I didn’t want to get an Elf on a Shelf for our house when I learned about it years ago. Who wants yet another thing to have to remember to do at night?! Not me! Also, I felt we lie to our kids enough with other (already set in place) traditions, my conscious didn’t need another thing to lie about.  I was going to stay firm and there wouldn’t be an Elf living with us, EVER…

Well, then the daughter went to preschool and started hearing about all her friends’ elves. She started asking why an elf never picked our family, and then (you all can see where this is going)… the next holiday season (against my better judgement) we got an Elf.

Our Elf, John, soon became my nemesis. Why?! Am I a Grinch?! Do I not love the holidays?! No, but I was a mom who didn’t want the added pressures that “John” brought with him. I am a terrible lair, I had to pretend to find John every morning with the kids, I had to sneak around in the late hours while hoping my daughter wouldn’t catch me, and I now had to make up more lies about why there were elves for sale at the local Target. (They really should only allow online ordering for these guys!)  It was all so overwhelming.  I was Pinteresting what to do with this guy and I couldn’t take it anymore. The madness had to stop.

What’s a mom to do?! John couldn’t just stop coming and I wasn’t ready for this to become my “new normal.”  I made a decision the following year that our Elf on the Shelf would be just that… an Elf on a SHELF. He wouldn’t have props or do outrageous things. Sometimes he would hang from a light or a frame, but most of the time he sat. (If the husband took the helm, from time to time he would have props, but that wasn’t on me and it wasn’t expected from the kids.)

I’m happy some family elves get to have marshmallow fights with Barbies and that some fish for Goldfish in toilets; but I just cannot handle that kinda pressure. When the daughter recently asked me why her elf doesn’t skydive like an elf living with a classmate, I promptly responded that John must be a very cautious elf and he doesn’t want to risk getting hurt while on the job of watching her and her brother. (More lies on top of lies!)

I still have nights when I wake up at 3am in a panic wondering if John has been moved (to a new shelf) and that’s without the worry of his arrangement with other toys and baking products, etc.

My one request for all my elf loving families out there is this:  Please don’t give me the side eye when you ask my kids what our Elf is up to and they say “he’s on the shelf.”  I would appreciate a solid thumbs up and a smile for my “creativity.”

‘Tis the Season for elves and shelves I guess.  20 more days but who’s counting…


**The daughter recently drew the picture above of John the Elf.  Guess what?!  He’s sitting on a shelf!  Job well done momma!!