Being a mom is hard enough as it is, especially around the holidays. You're making plans, saving up to buy presents, working hard to make lasting, memorable traditions for your family... And now, you also have to invent a new, brilliant tableau for your Elf on the Shelf every night after your children go to bed. We're not going to lie, the Elf is a divisive figure. Either you love him or you hate him. Or your children love him, and he is the living bane of your existence. And that's where our story begins, when one exhausted mom took matters into her own hands...
The holiday of Christmas is chock-full of traditions. Most of which have absolutely nothing to do with Jesus Christ himself.
via: Getty Images
From Coca-Cola Santa to Taylor Swift’s holiday collection, there’s enough festive accouterment to trim the Rockefeller Tree.
Enter 2005. And The Elf on the Shelf.
What initially started as a children’s picture book, written by Carol Aebersold and her daughter Chanda Bell, soon turned into a feat of commercial brilliance, and the bane of every parents’ existence.
The Elf on the Shelf, for the gloriously unaware, goes a little something like this:
You buy the overpriced book and “Scout Elf” at select retailers.
The Elf, so the fabricated tale goes, has been sent by Santa to spy on children, and is responsible for reporting back on them. Each night, it flies to the North Pole to download Santa on the dirt, and returns in a different spot each morning to lurk again.
But remember: the Elf is an inanimate object. Which means that the parents have to move the creepy doll from place to place each night, perpetuating the charade that the Elf has “returned.” According to the website, “children love to wake up and race around the house looking for their Scout Elf each morning.”
And this happens Every. Damn. Day.
It’s hard enough for parents to maintain the (**spoiler alert**) charade that Santa is real. Add yet another tradition to the mix, that of glorified hide-and-seek overlord, and it’s enough to make anyone want to scream.
Except, it seems, for the growing counterculture of “overachieving elf mommies.”
But one momma knows what’s up.
In a December 3 Facebook post, Christy Heins wrote a full-on letter to her children, effectively retiring their elf “George” at the behest of Santa.
Turns out, she didn’t want to deal with the unnecessary stress of moving the goddamned thing around anymore. But she also didn’t want to break her kids’ hearts.
So she had to get creative…