Why the Elf on the Shelf Creeps Me Out

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Even the fish look disturbed.

Our Elf on the Shelf is smugly propped up behind our five-gallon fish tank at the moment. In our family the routine is that I place him in strange places, not exactly in compromising positions as much as unexpected places because my son does not fall for this whole ‘elf is watching out’ thing at all.

Since we got the elf (which we still haven’t named) about five years ago as the result of a public relations gift, it has remained little more than a decorative plush. If anything we found him … unsettling. It’s mostly his expression, I think. That peculiar painted smile and unnerving eyes remind me more of Halloween than Christmas.

My son has never believed in the elf and only tells me how creepy he looks and to stop moving it around. So of course, I purposely put it in odd places that might creep him out, and when he finds it, he laughs.

This week, the elf has been upside-down tightly stuffed through the handle of our kitchen cabinet, popping has eerie head out from behind my son’s school picture hanging in the dining room, and in the screened-in section our yard door just waiting for one of us to let the dogs out in the yard and get a good fright.

It’s not the way you supposed to utilize the good old elf it but that’s how we have fun with it. The original idea of the elf’s purpose from the accompanying storybook is cute enough: the elf watches over the kids and reports their activity back to Santa as long as the kids never touch him. Although after writing that, he sounds more like a whiny tattler to me with a built in protection plan (hence the hand’s off policy). Yet there are hoards of parents who love the elf and tons of kids who can’t wait to wake up and look for him. And that’s great. It just didn’t work out for us that way.

Perhaps the fact that we didn’t name him (which according to the book is how the elf gets his magic so he can fly back and forth from the North Pole to report on the goodness or I suppose, ‘badness’ of the kids he’s watching) is the reason why he holds no special place for us. More likely though I think it’s just that I tend to be a skeptic, so naturally my kids have picked that up. I mean c’mon a scary looking cotton filled elf holding the power on what lies beneath the tree on Christmas morning. Sounds pretty outlandish to me.

I mean if I ever get the chance, I’ll ask Santa what he thinks of that one. After all, we all know it’s the big, bearded the guy who really counts! Oh yeah, and Rudolph, too.

Do you find the elf on the shelf creepy?

Image: D.S.

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Article Posted 5 years Ago

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