. OMG!! That made me laugh out loud. There is absolutely nothing creepier. Except clowns. Clowns are creepier. I am terrified of both.

    • Hi Liz!

      So crazy! We would gave had a blast with it growing up telling scary stories involving the gnome. I am sure I would have even more nightmares now.

      I got your emails. So hilarious! I write you back write after my bath. Oh my gosh! I have so much to say. And I do not know if I could visit you now. : o

      Talk to you soon! Sweet dreams!


    • Hi Lisa!

      Oh my! There are so many devious fun ways you can pose him. I can barely do my dishes. My laundry is finally all folded. But put away? Nope. Sitting on the couch. So, there is no way I have the gumption to move that elf.

      Keeping troublemakers out is always a great idea! : )

      Have a lovely week!


    • : ). Thanks Brynne. I was worried I was going to offend a ton of people. But I wanted to share.

      So glad you liked it! Have a beautiful week!


  6. I agree. That thing is beyond terrifying. Plus the time commitment involved in moving it, getting it into mischief, and then cleaning up the mischief? I saw on pinterest someone had “their elf” gift wrap the toilet. Ma’am, you need a hobby. One that does not involve elves.

    • Hi Danielle!

      Oh my gosh! The toilet! How funny. We only have two in our house. I cannot imagine purposely putting one out of business. I have so many things to get done around the house. Wrapping my toilet? Not one of them.

      Now, I seriously need to do my dishes in my sink. Where is that elf when I need him? I could just sit him on my faucet and say I could not move him again to get him off. No more dishes to be done! ; )

      Have a spectacular week!


  7. You are cracking me up with this story. So funny! I had never heard of Elf on a Shelf. No way would one of those creepy things ever enter my house. Good for you for resisting their spell!

    • Hi Cynthia.

      No worries. Marcy would take care of him. I think my dogs probably would, too, now that I think about it. They keep looking at our ornaments and I know there is going to be a murder of some stuffed creation under the tree one night.

      Last year it was a stuffed Christmas tree.

      At least it didn’t have eyes!

      Popping over to your blog now. : ). Have a excellent week!


  8. Ahaha! This is so funny! And I love how many comments there are. This is like a therapy session for those of us terrified by those creepy little dolls. They’ve been blowing up my Facebook feed all December. It’s like every family with a small child has one, and they post a picture each night of the elf’s different hiding places. One male friend, however, has taken to a different practice before he hides the elf each night. He poses her in various precarious or raunchy positions with a GI Joe doll. Ahahaha. So wrong. I guess it’s his form of therapy. He’s playing along for the sake of the little girl, so he dutifully hides the elf each night. He can’t strangle the elf himself, so he leaves GI Joe to do his bidding.


    • Ha! But I have one question. Does the little girl find the doll in the raunchy poses??? Insert screaming emicon here. I have seen those photos online. They are disturbing and funny.

      I would love the elf if it was not grinning. All crazily. But I am so forgetful and lazy, it would stay n the same position for days. I just can’t.

      I all ready had a holiday meltdown today when four Christmas orders from three different companies arrived tonight wrong. One company sent me someone else’s entire order. And they were supposed to email me a return slip and a receipt for my refund for the items that are sold out from my order that will now never arrive. Lovely! But they haven’t, so I have to call again tomorrow. So sad.

      There is no way I could move a doll in the midst of this.

      Aw, well. The holidays have arrived. : )

      Have a wonderful Wednesday!


  9. I’m the rebel who is going to say, I like elves and every year they seem hard to find. I do link Gnomes and Elves together as they probably are all off shoots of Christmas folklore. I do not own an Elf on the Shelf because I think it’s pricy for what you are getting, but wow, is it getting a bad rap this year! Have you read the Facebook links? Your article is very funny though. I love your writing style!

    • I know so many people that like him. You are definitely not alone.

      I still have not figured out Facebook. I have not seen what people are saying. Or doing. I really need to figure it out. I sense a New Year’s Resolution. ; )

      Thank you for your sweet words about my writing. I really appreciate it. I just wanted to write a harmless, funny story in the midst of this crazy season. I am glad you took it that way.

      Have a lovely week! I am glad you are givin’ some love to the elf. Sounds like he needs it. Although, I would still pass out if one came into my house.


  10. That thing is horrifying. I’m so glad you didn’t end up buying one. The idea that he’s supposed to creep around your house at night, and rearrange your stuff, and then your kids are supposed to look for him… is just beyond creepy. If one of those turned up in our apartment I would SET IT ON FIRE. Brrrr!

    • Gwen! Oh my gosh! Set it on fire?! Since I am made of 75% alcohol, this though terrifies me! The revenge that elf would have would be tenfold!

      I think the elf could have been made much less sinister looking. I was really disappointed when I first saw him. But now? Who has the time for that? Seriously, I am not even turning my Christmas tree lights on tonight. My house is too depressingly messy. : (

      I hope your week is going lovely!


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    • Oh, thank you. This was one of those posts I was scared to actually publish. I was scared everyone would hate that I was anti-elf. But I am so glad to learn I am not alone. And, yes, another idea that was so simple and brilliant, I have to admire the team that came up with it!

      Have a perfect elf-free day!


  12. I won’t do it.. there are so many other wonderful Christmas traditions and new things we like to do each year.. I don’t need something that you must do every day.. I have several friends who stress out because they forget to move the darn thing. There are two funny memes on FB, one of the elf being roasted on a spit by the bumble(abominable snowman) and one of a creepy grown man dressed like it sitting on a mantel.. these made me laugh…

    • Hi Lora! I agree. I still need to get up, straighten the living room, do the dishes, and I would like to read a bit. An elf to pose, too? It would just never happen here. I must check out these funny pictures. I am going to go google them in a sec. Thanks for describing them. I am intrigued!

      Have sweet dreams!


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