To the Mama Who Is Doing Elf on the Shelf Even Though She Doesn’t Want To

I never wanted to deal with the whole Elf on the Shelf thing.

Before the creative and crafty parents that truly enjoy posing little Tinklebert Humperdinck in the Barbie dream house bash me for being a horrible parent and a poor sport, allow me to explain myself.

Mama, I get it. I don’t want to do Elf on the Shelf either.

It’s not that I’m some evil Ebenezerette that wishes to rob my children of Christmas magic. It’s not solely because I have no desire to play travel agent and send the thing jet setting all over the house. It’s because the magic of Christmas has successfully existed for centuries without an overpriced marketing ploy that throws a candy cane colored monkey wrench into my long-standing elf beliefs!

When I was a child, Santa’s elves were a mysterious and unseen little people who I imagined resembled Danny DeVito in minky pants. I never knew where they were hiding, and I spent the Christmas season wondering if Peeping Tomawiggles was lurking in the bushes outside my bedroom window. The unknown whereabouts of Santa’s helpers helped keep me on the straight and narrow.

Since the introduction of Elf on the Shelf, the mystery associated with the magical little beings has been diminished. The kids clearly see him hanging from the dining room chandelier and believe they have the freedom to raise nine kinds of hell with toothpaste and toilet paper in the unseen bathroom. That’s a fa-la-la-la-fail on the elf’s part.

When we were given an Elf on the Shelf as a present last year, I reluctantly placed it on the mantle and left it undisturbed for days. My children came home from school with elaborate tales that they’d heard from friends about finding their respective elves in boxes of Cheerios or camping out in piles of marshmallows, and they wanted to know why our girl elf, Snowbelle, was such a boring old maid.

Susannah B. Lewis
Susannah B. Lewis
Susannah B. Lewis is a humorist, blogger for Whoa! Susannah, and freelance writer whose work has appeared in numerous publications. The author of Can’t Make This Stuff Up!, Lewis studied creative writing at Jackson State Community College and earned her bachelor's degree in business management from Bethel College. She lives in Medina, Tennessee, with her husband, Jason, their three children, and three dogs. Her latest book, How May I Offend You Today?: Rants and Revelations from a Not-So-Proper Southern Lady, releases nationwide October 20 , 2020.

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