Is the Elf on the Shelf really your friend?
I’m Just Sayin’
by SHEILA SMITH
A few years ago, I wrote an open letter to Santa in this newspaper that listed my many grievances against him.
Most people enjoyed it. There was, however, one unhappy person who informed me I was trying to destroy the imagination and innocence of any child who happened to read my column.
I was stunned by her words. I honestly had no clue that my column, on the Opinions page of a newspaper, was read weekly by children young enough to believe in Santa yet old enough to read through the drug arrests on page one before coming upon my space.
So, out of respect for all the children nine and younger who are reading this column at the dinner table, I will not speak negatively of Santa Claus (AKA Kris Kringle, AKA St. Nick in the Interpol database). No, instead I’m going after his right hand man, his henchman, better known as the Elf on the Shelf.
Now, for those of you not familiar with Santa’s watchdog, let me break it down for you: Parents read a book near Christmas that summons the Elf’s presence. The book is a family-friendly version of the Ouija board, apparently. Anyway, the family reads the book together then goes to bed. The next morning when the family wakes up, the Elf assigned to the family by the North Pole gods has manifested somewhere in the house.
As legend goes, the Elf is sent by Santa to make sure the boys and girls in the house are behaving. Each night when the children go to sleep, the Elf flies to the North Pole, files a report regarding the children’s behavior then returns to his assigned location before the family wakes.
The Elf is not unlike the National Security Administration (NSA) – you know its watching you and compiling a hard drive filled with your personal information, but its still fascinating to watch and wonder, “Just what will you know about me next?” Essentially, the Elf is a double agent, working for Santa and probably the NSA, too.
Things always start out calmly with the Elf, too. The first day you find it sitting sweetly next to a plate of fresh-baked cookies and a note that states, “I am so happy to be here this year! Thanks for having me, friend!”
The situation escalates from there: You wake up and find it fishing in your aquarium and two of the beta fish are already missing; you find all your interior Christmas lights have been strategically placed near wet spots on the floor; the dog’s hair is mysteriously now pink, and the Elf is just sitting quietly in the Christmas tree, clutching a bottle of pink food coloring with that crazed, detached look in its beady little eyes.
Eventually, the dog goes missing, and there is no one left to protect the family.
I personally believe the Elf operates like a vampire. Vampires, though harmful, cannot come into your home if they are not invited. Thus, if the Elf is like a vampire, area families are spending every day and night with the undead.
I’m not accusing anyone of inviting the undead into their homes. I’m just sayin’.
So, if you weren’t familiar with the Elf on the Shelf, now you know what it is. If you already have an Elf visiting your home this year, maybe you should let people outside the home know the Elf is staying there – you know, the sheriff’s department, FBI, someone who will need to know where to start should an investigation become necessary.
Happy holidays, everyone!
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