What’s That Elf on the Shelf REALLY Up To?

So here we are again. It’s creeping up on Christmas and parents everywhere are creeping around their houses late into the night searching for just the right spot to place their creepy little elf for the kiddies to find come morning. Yes, that wicked ol’ Elf on the Shelf has sprung to life once again and being the hater that I am… I couldn’t help but devote some blog time to the miniature Freak Show.

Some of you may recall that I wrote a post about him and his meteoric rise to fame last Christmas when the tiny demon became a blip on my personal radar. In case you missed it and you’re interested, you can read that one here. I feel I did an adequate job of relaying my fear, disdain and general creeped-out-ed-ness for this convention so I don’t think it’s necessary to expound on that much more.

What I would like to point out is that while I knew I wasn’t the ONLY person who found the Elf on the Shelf to be the very incarnation of evil itself — I had no idea how popular fearing him had actually become. It seems that for every parent out there who adores inflicting him and his “magical powers” upon their child, there is someone else more sensible, someone more enlightened, someone… well… someone more like me.

These enlightened ones know this little guy is up to no good. They understand that beneath that tiny red suit beats a heart of pure darkness. And behind those rosy cheeks and piercing blue eyes lurks a monster waiting to be unleashed… in your home… after you’re all asleep.

I’ve compiled the following images from around the web as proof positive that he is not all he’s cracked up to be. The catchy tune, the cutesy animated commercial and the adorably designed, strategically marketed storybook and package is all a disguise. The plan? Get inside your home and gain your trust. The ultimate goal? Well, take a look for youself…

elf_tree lightself_artistelf_song elf_grandma elf_fluffy

Not to worry though parents—if you’ve been duped by the elf and his cleverly-hatched scheme, and he is, in fact, IN your house this very instance—there is a glimmer of hope. Perhaps your child is also an “enlightened one” like I mentioned earlier. And perhaps he or she will take matters into their own hands… like this one did…

elf_fire

Elf on the Shelf

For as long as I can remember I have been afraid of clowns, puppets, marionettes, ventriloquist dummies and even claymation. I’m not sure why. Nothing traumatic happened when I was a child that caused this unusual phobia (that I know of). But nevertheless it is there. If I see any of those things on TV or out in the world… I freak out, avert my eyes or flee the scene as soon as possible. I am also unreasonably fearful of nutcrackers. I think they are the creepiest things on the planet next to spiders and Donald Trump. So as one might imagine, Christmas can be a little unsettling for me what with all those larger-than-life wooden figurines standing around the stores, people’s homes and showing up unannounced in Target commercials, etc, etc. just waiting to spring to life when everyone is asleep.

Enter “Elf on the Shelf”… created for parents to use as a “fun” tool to curb the naughty behavior of their offspring this time of year when the kiddos are running rampant all hopped up on candy canes and such.

To see the official “Elf on the Shelf” commercial, click here. 

The idea is that Santa has sent his very special, magical elf to the child’s house to watch their every move and report back each night when the children are asleep (you know, with the visions of the sugar plums and all that crap) to the North Pole whether the child has been naughty or nice. And every night the parents “move” the Elf to another location in the house so that the notion of him being real persists in the child’s imagination.

Is it just me (and my unnatural fear of inanimate-objects-come-to-life projected onto this “toy elf” sitting on a shelf in the house… watching your every move) or does this totally creep the hell out of anyone else? I mean, I shudder even as I type these words.

My friend Jan is using the “Elf” and has been kind enough to send me some pictures of him in her house. I will let you judge the creepiness-factor for yourself…

The "Elf" warming his little frostbitten buns on the toaster.

And while I happen to think that any toy of this nature could be considered cruel and unusual punishment for a child, apparently the kids don’t seem to mind it too much. Some of them actually enjoy it… like Brady, Jan’s son.

There is another breed of the “Elf on the Shelf” idea in a cuter, cuddlier character named Christopher Pop-in-kins. I learned of him when our marketing director, Gina, talked about her and her husband’s nightly adventures placing Christopher around the house. And yet, for every story she shared about the creative places Christopher had “popped up”… there was a hilarious story to match of her children, Dominick and Giavonna, being more than a little freaked about him and his magic, come-to-life abilities.

Christopher Pop-in-kins

To each his own, I suppose. I just know that had the “Elf on the Shelf” existed during my childhood years… I’d probably be on a therapy couch somewhere, muttering about magical elves… and obsessing over whether or not I’d been naughty or nice.

C'mon... this IS creepy, right?