’Tis the season for caring, ’tis the season for sharing and ’tis the season for that damn Elf on the Shelf. It’s probably my least favorite holiday tradition. Well, aside from the ‘cleaning up all the wrapping paper’ tradition. But, if you have kids, you get about a 13- to 15-year break from that, depending on how many kids you have.
When the Elf on the Shelf debuted in 2005, it was a cute idea. Santa sends all these elves around to houses to keep an eye on children all over the world. The first night the elf is in the house, the kids get to name it. Ours is named “Taco.” Taco hides somewhere new every night. After he magically flies up to the North Pole to snitch out our kids, he returns to our house and tries to be cute by stretching our Christmas lights off of the tree or wasting our cotton balls pretending it’s snow. The kids love it. However, this year, I’m asking Santa to retire his Elves.
The more these elves fly to and from to the North Pole, they run out of places to hide. There’s only so many times Taco can hide in the refrigerator and those times he hid in the bathroom were just kinda creepy … and gross.
Taco fights to get more and more creative every night. I know this because I can hear his little feet running all over the house from hiding place to hiding place. Most of the time, I’m also awake, stubbing my toes in dark because I jump out of bed just as I’m falling asleep because I forgot to do some stupid chore.
Once, Taco held onto our living room fan while it was on. I thought that was one of his better ideas. The kids kept looking up there to see how he was doing it. Of course, his hands are taped! Jeez, kid, how else do you think he’d be able to and on at that speed?! Cut the elf some slack, wouldja? Quit taking the magic away!
Speaking of taking the magic away: For goodness sake, DON’T TOUCH THE ELF! One year, a friend walked into our house and the kids very excitedly showed them Taco, who was sitting in our Christmas tree (another go-to favorite hiding place). My friend said “oh, cool” and picked Taco up. Oh, the horror! You would have thought my daughter walked in on both of her parents laying on the floor with their throats cut. The blood-curdling scream required a trip next door to explain to my neighbors that we were OK. You see, when a human touches the Elf on the Shelf, it takes its magic away. Poor Taco had to lay on the floor for a few days to build his magic back up. Thank God the dogs didn’t mistake him for a toy.
Nowadays, you find imitation Elves on the Shelf in stores everywhere, which raises all kinds of questions from the kids. Parents all over have to find ways to explain why there are Elves on the Shelf in stores when everyone knows that they come from the North Pole. Thanks a lot, Wal-Mart.
Now that we have moved, Taco has a plethora of new places to hide. Honestly, I’m surprised that he found his way to Las Vegas. I thought maybe he would still be hiding at our house in Augusta, wondering where everyone went.
Or worse, stuck in a storage facility somewhere where our belongings are… because he’d think we’re where our stuff is, naturally. Thankfully, Santa had the sense to send him to us in our new house.
If it were up to me, I’d have definitely forgotten him. I guess that’s why Santa doesn’t put such a heavy burden on us as parents because that would be a terrible idea.