Why I Quit the Elf on the Shelf

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Raise your hand if you’ve ever felt personally victimized by Regina….er….Elf on the Shelf.

I know, I know, there’s an entire mob of cookie baking, Christmas caroling, magic making mothers out there who are going to shake their glitter covered fists at me. To you, I offer my deepest admiration. I am not you. I am the mom-friend wearing flip flops and her husband’s oversized t-shirts in the snow as she dashes to the school to drop off a forgotten jacket. Don’t get me wrong, I am capable. Of a good number of things! Just not…this thing.

Like many of you, I came away from my daily perusal of Pinterest, complete with anime heart eyes, at the thought of the magic this elf would help me bring to my children’s Christmas memories. It didn’t take me long to find a used elf to purchase from a fellow mother. Perhaps if I’d had taken just a moment longer, I would have looked into her haunted eyes and seen the warning they held for me. But alas….I tucked that tiny little person under my arm (the elf, not the mom) and gleefully ran back to my van with my treasure.

The first day went well.

And the second.

The third is when it got a little iffy. Our elf forgot to move.

“Mommy! Why didn’t the Lucy move?”

I stood frozen to the spot, eyes wide in terror.

Don’t worry though. I rallied and lied my rear end off. Years of Santa questions had prepared me for just such a moment.

Unfortunately, that was not the last time that blasted elf forgot to move. In fact, it became so commonplace that my kids began to roll their eyes and giggle at her ineptitude each morning.

They may have been snickering at Lucy, but I knew who everyone was really laughing at. I stared into those innocent looking eyes and felt evil in my heart. I swear I saw it smirk.

As the season progressed, I found that my evenings and mornings were filled with an unprecedented amount of dread. I’d watch the clock and burrow into my corner of the couch while our kids slept unawares in their beds. At this point, not moving that infernal creature was a matter of principle. I refused to be ordered around by my naive dreams of Christmas future. But she was always watching.

That elf became a visual reminder of holiday overwhelm.

As mothers, we spend so much time exerting our energy on behalf of our families. We are the makers of memories.

And it was at this point in my life that I QUIT.

I quit letting that doll (who may or may not have ties to the abyss) boss me around.

I quit doing things I hated.

I quit getting so stressed that I was incapable of actually enjoying the holiday.

I quit making it my responsibility to personally craft their childhood memories.

I quit procrastinating.

And most importantly, I quit letting people, social media, and inanimate objects shame me.

May this be the year we take back Christmas from the elves.

And may God bless whomever the poor soul is who picked up our Elf from DI.

Love,

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