elf on the shelf

Every December, there's an unwelcome, red-suited creeper who shows up at my house.

(And no, it's not Santa. Creepers with gifts are never unwelcome.)

I tried.  I had the best of intentions to NEVER DO ELF ON THE SHELF EVER EVER EVER EVER. I was all high and mighty, like, we don't DO THAT at our house, as if having an elf was akin to watching Dirty Dancing with your 3 year old. 

But. Then I had a moment of what can only be described as TOTAL INSANITY, and I thought: hey-this elf thing can't be so bad! I mean, the kids will love it. I'll do it for the children.

So I caved. I caved and I've learned a few lessons in the process. Which I will share now, because this is the internet and oversharing is what we do.

Strategies for Surviving Elf on the Shelf

1. Don't actually DO Elf on the Shelf. Hold out for as long as you can, and hopefully your kids will outgrow him before you give in. 

2. If, however, you aren't able to avoid the elf AT ANY AND ALL COSTS, then at least make it fun for you, as the parent. Start with naming the elf. See if you can convince your kids to name him Farty McFarterson, or something like Boogers McGee. Or, you could name him "My Hiney," and then every morning be like, "LETS GO FIND MY HINEY!"

I hope you can see how I obviously excel in wisdom and maturity.

   Again. I hope you can see how I excel in wisdom and maturity. And potty humor. 

Again. I hope you can see how I excel in wisdom and maturity. And potty humor. 

3. Set a NIGHTLY alarm so you don't forget to move the dang thing. 

4. When you (inevitably) forget to move the dang thing, know that there are a couple of options available to you:

Kid: Why didn't my elf move last night?? WHYYYYYYYYYYYY?????

Mommy: Because he saw the way you rolled your eyes at me yesterday and he was SO SAD that he LOST HIS WILL TO ELF.

Or you can write a note from your elf that goes something like this:

Dear Willow, I'm sorry I didn't hide last night. I was SO TIRED from the party I had with your stuffed animals that I overslept. P.S. Don't ever drink anything Olaf gives you. It's NOT MILK like he said. 

5.  Do not ever allow your elf to do things that are messy. Because kids think being messy is the FUNNIEST EVER, and once that door is open, it can't be closed, my friend. Don't do a "snow" angel with the flour, or "decorate" your hallway with Christmas lights, or break ornaments, or cover himself in chocolate syrup.  Messy elves are WAY MORE WORK FOR YOU. If your elf keeps it chill, and just moves from room to room,  you'll be fine.

6. For the love of God, don't look at Pinterest for ideas. Or the next thing you know, you'll be creating a "bubble bath" for your elf, and accidentally (on purpose) eating half a bag of mini marshmallows. Just.  Don't.  

 Fine. This elf can stay.

Fine. This elf can stay.

7. DO entertain yourselves. Your kid won't get it, but when your elf comes in "like a wrecking balllllllll," or draws buck teeth on your kid's face in the family Christmas card, well. Let's just say it's not all bad.

elf on the shelf
 Jack Frost is kind of a jerk sometimes. 

Jack Frost is kind of a jerk sometimes. 

8. Use your elf for emotional blackmail. Like, I'm going to report you to Santa for pushing your sister into the oven. (What? Doesn't this happen at your house?) Start behaving or CHRISTMAS WILL BE DEAD TO YOU.

(Because isn't tricking your kids into obeying you what parenting is all about?? No?)

9. Please, please, please DO THIS. And then send me a video of your kid's reaction.

 Best. Ever.  ( image via Pinterest )

Best. Ever.  (image via Pinterest)

What are your best Elf Coping Strategies? Should we form a hotline or support group or something? 

Until next time,