Friday, December 20, 2013

My Take on The Elf

I know I'm going to get a lot of flack for saying this, but I just have to say it: I absolutely loathe The Elf on the Shelf.

In past years, he has simply been a minor annoyance. I don't have one in my home, so I tolerated the stories and pictures that other people had told me or posted. I listened to the kids at school tell how their Elf "had moved from the piano to the dining room table" and they hadn't seen it do so at all! "Well okay then!" I wanted to say. I held my snark in check.

But this year, I've had it. I can't really say why, but I'll try to explain anyway. Here it goes.

1. He's creepy looking. His fans say he's cute, charming, and that we should all love him, as is. Okay, well, I will love all people, as is; all animals, as is. Heck, I even bought a house, as is (Well, the real estate agent didn't say we were doing that, but thousands of dollars later, I would say the house listing should have said, as is.). I say stuff being PC. He's creepy and I don't like it. I would never be able to walk into a darkened room knowing that Elf was in there. (Look at his eyes. Really look at them, and the expression they hold, and tell me that Elf couldn't possibly be possessed by a demon.)

2. He's mass marketed. I've never been one to follow the trends. Hallmark ornaments? Can't stand them. Chrisopher Radko ornaments? Not my favorite. Anything that I can track down almost anywhere? I will buy them, but I prefer not to. Remember, though, that I'm not here to judge. If you like Elf or Hallmark ornaments or even Christopher Radko, I will still be your friend. (I just might question your judgment.)

3. His history is a little, well, let's say muddled. I read recently that he was created in 2004 over a cup of tea. I found that funny. I have characters that have been created over a cup of coffee, or when I've been in the shower, or out on a run. I have no plans to tell that to anyone. But apparently, this character made it to being published by 2005 and life just hasn't been the same. Now I realize that traditions need to start somewhere, but something born in 2005 seems a little young to me. Furthermore, a friend of mine says that Elf on the Shelf resembles (please read as ripoff) an elf that she has from the 50s and 60s.  Hmmm. I bet you can guess what I'd have to say about that. No need to tell you. Now this reason isn't a deal breaker, but along with #1 and #2, I hope never to encounter an elf on my shelf.

Lest you think I am nothing but a scrooge, let me say that I'm all for spreading Christmas cheer and belief in magic at this time of the year. In fact, when I was a child, I was convinced an elf lived in our house. (But we never saw the elf, and in truth, the whole idea that someone was watching me scared the crap out of me.) I also truly believe in the spirit of giving and that magical things can happen at Christmas. I'd even go so far to say that Christmas miracles can and do occur from time to time (despite what Tim may think). But in my world, The Elf on the Shelf ain't a part of that Christmas magic.

Do what you must to make you and your family happy. But my skin crawls when I look at the Elf; therefore, he should be laid to rest.

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