Father Nerds Best: Why the Elf on the Shelf Is Banned from Our Household

It’s the holiday season and you know what that means, pictures of people’s trees, decorations, and traditions.  Usually, this is a normal occurrence where I see people with a whole hell of a lot more time and dedication on their hands who deck out their house with awesome light shows or beautiful live trees that probably smell as good as they look decorated.  Most of the traditions that people share are awesome to hear about.  Decorating the tree the night of Thanksgiving, chopping down your own tree and displaying it proudly in your living room, etc.  These are all age old traditions that are wonderful examples of traditions worthy of being the timeless events that they are.  But there is one that I have been seeing an awful lot of recently that I just don’t understand…The Elf on the Shelf.

So, let me see if I have this correct.  You buy an elf from a store and sit him somewhere in your house.  This elf is some sort of secret agent spy for the fat man at the North Pole and he reports on your child’s behavior.  That’s cute, I get it.  Plus, it’s psychological warfare against your kids so they behave well in December – always a plus.  What I don’t get though, is what this super spy does in the meantime while he’s spying on our kids.  I have seen people post pictures on Facebook where the elf has unraveled an entire toilet paper roll.  Another person had this little jerk spill M&Ms all over the dining room floor because apparently he got hungry in the middle of the night and clumsily dropped them all.  That’s a really horrible spy if he can’t get the information he needs without making a mess of the house.  “Oh son, look!  The elf destroyed your mother’s vase and spread the dog food all over the kitchen, isn’t that cute?”  “Sure dad, now who the hell is going to clean this mess up?”  Good question little one, good question.

I’m all for creating lasting traditions with our children but this just seems like an unnecessary addition to the holiday repertoire.  I’m sure some people have a lot of fun with it, and you know what, good for you.  I’m lazy.  I have a hard enough time making sure my house is clean, so why would I invite a little jerk into my home who is going to purposefully make it even worse.  I loathe the day when Jack is old enough to visit a friend’s house and he is indoctrinated into the cult of Elf on the Shelf.  He’ll come home one day and profess to all the world that our house needs this awesome elf because all of the cool parents have one.  My wife and I will look at each other resignedly and explain to him that in every child’s lifetime, there comes a time when you need to learn the truth about Christmas.  Some kids last longer than others, but unfortunately we are bursting the bubble early for you, Jack.  The elf you so desperately want is actually a communist spy for China.  It’s un-American to display them in our house and those “friends” who have them are actually enemies of the state.  Your mom and I think it’ll be best for you to stop visiting their house…at least until after Christmas.

Why does the elf have to be a jerk?  My family doesn’t need any help keeping our house messy, we’re doing just fine, thanks Elf.  Where is the elf on the shelf who cleans up or has an iRobot coming out of his butt to earn his keep.  When they invent that elf on a shelf, I’ll back the kickstarter and buy a few for friends.  In the meantime, spy on someone else’s kids, you aren’t welcome in my house.

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