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The Elf on the Shelf Scares Me

December 12, 2010

Several years ago, we were the recipients of an “Elf on the Shelf” kit. Let me just say that the elf scared the bejesus out of me! It scared me three years ago when I was given the kit, and it scares the bejesus out of me today.

(Side note: I actually had to look up “bejesus” to make sure it was spelled correctly.)

You’ve all seen this and know the concept, right? It’s a kit that contains a little elf doll and the accompanying storybook. The idea is that each day, the elf will be hiding somewhere in the house (presumably one of the days on a shelf) where it will watch over the children ensuring they’re on good behavior to report back to Santa.

From the minute I saw this creature, it freaked me out. It’s scary, I tell you! The little thing is scary! And the idea of some little imp moving from place to place in my house watching over me gives me the creeps. Even as it sat unopened in my garage, I felt as if I would awaken in the middle of the night to this little Chucky coming after me.

Now I’m not belittling the concept and it’s affect on kid’s behavior. A friend of mine told me he and his wife thank their lucky stars every day for that elf because their daughter’s behavior improved dramatically the month of December. Other friends have sworn it has done wonders for their children. And that’s great … really! In fact, the way things are going with Sophie’s bedtime, I’ve seriously considered an elf on the bed (just not that elf).

I’m just saying that to me, that little elf is frightening. Maybe it has to do with being a Jew, since Jewish kids typically grow up wretched with parental-inflicted guilt that we felt too badly to misbehave.

Come to think of it, I’m sure that scary little imp does work wonders. After all, if I were a kid and that elf was on my shelf, I’d be too petrified to do or say anything, let alone goof off. A freakish elf and Jewish guilt — now that’s a scary combination!

Here's the little imp himself. See what I mean -- he's scary!

11 Comments leave one →
  1. December 12, 2010 10:49 pm

    You totally crack me up! That elf is a cutie. he’s totally harmless! Or is he? Those other parents who said the elf made their kids behave don’t know the real reason behind the elf’s success: it’s because the kids were scared straight. I bet that elf comes alive at night to scare the kids into behaving–or else. Then he smiles innocently when parents are around. You need to put a torch to that guy. It’s probably the only way to get rid of him.

  2. December 15, 2010 7:29 pm

    FREAKY!!! Next season, I’m marketing “The Whore on the Door”…a prostitute elf who has the inside track to Santa’s naughty-nice list.

    • leahsinger permalink
      December 15, 2010 10:53 pm

      That’s the funniest thing I’ve ever heard! I think there may be a real market for that in the males 18 – 49 demograph.

  3. September 19, 2011 6:17 am

    I gave the Elf to my neice for Christmas a few years ago.Although I’ve heard my sister tell her that Santa or the Elf might be watching her, I don’t think our family’s elf is used much for behavior management. I just liked it because the elf doll looks like one that sat on a wreath my mom hung on the wall at Christmas every year when we were kids. He’s a trip down memory lane for us. I do hope he won’t be watching me this year. Yikes!

    • September 22, 2011 9:54 pm

      Okay, well that is a good reason to have the elf then — to remind you of family tradition. And that’s fine. It’s the creepy watching you factor that scares me.

  4. September 19, 2011 9:12 am

    I’d never heard of the elf on the shelf. I like the concept and think the elf is a cutie.
    We all have phobias, so I know how you feel on that front.

    Elves doesn’t scare me. Imps would. There’s a difference. Arm chair researching, nature folks are one of my hobbies. There’s collectively over 3000 names for different good and bad nature folks from most every culture in the world. For the most part, when the legends began, they serve a specific purpose like keeping the children closer to home or just making the community more aware to be careful. I guess much like the elf on the shelf does. My interest in the nature folk is of the more modern sightings especially the ones in America. Even though it’s generally not known, there’s much nature folk lore in America, the Native Americans have a lot of legends of them going back a couple thousand years. Oops, I’m getting carried away. Sorry about that, but I just find the legends and lores of nature folks fascinating. lol I’ll stop now. Give me a holler if you want to know more about them. 😉

    • September 22, 2011 9:55 pm

      Wow, I had no idea! This is fascinating. Thanks for sharing. And I’m glad you noted there is a difference between an elf and an imp. See, this is why I love blogging; you learn so much!

  5. September 22, 2011 1:41 pm

    If you like the tradition, but don’t like the elf…try Christopher Pop-in-Kins. This elf is adorable and has posable arms and legs. Children love him!
    Christopher “pops in” to visit children during the holidays. He plays hide and seek then goes back to the North Pole on Christmas Eve to tell Santa all about his time in the Children’s World.
    The story and tradition are similair. But Christopher first appeared in stores 20 years prior to the other elf. Christopher also received Dr. Toy’s Best Classic Toys Award for 2011, PTPA Award, Mom’s Best Award, and numerous others.
    The storybook is filled with great illustrations.
    Last year Christopher was joined by his baby sister, Christina Marie Pop-In-Kins. She has her own story and is a totally different elf. Check them out at

    • September 22, 2011 9:56 pm

      Thanks for the referral to Pop-in-Kins. I took a look at the Web site and I must say, those are much cuter than the elf on the shelf.

  6. December 9, 2012 8:55 pm

    I agree with you, I thought all of my dolls came alive at night and I had hard times sleeping bc of it. I would never let that scary elf doll in my house.
    Children should be taught to behave well because they should, not because they are afraid of a doll.

    I don’t see how lying to your children about a doll coming to life is EVER a good idea..


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