The Struggle is Real

I will not elf my shelf. Or shelf my elf.

I love my kids and I’d do anything for them.

Except Elf-on-a-Shelf.

I had never heard about Elf-on-the-Shelf until it started to appear in my Facebook feed a few years ago. I thought to myself, “Wow, that’s creative.”

And then, as my kids got bigger and life got even busier, I realized just what an undertaking this Elf-on-a-Shelf is. You need to remember to move the Elf every night. You need to come up with new and fun spots and predicaments. Some of the ideas that come up through my Facebook feed are nothing short of AAA Tableaus staged by master set decorators! And they do it times 24 nights leading up to Christmas in December.


In my house, we consider it a win if the Tooth Fairy shows up within three days of a tooth loss, I can not fathom shelfing that Elf every night.

Occasionally my husband and I have played funny pranks. I’m exceptional at making sure Santa’s milk was sipped and that a trail of cookie crumbs proves he ate the cookies we baked – I even chop up the carrots we leave out for the reindeers and throw them along the lawn (and into the neighbour’s lawn) so that they can see that Santa was indeed at our house.

My husband and I have been known to freeze action figures into ice, making it look like they got trapped in our front yard. We have lawn gnomes that will occasionally end up in crazy vignettes. We fill water balloons and add food colouring to surprise them with magic ice crystal balls. We mount surprise water fight attacks – but we can’t be trusted to Elf our shelf every night. It’s setting us up for failure.

I have nothing but respect for parents that can – just like I’m always impressed by people that can live Pinteresting lives in great detail, but nope, not us.

It’s good to know your limitations. Holidays are busy, we’ve got more than one tradition going on at a time so it’s fine juggling act to begin with, and the Elf would just topple our precarious balance. My son has started asking, and so my husband explained it by putting the little guy on the shelf.

Our own Elf on our own Shelf – it’s been enough to keep him from pushing the issue… this year.