5 Reasons the Elf on the Shelf Will Ruin Your Whole Life | Two Degrees Of Suburbia

5 Reasons the Elf on the Shelf Will Ruin Your Whole Life

You’ve heard about him, right?  The Elf on the Shelf, I mean.  A cute little magical surprise every morning for children.  Feels more like the Christmas crabs for parents.  This is my first year with the Elf.

I had avoided the Christmas crabs Elf for a few years, and I could in fact lie and say that my kids begged me to get them one.  But the truth is, I wanted one.  Why do you ask?  Because of all those other moms on Facebook that make him look like sooooo much fun.  Bitches.

So I could lie right now and tell you that the Elf on the Shelf is the best shit since Magic Mike, but I won’t.  Here is the truth about the Elf and why you need to guard your loins avoid him.

1.  The first rule of The Elf on the Shelf cult manifesto book, is that you must name the Elf.  Once you name something, it is hard to get rid of it.  Think about that.  The minute you name a pet that has wandered into your house or a child that has wandered out of your hoo ha, you are stuck with it until it leaves you or dies.  The Elf can do neither.  It will stay with you forever, or until you banish gift it to one of your children.  And if you have two children, it might be wise to give it to which ever child you think will more than likely get trigger happy if they are ever in a pull the plug situation with you.

2.  Like sex, the Elf on the Shelf is all fun and games until somebody gets stuck with a responsibility.  And that responsibility is having to move the Elf every night.  Some person who is an idiot might now be thinking, how hard can that be?  Well, it isn’t, but that doesn’t make it any easier.  Yes, I just read that.  You forget.  And when you forget the kid asks questions, and you feel like a giant douchebag.  So in order to not forget you make yourself paranoid thinking, “Where is the Elf?”  And God forbid you start walking around saying that out loud because you will probably get yourself a one way ticket to Shady Pines for the holidays.

3.  You have to keep upping the ante.  You might start out mild.  The first day the little bugger shows up you will just put him on a shelf.  And then you will find yourself pleased at how excited this makes your child.  So the next night you do something a little bit more inventive.  And your child will be even more delighted. But let’s say you get a little lazy one night and your Elf is back to just sitting on a shelf.  Well, guess what?  That won’t be good enough for your kids.  They’ll wonder if the Elf is sick or angry or bored with them.  And before you know it, the Elf is like another person you have to care about with feelings and shit.  You and the Elf might need counseling.  He’ll need antidepressants, and before you know it you are both drinking and bitching about your needs and wants.

4.  He will fuck with your sleep.  Just as you have all your kids in bed and begin to drift off for a few minutes of peace and quiet, it will hit you.  Did I move the Elf?  Maybe you don’t remember.  So you contemplate getting out of bed.  But then you think maybe you will just move it in the morning because your bed feels so fantastic and everybody is asleep.  But now you can’t sleep because you aren’t sure what to do over this stupid effing Elf.  And you can bet that if you get out of bed, the Elf will have been moved.  And if you don’t, he will still be in the same lame spot from the night before.  So you’re fucked.

5.  Some other kid will no doubt have a cooler Elf that is being manipulated by an equally disgruntled mother who takes her anger out by way of overachieving and posting photos on Facebook.  She is the same mother who hooks new mothers into starting this Elf nonsense.  She needs to be taken out.  Maybe you can set it up so that your Elf can do that.

Stay away from the Elf.  He is that bad crowd that your mother warned you about. That loser boyfriend that you have to do everything for.  But you can’t break up with this guy…..and he will always live in your house in the name of Christmas cheer.  Creepy.

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Comments & Responses

138 Responses so far.

  1. Tara Brown Pagliarini says:

    Yes, sad but true…

  2. Amanda Parrish says:

    LMAO! I had never heard of it until this year… and told my husband we shouls get one. Truth is, being stationed over in Germany, I haven't been able to find one! (I can adopt yours if you'd like) LOL.

  3. Katie McHugh Wilkin says:

    Oh I just laughed my ass off reading this. I totally agree with him messing with your sleep. I argue with myself for about 15 minutes at night, after I've laid down, whether or not I've moved the damn thing. Chances are I haven't and my husband does first thing in the morning. Or at least that's how its been for the past two days. He doesn't know it but I've wrapped him up in this whole elf thing too. Sucker.

  4. Cheryll M-g says:


  5. Candace Mae says:

    Hahaha! Yeah, this is a tradition I"m not getting into. This was funny, though.

  6. Stephanie Morgan says:


  7. Alisha Matthews says:

    I probably would've been the one to take pictures of where the elf is.
    Thankfully for you (and my friends), my daughter's not old enough for this to even have any meaning. xD

  8. That was so funny and so completely true!!!

  9. Ha, ha. I wondered what it was and thought it sounded like it might be a good idea but thanks for saving me from all that! No elves will be moving in here. :)

  10. Milissa Watson says:

    Hahaha I am SO glad I've managed to avoid this mess!

  11. Rāseśvarī Dasi Aulicky says:


  12. Karen Schnorbus Dulaney says:

    Super glad I too have avoided this tradition. I enjoy this time of year, but if I had to deal with this darned thing, I might begin to dread it…. ;) Good luck to all of you who have begun this tradition.

  13. Christy Ditzen Iannelli says:

    Oh my Gosh, I love this…Literally laughing out loud!!!

  14. Heidi-rose Isenhart Creuziger says:

    YES! And the thing looks so creepy! Just look at those eyes and that smile. It's not friendly people. It's the new version of Chuckie. Stay away and you'll stay alive. Also, what is it doing with its hands that they're supposed to be stuck together like that?

  15. Susie MacLean says:

    LOVE IT!

  16. Genevieve Miller says:

    I'm so damn glad I never bought one! Hahahahaha!

  17. yes…definitely THINK before you "Elf". It's a big commitment. One word of advice: Don't get the book. That way you can make up your own rules…Like if he doesn't move one night, that means he JUST made it back to the house as the kids left their bedrooms to look for him he and didn't have time to find a new spot:) I never got the book and I've been making up the rules as I go.

    • Corey Planer says:

      That is genius!

    • Denise Diven says:

      We just say he must have really likes that spot!!

    • Melissa Grandy says:

      or the mean response, well sweetie didn't you beahve very badly yesterday and not listen to mom and dad.. them you follow by saying well Elfie couldn't go back to santa last nigth, if he did he would of had to tell him you were very bad, so instead eflie stayed where he was and hoped and prayed you would behave the next day so he could tell santa you were good.. seriously worked..

  18. Marcela Fortich says:

    Hahahahahaha I'm not doing the elf thing. Forget it.

  19. Stephanie Schmaljohann says:

    The whole thing is creepy to me. I mean, a stuffed elf coming alive after the kids are in bed? Nightmares. Can we say reincarnation of Chucky? No thank you.

  20. Valerie Gesner Espeleta says:

    Hilarious! And I feel the exact same way. Exact! Damn elf.

  21. Leave it up to my daughter Kelli Taylor-Green…I haven't laughed so hard in so long I had tears! this sounds like she was the author of this article. HMMM I guess it was a bad idea LOL! I didn't think about it in this perspective it is like being married with more chores to do! LOL! BLAHAHAHAHAHA

  22. Nancy Breen says:

    Hilarious!! Love it especially because my kids are in their 20s. I would have got sucked into this though had it been around. Thanks for the great laugh!!!

  23. Oh God…I just bought this thing. Haven't opened the box yet so it doesn't have a name. Should it return it? Eek!

  24. Sara Hilderman Berry says:

    This article is so beautiful! Hilariously beautiful!

  25. Jody Jenkins says:

    Very true. I actually did have to get out of bed last night when I remembered that I hadn't moved the elf yet. And yeah, he's a bit creepy…pretty sure that if I don't do what it wants it will murder me in my sleep some night.

  26. Just creepy! I'm glad my kids are grown

  27. Darlene Jarvis says:

    True, true, true… the funniest thing I've read in a long time!

  28. Natalie Phillips says:

    Have you seen the posts on pinterest? these moms who have the elf doing crazy and elaborate things every night? I knew it was one more thing I wouldn't be able to pull off. Who needs that kind of guilt anyway. Keep christmas simple for f*ck sakes! I can't handle the pressure!

  29. I don't even have an elf and never heard of such till this year and my 4 year old is already having issues thinking about the elf and asking a ton of questions, aaaahhhh!

  30. Just last night at 1:00 in the morning I sat up straight in bed and said "I forgot to move Chilly"……It will consume you!

  31. Elizabeth Quinn Flavin says:

    Can't even read your article because the Facebook add keeps jumping in the picture — Annoying!! Seems like it would have been a good read.

  32. Tanis Greenlaw says:

    I had to set a reminder in my phone for a month so as not to forget.

  33. Lynne Olson Riley says:

    Hysterical! My kids are too old but I know I would have been pressured into it. Looks like I dodged a bullit on this one. Thanks, great writing.

  34. Stephanie Arnold says:

    I just got mine. So far so good. ;)

  35. this is my life with our elf Jangles! I have contemplated staging a murder so I don't have to deal with it anymore! I have an obessesed 8 year old that cant get enough! I'm hoping this is the last year for it and my younger one wont remember so I can stop the maddness! LUV this article!

  36. This was my thoughts exactly. My child has asked Santa for this and I can tell you it is definitely not coming to my house. I have enough stress and enough to do this time of year without fooling around with this.

  37. Wendy Ellis says:

    The elf brings excitement to the kids…I think it's great. He somewhat resembles Pop of Rice Krisbies fame.

  38. Jessica Flanigan says:

    I dread elf. All of it, everything you said; yes. Elf is why america has issues. Those elf creators did not think it through. They just saw $$ signs. They did not know they were breaking a mother code when they piled one more chore for us to do on our already too full piles. I am so annoyed this present was gifted to us. ARGGGHHHH!

  39. this is hilarous… because it's all true… I can't wait until Christmas just so "Holly Winkins" will be heading back to the north pole!

  40. Ella Holmes says:

    "wandered out of your hoo ha"! Could barely read the rest through my tears! Wonderful sense of humour.

  41. Tracy Lurkins says:

    This cracked me up! I think the thing is creepy and since the boys haven't asked, no thanks!

  42. Its too fun to see what Elf did!

  43. Mallorey Burns says:

    That is why we are proud to be lazy Elf on the Shelfers! He literally moves from one location to the next. No other props needed. Back to the basics people!

  44. Alana Raymond says:

    I started a similar tradition about 23 years ago with a mouse stocking hanger who had lost his hook. Never heard of any Elf or any book. So basically it was just that the mouse moved around the main floor. And we didn't name it either. Have to admit tho', I'd never start before Dec 1 because even finding 24 places is way too much. And the kids wanted it when they were older too (some traditions just keep chugging on no matter what you do). And when they were older it wasn't as much fun for me as it had been. So I'd forget. The reaction of a 5 year old is nothing compared to the reaction of a Christmas-addicted 12 year old!

  45. Erica Allen says:

    You know yes it is a big commitment but to see my girls faces every day is great. They talk to her, they make sure to say good night, they often come home from school and tell her about their day. It is adorable and I love it, even though some of these things are true! LOL Mine was a gift 3 years ago, so happy for it. It is also great for behavior cuz all I have to say is Rosie is going to go back and tell Santa.

  46. omg this was perfectly written and exactly my life… sometimes jingles goes to the northpole to help santa with the toys .but isreally in solitaryconfinement in my closet lol. I'vedone the laying in bed our wing up at 2 and "shit" I forgot to move jingles.. what can I do with him.. we'vehad him for less than a, month and I'm running out of ideas.. what do I do woth him for 7 or 8 years my kits see very small…

  47. Courtney Barbiaux says:

    That elf bastard.

  48. Maisie Eck says:

    its a doll people….. not the devil…..its a fun game that's all lol.

  49. Lol awesome. I just got the Elf and knew in advance I'd be in a panic if I forgot to move Elf.

  50. I'm having no problems this year remembering to move him. I set a daily alarm on my phone for 10:30pm to remind me. Just a thought for those that are already sucked in.

  51. Julie Bender says:

    Such a short time to create fun memories

  52. Emilyn Dolan says:

    Haha- I'm reading this to my husband and we're cracking up! Last night was a double whammy cuz we had to move the elf and the stupid tooth fairy also had to show up. I wish somebody had told me when the kids start losing their teeth to leave the tooth on the table next to them and not under their pillow. Do you know hard it is looking for a tooth and trying not to wake kids up. I've had to dive under the bed a coupla times to hide! Great article!

  53. Awesome. I loved reading this but I'm one of those parents who is moving him around and putting him Dora's car etc. It's fun and the kids love it.

  54. Paula Black Hess says:

    I just want to know who the hell thought this up… One day you will wonder where that elf is and why are all your butcher knives missing?! Crazy!!!! Or your kids can say at the trial that the elf told him/ her that Santa said to do it….

  55. Melissa Hayhurst Mcclelland says:

    <<Here is my Elf..my youngest child is a 21 yr old female..who is a US Marine and is expecting a baby girl. Well I went to NC to visit her and we went into Barnes and Noble..I started to hyoer venilate..I was like..ooo my..there are the Elfs on the shelf..wellI know she was thinking WTF..keep in mind, she is a Marine. Wellll..I did not know that there is a cuter plus one..and low and behold there was one girl elf left..lol..my daughter bought her for me. I even blinged her our..jewels and a hair bow..haha..I am a babysitter and the kids are a bit concerned..:P

  56. Haha! So glad to read this and SO glad I resisted getting one! I KNOW this would be me too! x

  57. Jenny Delorey says:

    omg! I only just seen the elf of a shelf today while in a store and I almost bought it. Sure glad I didn't after reading this post! hahaahahhaha

  58. Tammy Engisch Fear says:

    You know the sad thing is is that the elf has been around for at least 45 years I had him when I was a little girl.

  59. Dana Anderson says:

    The Elf in a Shelf is wonderful, boo to all of you humbugs out there, to see the look on your childs face each morning when looking for her elf Nicholaus is priceless, one of the best Christmas traditions out there, I love it!

  60. Lol im glad i dont have one

  61. Melinda Simmons Brown says:

    laughed my butt off!

  62. Allison Swift Zercher says:

    Thank you for the laugh ;) I, too, am in the throes of elfdom. I think, perhaps, that I might be just the very person you're warning others about. My husband and I are considering starting to glue tiny cotton ball fibers to our elf's chin as we near Christmas Eve to plant the seed in the kids' minds that, yes, elves get old and die, kids.

  63. Cheri Must Riot says:

    I want to start one a week before Xmas. Less hiding and maybe not an elf. Maybe a Flying Spaghetti Monster to better match my families religious views..

  64. Alexis Guasta-Ibarra says:

    Soooo not hopping on board with this one!!! I dont like the whole idea of it. reminds me of big brother watching. Not meanong to soubd paranoid, but sounds like a ploy to get the big man into our homes. ;) at least thats what my paranoid schizophrenic side would think. I just think lids shouldnt act good in front of an inatimate object who tells a.other onatomate object to get them gifts. Yep, were against the whole santa cult as well.

  65. My kids have been begging for one. I suspect he might just end up on the couch with a beer watching TV all night every night. Is that wrong?

  66. [...] is a post that had me howling with laughter one moment and nodding sagely the other. It’s 5 Reasons why the Elf on the shelf will ruin your whole life from Two Degrees of Suburbia. [...]

  67. Courtney Larson says:

    Oh its not that bad. The excitement of the kids is worth the two minutes it takes to move her. I certainly dont lose any sleep over forgetting to move ours. I do fun things with her but i definitely wont be wrapping the toilet in christmas paper or wasting a roll of toilet paper tping the house. There are limits.

  68. Kenneth Lane says:

    I have a word of advice, elf's could disappear in the night, the explanation could be that they left your happy home to help Santa and are gracing Mrs. Clauses shelf at this very moment! Plausible and sort of cheery too.

  69. Stephanie Brooks says:

    I got suckered into the elf this year since he showed up last year at my daughter's dad's house and while I don't compare myself to an OAM there was no way I was going to let him have the fun house at Christmas:-)

  70. I don't have an elf but I do have an advent calendar and two boys in my house. The boxes in the calendar are too small for two pieces of anything so I started to leave clues to where my boys can find their prizes. I totally get the upping the antie thing as you soon run out hissing places. The good thing is as my boys get older, I can make the clues harder.

  71. I've never heard of the Elf before? Love the idea of it though but totally see how it would consume you! You blog post was nominated by Ghostmummy as her blog post of the week, also known as the #PAPS and it is all about passing on the blogging love. I am so glad she did as I've now found your blog!

    Have a great week.

  72. Hillary Gardner says:

    LOL I just bought him tonight… we named him Buddy (we are elf fans) and this article totally cracked me up. hahaha!

    • Angela Quisumbing says:

      Lol, this is hilarious!

    • Rachel Foster Redhouse says:

      Lol, that was great…and true. I did NOT sleep well last night because I forgot to move him so I knew I had to get up early before the kids and move him. I finally got up at 4am and moved the damn thing so I could get some sleep!! I moved him right after the kids went to bed tonight!

  73. Adrienne Marquardt says:

    OMG too fricken funny!

  74. Hannibal Barberra Lowe says:

    I went the route of upping the ante by having my elf build things in the night now i have to deal with my daughters seeing leftover pieces and parts used in the construction and having to explain why its in my studio

  75. Sarah Maldonado Di Gioia says:

    Got one of these a few years ago…my daughter was 4…she was terrified of the stupid elf. Had to get rid of it. Scary idea that this thing is watching you all the time! Was thinking about trying it again, but after reading this, I am SO happy it didn't work out and I WILL NOT buy another one!

    • Amy Leinwand says:

      laughing that after I got into bed last night I thought to myself, "crap, I didn't move the elf." I did not get back up to move it though. lol.

  76. Elaine Steier Figley says:

    Jennifer Lilburn-Alexandre and Trisha Dawn Gizen, I laughed when I read this and thought of both of you and what amazing Moms you are and thought you might enjoy this.

  77. Christine DeCarlo Hampton says:

    I am so happy to be gifting a couple of these shelf elfs to my niece and nephew this year. Years of Christmas 'joy' for my sisters Heather Fawcett and Julie Hiner! Muah ha ha!

  78. Linda Spadoni says:

    That was funny!

  79. David Hunter says:

    I've never heard of this thing…. and I guess my 7 and 11 year olds have not heard of it either as they've not mentioned it to me. Thanks for the heads up though! As if we don't do quite enough for the kids over Christmas, they need to add something else!

  80. Eric Poncho says:

    Named ours Sheldon- Like on TBBT. He has his favorite spot in the house and doesn't like to move. But next year I may stuff him with catnip and let the cat have a go.

  81. Donna Salvaggio Dillon says:

    Kinda like the tooth fairy tradition costs more and more each tooth.

  82. Anyone with this much extra time needs a new hobby. How about spending all this extra time with your kids? make something together, bake for the neighbors, or better yet, just talk. It will make better behaved children than a creepy, time consuming stuffed freak.

  83. Anne Gannon says:

    Hilarious! I am, sitting in a silent study room of a library right now, trying desperately not to laugh out loud. This is especially hard since I am one of those moms who started out with Shelfy (can you tell my 4 year-old named our Elf?) on a shelf and in the kitchen plant, but quickly ended up trying to come up with "creative" ways for him to hang out in the house. As of today, there are 12 more inventive places I must find for our Elf. It's fun, but exhausting. I don't regret our decision to adopt our Elf, but I wish sometimes he'd stayed a simple shelf Elf…

    • Ashra Goosen says:

      LMAO! You're my #5! I've given up completely & the elf went back to the North Pole to help Santa prepare for Christmas

    • Anne Gannon says:

      Love you <3

    • Deb Franz Currie says:

      Love it! I actually got one, and had a board on Pinterest dedicated to inventive ideas. I have yet to take him out of the box, and kinda wish I could return him (got him in the states). At first it seemed like fun, but then I thought it could just cause more confusion, etc. And he is kinda creepy too…

  84. Leona Moore says:

    The Elf is awesome!!! Don't care what anybody says!! I LoVE to search for our elf every morning with my son!! And there are TONS of ideas of where to place your elf every night, in fact, the elf on the shelf FB page has literally tons of pictures from other people where you could get creative ideas!!

  85. Tamára A Keenan says:

    Funny blog. We love our elf though and have a lot of fun with her, Merry Tinsel-Toes. I see how it can become a little overwhelming though. Next year we may have her arrive a little later… Lol

  86. Kristen Randall says:

    hahaha… seriously, this just saved me from getting one!

  87. Well here goes my comment , And as you all know , everyone is entitled to their opinion, Kids that have Elf in there house is usually a small age , I don't think it takes much time to put him somewhere each night , Because small kids are in bed early enough for you to move him ,
    Be honest about this , If your kids act bad a month before Santa comes ,, 99% of parents tell them that Santa is watching and if they don't be good they won't get anything for Christmas ,
    So having a little toy Elf for the kids are not that much trouble at all, I have 3 grand kids that have one called Alfie , and they adore him , My daughter moves it when the kids are in bed , which is no later than 9 o, clock, And how long to it take to move him? I bet 5 mins top,
    So if the little kids enjoy him , Why take it away?
    They are only kids :) And I think it's great , Just saying my piece :)

    • shirl i dont have any small children in the house now but i.. like alot of other parents.. told our small kids that santa was watching so they had better behave now we have alfie…i dont see a problem as such BUT what i find really unbelievable is the lenghts some parents are going to with this makebelieve stuff …its unreal and if they move alfie twice a night its on facebook twice a night….at least when we told our kids about santa watching we only told our kids not all of facebook…lol….i mean if this is something that parents want to do with there kids id say thats entirely up to them but i think it would be more family oriented and could become a family tradition if it didnt seem like the parents were competing to see who could come up with the best alfie story and who found him in the best place……all that said if i had small kids or grandkids and they wanted one then i would probably move heaven and earth to get them one…but it wouldnt be posted all over facebook…lol….just my opinion

    • Stephanie Snow says:

      I have 4 children and I TRULY enjoy moving " Jackie" the Elf and watching my kiddies faces each morning wondering what "Jackie" has gotten into during the night. The smile on their faces is VERY MUCH worth my 5 minutes every night. I agree Shirley Parsons.

    • and i didnt even realize these elves had different names until the above post …thought it was alfie the christmas elf…..lol…..no trouble to know that my youngest is 21yrs old

    • Marg Crane says:

      Victoria and Devon loves their's and she is called Dimond, they look forward every morning to where she is going to be and what she as been up to at night…I love listening to their stories about Dimond on a daily basis..

  88. Jennifer Spragg Howie Hammond says:

    rofl..I am that overacheiving mommy…oops! This is hilarious!

  89. Well once again , I will voice my opinion , I don't think a little stuffed Elf that kids love have any resembles to your so called Chucky. If doing something that would take 5 mins of your time , and make your kids laugh , Are you going to say it's not worth it? I think a kids smile is priceless. And have anyone really heard that Chucky killed anyone , get a grip , that was just a show , and Elf is for the kids not grown ups ,
    My grand kids love there's and there parents haven't complained once about moving him nightly , It's only 10 more days until Christmas then our so called Santa comes too right?
    It's just for the kids , and I bet the kids will welcome him back again next year :)
    And it's one choice if they buy Elf or not…So why down Elf if other kids enjoy him?
    Just Saying!

  90. This is hilarious! And I will heed your warning.

  91. Audrey Mclean says:

    where the hell were you when I was at the crazy Target music department and had to get that thing because of every reason you stated! not one of my so called friends who had it said a frisking thing and now we fight over who has to move it and then yes there are always the one upper moms who have cool fun things they day with them. my answer to this is they are stay at home moms who get pure joy out of their children's happiness! lol thanks for the laugh happy holidays from my family and shaniqua the elf from detroit(we are canadian lol).

  92. Hilarious! I wanted to get one just to take funny pictures of him. My kids are teenagers, so no need to really move him except to make us laugh- but he IS a little creepy!

  93. Lissa Estrella Torres says:

    Omg thanks God someone else feel this way not just me!!!!!!

  94. too funny…ima bad mom I wont get the Elf to begin with…I have enough animals to deal with.

  95. Julie Retsch Szabo says:

    You should check out The Pajama Elves by Hayden Edwards. It is the story of elves at the North Pole who sew magical pajamas that help children sleep on Christmas Eve, so Santa can visit unnoticed. Holiday Elf fun without a lot of work involved!

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