The Gremlin on the Shelf.


Ugh, the Elf on the Shelf. It’s that time of year again. The time when that little punk rains on my parade.

I remember how excited I had been to start the tradition of Elf on the Shelf! Couldn’t wait to think up the most creative hiding places and trouble making scenarios for the little green and red adorning dude.

How wrong I was. What an idiot I was to let the media and Target’s hypnotizing commercials pull the wool over my eyes, making me think that he was a wondrous figure of the holidays and that my family MUST have him!

In reality that little man is the devil in disguise.

We started the tradition last year the day after Thanksgiving. Erik and I couldn’t wait to watch Brax find his new little friend. We made sure to read the Elf on the Shelf book and carefully go over the rules in a whimsical way and giggled like school girls as we found just the right spot and posed him just so. It paid off. Brax loved the Elf, named him Jake and was obsessed with finding him every morning.

Two weeks after Jake moved in, the fun started to turn into something a little darker. Things became tricky and tedious, words that shouldn’t come into play when describing a tradition.

We hadn’t taken into account the hour in which Braxton rose each morning. 6 am. If we did screw up and forget to move Jake with his plastic lipstick smile mocking us, there was no way we could beat the clock to do so the next morning. We spent many nights settled in bed almost fast asleep when one of us would realize we had made the ultimate mistake and forgot to move the “damn elf”. Out of bed we would climb.

With having two little ones about to turn one, who were incredibly curious and into EVERYTHING, there were more places throughout the house that wouldn’t work than would. We had to almost literally measure from the ground up to the placement of the little butthead to be sure the twins wouldn’t be able to get their hands on him.

Probably the biggest mistake of our first year as elfing parents, we let Brax watch the CBS special The Elf on the Shelf.  Instead of being a form of entertainment it became a form of torture. We had DVR’d the program since it was after Brax was in bed, this meant he could watch it EVERY day, NUMEROUS times a day. This lead to my eldest little man devising a number of questions about this whole Elf on the Shelf thing. He became fixated on the fact that he couldn’t touch Jake. We went over the rules endless times emphasizing on the fact that if Brax touched Jack the little fiend would become sick and not be able to travel back to report to Santa. As any three year-old would, he tested the limits. My clever little spawn took one stubby, sticky finger and pushed it straight into the gut of the dark angel dressed in festive attire.  This of course lead to us thinking up and carrying on with a huge lie. What better way to celebrate the “Jesus is the reason for the season” than lying to your little boy.

We also were up against ourselves. Meaning we had gotten so into it the weeks before that if we just propped up the little jerk against a book or had him hugging a candle, Brax would catch on and the jig would be up. We needed to keep our heads in the game if we were going to make until Christmas. Needless to say, we did it and happily said “Peace Out!” to Jake come Christmas morning.

So here we are two weeks away from the festive gremlin’s 2014 arrival. A big thanks to Target for their holiday sneak peek commercials featuring my arch nemesis. It’s been a reminder to Brax everyday that the Elf is on his way. This reminder leads to my 4 year-old reminiscing about the “goofy” Elf and all the places he hid and the things he did. Thankfully we moved in the past year, because with this kids memory we would have been screwed and low on elfing ideas. If we keep this up we may have to move every year to make sure our little tribe doesn’t catch on to what really is going on and that Jake isn’t so magical after all, that he’s just a goblin dressed in red and green created to bring Mommy down.

The things we do for the children we love.

I’m thinking of maybe starting the kids off young with ruining their innocence and telling them the big man in red is not real, that way no more demon Elf! Don’t worry I’m not going to bring such doom to my minions, but I think we will be learning the words “retired” and “retirement community” this year. Maybe 2015 is the year that Elf on Shelf makes a move to Florida to join the snow birds.

5 thoughts on “The Gremlin on the Shelf.

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