The Elf on the Shelf, or as I call it, the Pet Rock of the 21st century, doesn't have a real purpose, nor is it really a part of anyone's Christmas tradition. Somewhere in the future, the generation raised with this festive tiki idol that can not be touched but is always watching, will demand that we explain ourselves for it's introduction and the schizophrenia it contributed to. That however, is a problem for the future. My problem with this stoic nymph is in the present.
We all know how it works. The elf is watching and returns nightly to Santa to rat out the kids for all the bad things they do. It's like 1984, but for innocent children. My wife and I simply got too tired of the yearly routine of arrival, tearful goodbye, and daily repositioning of our EOTS, and thus told our son once he turned 10, the elf get's reassigned to another child. Seemed logical. Could work. Did it? No.
This year at Christmas, our now 10 year old son wrote a letter, not to Santa, but to Elfie, his unoriginal name for our Elf on the Shelf. I said it when I read his letter and I say it again now, Dammit all to Hell! Again with this synthetic nightmare.
So here's the new story, as we transit our son into puberty, manhood, looking at girls differently, and such. Elfie still loves you, but can't come by every day because you're over 10. So now, when you see something different in the house, like dishes done, or the living room vacuumed, it was Elfie who did it while travelling back and forth to the North Pole. This plan seems solid, but might still backfire. Parenting, after all, is a string of bad mistakes.
Speaking of Bad Mistakes, I came up with something to sell the "Look man, you're too old, I can't come back, it's me, not you," line for Elfie. It's a newsletter from the north pole that features a story about our son's elf on the shelf moving on. Will this provide closure? Possibly. Will it allow him to move on? Man I hope so. Either way, I put a lot of work into it and want to share it with you now.
See? Elfie's in Asia now. She can't come by any more. Why did I choose Asia? That is actually an homage to my older son who when very young used to come to me with outlandish claims like, "there's a man with three heads," and I'd ask, "really, where?" and he'd say, "in China." Everything you ever wanted existed in China. Now, so does Elfie, which is odd, because I'm pretty sure that's where it was made in the first place. See? You can go home again!
To all those parents out there regretting the Elf on the Shelf purchase, get ready. Your day will come too. Until then, remember to keep the brandy spiked egg nog handy, and have a merry Christmas!