Elf on the Shelf: Pro or Con?

Slice Of Life

It is that time of year again where we will all be subjected to the crazy elf pictures when many of our social media friends try to outdo one another with their elaborate poses and shenanigans. Those of you with children that have been experiencing this for a few years, how do you keep it original?

For those of you like me who either have older children or no children at all, the Elf on the Shelf is a book that was published in 2005 by the genius mother-daughter team of Carol Aebersold and Chanda Bell. The duo took out a 401k loan to launch this million dollar industry. Genius, as this year children are now asking for pets for their elves, which you can get on Amazon. Also, when you search “Elf on the Shelf” on the Amazon home page, you get dozens of pages of items.

The book was self-published and at first was not a hit. What prompted part of the madness was actress Jennifer Garner being photographed with the book and then The Today Show featuring it on a segment. The books, which retail for $31.95 and come with the toy elf, have since made millions. This year, I even found out there is a YouTube channel which has over 79,000 followers, with over 3,000 views daily during the holiday season. There has also been a CBS Special that has aired twice and has had over ten million viewers. However, the elf must be dwindling in popularity because I could not find an airing in the next 14 days! Oh no.

I will be honest, probably due to social media, I started to truly hate this elf. I could not believe the elaborate pictures and things people did with this elf! As a mom, I was often overwhelmed with housework, my own job and the children’s schoolwork. I could clearly imagine lying in bed about to relax and remembering I did not move the elf. Or, being lazy and texting my husband to please move the elf. 

So, the comments from past years were as funny as previous years. Some people tell me they do their best, just move it around. It seems my friends with smaller children are not as creative as others I have seen on social media. My favorite this year was a mom who wrote a note that their elf was naughty this year and the note said, “I’m back b*tches, be good…” It was a handwritten note! Not an elaborately printed notecard. Kudos to that mom. That would have probably been me.

Another great comment was, “People use the elf for social media glory, and less for their children’s experience.” That was a good one. So, it seems the good outweighs the bad. Keep the elf and keep sharing the stories with me. I enjoyed hearing them. Just do not annoy me with the elaborate pictures. LOL.

Have a great week everyone.

 By Beth Hanning

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