elf on the shelf

8 Questions I Want To Ask The Elf On The Shelf

That guy has some explaining to do.

Originally Published: 

Personally, I love the magic of the holiday season. Even with the strange, collective willingness to lie to children, I still really want my son to believe in Santa Claus. However when it comes to the Elf On The Shelf, I have absolutely no interest in perpetuating the myth of a doll conducting covert surveillance on our every move, then reporting back to the "Big Man." I find that dude creepy AF, so there are more than a few questions I want to ask The Elf On The Shelf; mainly along the lines of, "Dude, why?"

Maybe I am just jealous of the more creative moms, who manage to stage elaborate scenes where the Elf gets into all sorts of mischief in the middle of night. For example, I have one mama friend who is insanely imaginative and really gets into the whole story, to the point that I actually look forward to seeing her social media posts as to what the Elf has been doing during the night. However, I know I'm way too lazy and unorganized to be posing and photographing a toy before I crawl into bed.

I also just find the whole idea to be pretty damn creepy. Maybe, when children are misbehaving, it seems logical (to some) to threaten to "tell Santa," but just think for a moment about the lesson you are teaching. You're essentially saying Santa's authority supersedes yours, as a parent, that children's mistakes are being watched and recorded, and that being good isn't its own reward (but simply one step in an exchange for material stuff). You're also equating your kid's mistakes to their innate "goodness," which, you know, isn't necessarily the healthiest of lessons. So, yeah, I'm just not into it. Instead of positioning The Elf in elaborate positions middle of the night, I'd rather ask the damn thing the following questions:

"If You're Here, Who's Making The Toys?"

Vivien Killilea/Getty Images Entertainment/Getty Images

If I am going to believe in the whole backstory here, then elves are watching every person who owns an elf on the shelf, all over the world, instead of clocking in and making toys.

Are elves the most populous group on the planet? How can there possibly be enough elves to keep up with the toy making demands? Are the North Pole elves being overworked? Do they have a union? Elf, I have some labor relation questions for you, too.

"How Exactly Do You Speak To Santa?"

OK, so is it just "magic," or do you call him, send an e mail, instant message, walkie talkie, carrier pigeon? How do you speak to Santa?

"Why Do You Look Like The Star Of A Horror Film?"

What is it with that fake grin? Who in their damn right mind decided that plastering a sinister smile on a children's toy was in any conceivable way, a good idea? You remind of that little doll George finds in Seinfeld, that looks exactly like his mother. Just, no.

"Don't You Feel Bad About The Kids You Snitch On?"

Everyone makes mistakes from time to time, so your self-righteousness is a little over-played. How you would feel if every time you had a little meltdown or cussed or refused to pick up a toy, someone snitched? It's just a bit mean.

Do you have a system, three strikes and you're out? Or do you report kids to Santa on their first infraction? How do you decide if an incident is serious enough to withhold presents? Is there a code of conduct? I'd like to see your policies, because they seem a little unreasonable.

"Why Are You So Damn Creepy?"

Gary Hershorn/Corbis News/Getty Images

I am not sure if it's just your appearance, the way you stare with those dead eyes (believe me, he stares) or the surveillance angle parents seem hell-bent on positioning you in, but you just freak me out.

I am not sure I could concentrate on much of anything else, if you were in the room.

"Why Do You Hate Parents So Much?"

Some parents may think blaming you and Santa for the repercussions of bad behavior makes their life easier, but dolling out discipline and consequences pales into insignificance when compared with the elaborate charades involved with posing you in different spots all over the house.

The work involved can amount to an extra job, for goodness sakes. There's researching and coming up with the ideas; buying resources and props; assembling the scene and placing you, The Elf, inside; photographing it; uploading to social media and then the cleanup. Of course, that doesn't include anything to do with the kids, yet. Why do you hate us?

"How's It Feel, Being A Rat?"

Rat, grass, Narc, snitch, stoolie; it doesn't matter how you say it, a career as an informer doesn't really have a long "shelf" life (pun intended).

Have you seen Goodfella's, The Godfather Part II, or literally any episode of The Soprano's? Do you get cable in the North Pole? #SnitchesGetStitches

"Do You Work For Pinterest?"

Your existence and popularity has spawned an entire industry devoted to sharing ideas on how to announce your arrival, and literally thousands of variations on the positions and scenarios kids will find you in in the morning. The pressure on all ready stressed parents is insane. Now, after a hard day of work and childcare, they have to also worry about coming up with creative vignettes to stage you in. Yeah, thanks but no freakin' thanks.

Elf, go right on ahead and put me on the naughty list if you must, but you won't ever be making a visit to my house.

This article was originally published on