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Friday, December 13, 2013

Elf on the Shelf - a Prelude to Child Therapy

I missed the memo a couple of years ago when it became socially acceptable to seed pediophobia in the minds of young children.  Elf on the Shelf showed up in pallets at the Hastings where I worked, and sold out before we had time to unpack them, parents and grandparents storming the store in a panicked frenzy to get this little guy in time for holiday hijinks.

... I ate his liver, with fava beans and a nice chianti...


Since it was my job to know what the hell I was selling people and this creepy looking little doll had descended on the world as a kind of grandma crack, I did a little Google search when I got home.   This resulted in images like this:
Those aren't passengers, they're hostages.

The sugar addiction isn't the most disturbing thing about these pictures.

The idea is that you adopt a little elf, he watches still and silent during the day with his cold, dead eyes, and reports back to Santa every night.  You know, after he gets into all kinds of mischief and nightmare-inducing hijinks:



Okay, okay, in fairness little Elfie is generally moved around by parents and stuck in silly poses, mostly to create Pinterest-worthy photos that get passed around and spawn a jillion "fail" pictures just like everything else on Pinterest. 

It's not Elf's fault that a sweet, childish tradition got turned into something dirty and downright frightening by bored college students and parents who were scarred by Puppetmaster and Chucky as a child, right?

But let's think about this for a minute.  Disney/Pixar already planted the idea in the minds of many a youngster that dolls are sentient beings and come alive when we're not watching. 

No names.


In this little world, however, there's nothing particularly frightening and the toys are the good guys.

Crap.  Nevermind.

Elf, however, is supposed to be monitoring your child's behavior and reporting back to Santa, all while destroying the house, painting the dog, drawing on the baby, and any other number of juvenile delinquent behavior. 

What the hell are you teaching your kids, exactly?

So one morning in the future, when you wake up to half a shaved head and a RedRum scrawled across your hallway, your child will innocently tell you that it wasn't them, as they point nervously at that little Elf on the Shelf menacingly staring down from the top of their closet with its dead eyes and mocking grin.  Then you'll scold them for fibbing and give them a lecture about the importance of telling the truth, because we all know that lying is only okay if you're grown up and it involves a fat man that teleports through chimneys, a mutant rabbit that poops chocolate and easter eggs, or a creepy little voyeur elf that constantly gets caught in random acts of mischief.

Besides, you'll tell little Junior as he looks up at you with wide, trusting eyes, dolls can't really move around on their own.  Everyone knows that.


Is that a voodoo soul transmigration spell?  How cute!

So dear parents, before you begin your own little family tradition of Elf on the Shelf, I implore you:  just how much do you want to pay in therapy for your child in the future?




Does your family do Elf on the Shelf?  Any fun stories, pictures, or thoughts about Elf on the Shelf?  Share them in the comments!

Are you also confounded by Elf on the Shelf?  Do you  need a safe place and support group to talk you through the trauma of living through Elfie's shenanigans?  Join me on Facebook!
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