Sure, it was cheeky enough and buckets of fun when advent calendars got a makeover from bad chocolate to items including whiskey, fine wine, makeup, brandy, and truffles. Or when stocking stuffers morphed from odds, ends and afterthoughts to, say, $5,400 watches and $245 headbands.
When Elf on the Shelf was first introduced as a children’s book in 2005, it emerged as an original and cute idea to encourage children to stay well-behaved in the period between Thanksgiving and Christmas by planting Santa’s wide-eyed little messengers all around the house. Of course it meant even more work for parents at an already busy time of year (remembering to move a tiny doll nightly sounds like child’s play, but you drink a few glasses of wine while frantically searching online for an Elsa coronation gown in size 7 as you simultaneously watch Watch What Happens Live — and recalling precisely where you even put the damn elf last night, never mind move it tonight, and then we’ll talk). But it was kind of worth the hassle because it potentially added to the excitement of an already festive season.
Then it just wasn’t so fun anymore. For all the complaining that everyone does about how the Yuletide season starts sooner and feels more drawn out, the Elf on the Shelf just exacerbates and lengthens the situation. Also, it seems a special kind of torture to shame kids into their best behavior as the clocks are changing, schedules are in flux around the holidays, and excitement is building, anyway, as the big day approaches. You could argue it’s bad enough that Santa is a big fat lie, but that’s just on Christmas Eve. Now he has a month-long accomplice? Remind us again, too, what the Elf on the Shelf has to do with Jesus’s birthday, exactly?
But if you thought that was bad — wait until you hear about this: Elf on the Shelf now has a Claus Couture Collection. That’s right; it’s not enough that you have the damn elf and have to move it every night. Now it has outfits, and not just green pants and striped shirts, either.
There’s the bomber jacket and aviation glasses, because “Scout elves are natural fliers — with or without an airplane! But their nightly trips to the North Pole and back can get a little chilly. This cozy aviator jacket is accented with iconic North Pole patches and comes with pilot goggles for your favorite long-distance traveler.”
If something more feminine is your thing, try the Collector’s Edition Satin Tiered Skirt: “This 2014 limited edition Claus Couture Collection® skirt is perfect for any stylish scout elf. The latest in North Pole fashion, this white satin ruffled skirt has a lush, velvet waistband with a gold and crystal jewel button — perfect for any special occasion! This fashion statement is sure to make your elf the talk of the town!”
Other outfits include the Scout Elf Game Day Jersey and the Chef Apron Set (cookie cutter included). It’s not so much that the elf clothes are expensive — outfits are just $6.95 each. It adds up, though. And it’s one more thing to buy. And collect. And clutter. And it’s not even Christmas yet. Your kids won’t think of the Elf on the Shelf clothes as a gift, either, because they’re not the ones who invited him in the living room.
It’s not news that Christmas has evolved dramatically since the birth of Baby Jesus, but it would seem its getting even further from the point when a stuffed elf dons a “collector’s edition” leather jacket or skirt in order to remind children to ditch the naughty in favor of the nice for one month each year for the sole purpose of receiving gifts from a fictional character who has never been charged on suspicion of breaking and entering.
The good news is that just because they make Elf on the Shelf clothes, it doesn’t mean you have to buy them. In fact, the whole Claus Couture Collection might actually be a sign that what we’ve been anticipating for so long has finally come to pass, which is that Christmas has officially jumped the shark. Chances are the world won’t end if we all just skip Christmas this year, so let’s give it a try and see what happens.
Image via ElfOnTheShelf.com
Featured image courtesy of Flickr