Elf-on-the-Shelf Buyer’s Remorse

Many years ago, when the Elf-on-the-Shelf came out on the, uh, um…shelves; it was such a fabulous idea that if Pinterest had been born, she would have peed down her leg in sheer elation!

It’s so cute! What a novelty! Playing daily pranks on your kids? Fun!

Plus, you can get your kids to behave better in December, by threatening the ridonkulous name you created for your Elf? I’ll buy two!!

After 8 years of having these creativity stripping ledge gnomes in your lives, are you regretting your purchase? Or are you feeling remorse for buying an Elf for your grand kids?

Granted some of you may have been using the Elf-on-the Shelf for a much shorter period than 8 years; but for those hard core EOTS owners – who were given these bundles of red capped crap from the beginning – how are you doing?

Is your Irritable Bowel Syndrome starting back up or your Acid Reflux worsening just picturing the countdown to 25 days of brain numbing strategic planning?

The problem is, this Elf business is not going away anytime soon. After all, the creators are coming up with new dolls and PR ideas. Every blogger (with the exception of me, until now) has followed in the footsteps of Jen with People I Want to Punch in the Throat who started the global e-ball rolling with her piece several years ago about how she feels about the “overachieving elf on the shelf mommies.”

Folks there is not an end to this fortune anytime soon as far as I can see. Nor will the elf bashing and venting decrease.

So fess up, have you ever thrown your Elf behind the basement shelving units at the end of one season, and then the next year have to reach down through cobwebs and mouse droppings to retrieve your children’s must-have friend. Heaven forbid they forget about the bastard. It’s only been 365 days!

Kids can’t remember to brush their teeth, take their finger out of their nose during school music programs or wear underwear most days – but you better believe when December 1st comes round, they’ll hop out of bed first thing looking for Santa’s happy snitch.

Now I have to clear things up to maintain my family peace, and so that I don’t get coal in a Pottery Barn box this year. My wonderfully thoughtful mother-in-law gave our family our elf. *Don’t gasp!* She is very sweet and creative and knows what is new and trendy. I love this about her. This was in 2005 right after the EOTS was introduced to the market. My hubby and I thought we were clever and named ours, “Alf.” The elf. We had never heard of this novelty and truly thought it was the cutest thing ever. Seriously.

Until…*start the menacing carnival music* the children got a bit older and started to notice our elf wasn’t moving to a different location every night. They hadn’t paid attention to detail ever, and now they’re picking up on their lazy elf and have the audacity to complain about it?

The real dilemma with forgetting my nightly duty was I had to come up with another blatant lie, first thing in the morning BEFORE my coffee, and that is just not right! Mama doesn’t like looking like a fool first thing in the morning.

Wait until after 5 o’clock and a cocktail. Am I right, folks!?

Brief synopsis of how this elf biz is supposed to work: If the children in your house are well-behaved and they haven’t touched the elf, then your Botox smiling Santa’s helper flies to the North Pole each night to report to the big boss himself.

Elf on a HatThen you while the children are asleep, you move your favorite anorexic, no-footed guy to a different location.

“Why dost thou performest thy task?” you ask since December is the season to convert to Dickinsonianism.

Because when your little elfer returns from Santa Snitchville every night, he’s not going to return to the exact same spot.

As you can imagine, for several years this tired, old mom forgot to move the elf to a different location once or twice. OK, maybe a handful of times. FINE, almost every other night, but I’m so tired!

Last year the light bulb flickered above my noggin and I figured it all out. I read on Pinterest or some other annoyingly helpful site to set my phone alarm to go off every night at 9:30pm. This was brilliant! The kids would be asleep and I would automatically be reminded to move the blasted elf for the 127th time.

The alarm method worked beautifully. I never missed a night. Damn that Pinterest! I couldn’t give her up now.

A few weeks before Christmas, my hubby and I hired a babysitter. I stripped off the mommy yoga pants uniform and squeezed on a sparkly dress to watch our favorite jazz singer perform with the local Jazz Orchestra.

Hubby had really gone all out and got us 3rd row seats right in the center. We were so close, we could practically see the spit flying out of the brass instruments. At the beginning of the show the voice from above asked us to turn off our phones which I promptly did for fear of being chastised by one of my musical idols. It was to be a perfect night.

Romance was soaring high with it being the first time we had been in the spectacular, new downtown music hall. The women around us were wearing ginormous diamonds and furs and had body parts tucked and altered for more money than I could possibly imagine. We were living large and loving every minute of it.

The voice of an angel was accompanied by a top notch group of musicians – tender notes swirled through the audience warming the crowd.

However, toward the end of the show – right after she finished a beautiful ballad – a horrid, shrill noise came from off stage.

What was that?

Then one of the swollen, shiny women shot me a glare that cut through me like one of her diamonds.

It’s 9:30…my effing Elf alarm!!

My hubby swears I didn’t yell this aloud, but he may have been trying to protect me.

Apparently, with my newly purchased phone you could turn off the ringer, but that didn’t automatically mute any preset alarms. Come on! That should have been in bold, large font on the manual’s cover.

Later when we got home, guess who forgot to move Alf? No alarm…no moving my nemesis.

It is only six days until Alf will make his initial presence of 2013. Hold me!

I should probably start scavenging for him now because this tired, old mom isn’t quite certain where I hid Satan’s-shelf-supporter last year.

But the sad truth is, with my daughters getting older, this might be our last year of Elf-on-the-Shelf.

Oh, it’s been a good, long run, Alf.

But somebody better slap me upside the head if I cry as I put him away for the last time. I am so over you!

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