The Dude with the ‘Tude


If you’re a parent, you’ve heard of the Elf on the Shelf. Or as I like to refer to him–
The Brilliant Yet Creepy Spawn of Marketing Execs Gone Mad.

Until this Christmas, for years I had managed to live in complete denial this thing even existed, effectively putting blinders on every time I saw his clever little escapades plastered all over my friends’ Facebook feeds. Ooh, look! He’s in Barbie’s swimming pool hanging out with the peeps! Oh, wow! Now he’s zipping across the living room curtains wearing cute little candy canes as skis! Adorable!

The Elf’s supposed purpose? To mesmerize and enchant kids far and wide with the endless possibilities of Santa’s magic.

The Elf’s real more sinister goal? To drive every mom and dad up the fracking wall every night until Christmas.
And boy howdy! Does the jolly lil’ buggah succeed at that one!

As the story goes, (I’m not really clear on details as I rolled my eyes the entire time my son read the Elf on a Shelf book to me) the Elf runs off to see Santa every night.  If your child has been ‘good’, the Elf will return.

But here’s the kicker, he only magically comes back during the night (i.e. when moms and dads should be in a deep sleep) and inevitably ends up getting into some kind of amusing shenanigans. Usually involving things like swimming in a bathtub overflowing with flour and glitter or building a huge replica of the Eiffel Tower in the center of your kitchen floor using peanut butter and pretzels, or messing up your almost completed 1,000-piece jigsaw puzzle of brown mice eating chocolate chip cookies in a sandstorm.

Oh, that Elf is a pure delight!

So I’ve decided to jump on this freaky-deaky Elf bandwagon. Because, as we all know, you can’t put a price on a child’s dreams. Or a mom’s nightmares. Just a few of my ideas:
(some may be hallucination-based due to my inability to get a good night’s rest knowing I might wake up to find him very much alive, sitting on my pillow and watching me sleep)

Steve on your sleeve


AH! Dear lord! Get if off! GET IT OFF!

Max in the Flax

Tasty! And keeps hot flashes at bay!
Tasty! And keeps hot flashes at bay!

Phil on the Sill

Sweet dreams!MWA HA HAAA! (constant cackling ensues)
Sweet dreams!
MWA HA HAAA! (nonstop cackling ensues)

John on the John

Just try an' flush me! I double dog dare ya!
Just try an’ flush me! I double dog dare ya!

Todd on the Schrod


…and finally, after Christmas is over and you can kiss that blasted Elf goodbye until next year:

Flynn on the Gin

It's all right. I see them too.
It’s all right. I see them too.

Merry Christmas to all and to all the elves a goodbye!


68 thoughts on “The Dude with the ‘Tude

  1. OneHotMess

    LOL! I have never done The Elf on the Shelf and had really never heard of the dude until my daughter, who lives in Maryland, told me that they are all of the rage down there. She’s a school guidance counselor, so she’s hip to the groove. I have no plans to start the Elf thing with my 8 year old. It’s hard enough to remember to be the tooth fairy! Xoxo

    1. Oh, if you can help it, never let on you know anything about the elf to your 8 year old. My kids had no clue about him until last week when the school’s police officer visited their classrooms and introduced them to the Elf on a Shelf. Then my son started writing notes to Santa for one and well, I gave in. Sigh.

    1. Yeah, don’t kids these days have enough? Now we have to create even MORE magic? Sigh. when I was a kid, we were dang lucky to get a candy cane from Santa in our stockings. One year, I even got an entire orange. I was so blessed.

  2. John on the John is brilliance itself!

    Seriously, that elf thing? Effed up, man. We actually had one of those elves when I was a kid, but as far as we were concerned, it was just a funny-looking tree ornament. It never sat anywhere, never tattled on anyone. It just got a pin stuck through its hat and was hung on the tree. Sometimes I would play it with it, but really, the only thing you could do with him was to decide whether its legs would be curled up in the circle of its arms or hanging free. Done.

    It seems there are advantages to having grown up with immigrant parents who were unaware of certain American traditions 😉

    1. Yes, thank you. It IS very effed up. I am sorry but the more I stare at his face, the more wigged out I become. And to think this guy is prancing around our house all night long, getting into mischief. it’s very Chucky-like.

  3. Yeah, you already well know what MY elf has been getting up to while we’re asleep. 😉

    When I bought the thing last year, I was not aware that I has just purchased more work around the holidays for the hubs and I. And by that, I pretty much mean that I make the hubs do it most the time, cuz he’s up much later than me, and I usually forget when I go to bed. Yeah, he’s a big fan of the elf. Oops. Sorry, hon.

    1. Oh, how could I ever forget those images of your elf? They are forever burned into my retinas and come to me in my nightmares.

      And it is more work! Like I need MORE stuff to do this time of year. Another thing on my list of things to remember to do. EVERY. FRICKIN. NIGHT. Merry Christmas and ho ho ho! Bah humbug and where’s the Tylenol?!

  4. Sounds like a runner-up for a Stephen King novel. My motto is ‘if he can’t get up off his lazy butt by himself, then he deserves to stay right where he is.’ (Actually, Darla, that’s not my motto. Feel free to abuse it – the motto, that is, not the much-maligned and unloved Elf on the Shelf.) 🙂

    1. Funny you should mention Steve King, because the more I see this Elf in my house, lurking in the shadows at night, the more I think this would be the perfect horror story.
      And I love that motto, I use that all the time in my own life, works great.

  5. Hilarious post! I live in a cave because I had never heard of this dude until this year, in Facebook posts. Thank gawd, because I nearly survived all the Christmas preparations I already had on my plate when my kids were little. My mother-in-law tried to make me carry on a “Santa Bogus” tradition from her family (she grew up in the boonies, that’s all I’m saying) – my husband and I had to make the kids leave their shoes by the door on New Year’s Eve, and Santa Bogus magically fill them with spare change in the middle of the night. How many kids do you know who are happy with spare change? Exactly. Plus, I just Googled “Santa Bogus.” My mother-in-law is having the last laugh.

    1. I’ve known about this Elf thing for years and very wisely steered clear of the hoopla. Until this year when my son found out about it at his school.

      Hmm…I’ve never heard of this Santa Bogus thing. Spare change in a smelly shoe? what’s not to love there?
      Merry Christmas to you and yours!

    1. The problem I had was, initially, I made sure the Elf was doing hilarious things that involved detailed planning. Like the first night I had him sitting in Barbie’s castle with the other Barbies all around a big table, eating gumdrops from tiny plates. He was wearing some of Ken’s clothes. I even decorated the Barbie house with little xmas lights. Yeah, it’s hard to live up to that first night. The second night? I stuck him on the Christmas tree and was done.

  6. Impybat

    Flynn on the gin is the greatest. My mom has a few of those elves, but they are decades old and we never did any shelf shenanigans with them…they were just decorations back in the day.

  7. I gotta go with Flynn on the Gin, too. But be careful – what would we get with a Djinn on the Gin? (Personally, this REEKS of a Homeland Security spy-camera gig to me, but I have been seeing a lot of black helicopters recently…. 😉 )

    1. Ah, yes, the Flynn dudes I can handle. It’s just I keep rubbing my eyes hoping they’ll all disappear and still there they are, taunting me. I need more sleep, John. Definitely more gin. Merry Christmas to you (and happy birthday again, hope it was a good one!)

      1. It was truly incredible, my lady. A wondrous Christmas miracle! (Well, okay, maybe I’m overselling a LITTLE bit. 😉 ) But it really was great. Thanks for stopping by, and a very Merry Christmas to you and yours!

  8. It makes no sense to me that the elf gets into trouble whilst allegedly making sure the kids do not. No sense at all. Like a parent doesn’t have enough to think of this time of year – now they’re supposed to find a new spot for the elf to perch in and get him into some clever mishap? Eesh.

    1. At first I really liked the idea of adding more layers of bribing my kids to be good, but now, I find it’s not worth the trouble. I just want to settle for a stern “Santa’s watching you!” and be done with it.

  9. Oh thank God, you saw them too!
    It was about two weeks ago I first heard of the elf deal. Creepy little suckers. Thanks for the education. I get it now. However, I think I may have nightmares tonight. 😉

  10. I am so grateful my sons are adults. I do think I could abuse them by enforcing nasty and terrible elf rules on them with my grandchild, current and future…….oh the evil, lovely revenge of the grandmother. 😉

  11. Snoring Dog Studio

    Finally. An explanation for this thing that suddenly began appearing everywhere. We had those things when we were children – each one of us had one. All but one of them remains – I bet it killed the others.

  12. Another marketing mystery, along with Pet Rocks, Cabbage Patch Dolls and Tickle-Me Elmo. It’s why I’ll never be rich — I still think people are too smart to fall for these things.

  13. Not to be all negative and everything, but I hate the Elf of the Shelf. He’s a creepy perv in my book. We were given one a few years ago when the kids were young, I lost him post-xmas, had to buy another one for the next year, misplaced him too, so now we have two pervy elves hiding somewhere in my house, and two is a lot more than enough for me. Fred (that’s the perv’s name) didn’t come this year, and after looking for about an hour on the day after Thanksgiving, everyone gave up, thankfully (or hopefully) forever. =)

  14. John on the John! How do you do it, DarDar? Really? If only you were a marketing exec.

    This is the first year we caved and brought that little gremlin into our home. What were we thinking?

    1. When you’re my age, the thinking just doesn’t happen much anymore. Whenever my kids beg for something, I normally just draw a blank and mumble, “Sure! Let’s get it! What could possibly go wrong?”

  15. Oh my garsh, Darla! That was too funny. Miss you, miss you, miss you. I’ve been away too long. John on the john? Ha!! Flynn on the gin. Oh girl. You are awesome.

    PS — We never did do the Elf bit. I like to harangue my kids without prop (their little imaginations are so fragile and gullible). Though that Phil is awfully tempting…

      1. Oh yes. I’m back. I may even be one of your first commenters if you ever post something, say, 4:30a. ‘Cause that’s the new “me” time! Otherwise, I’d NEVER get to blog read. Isn’t THAT whacked?

    1. Sadly, there isn’t a drop of alcohol left in my house as of today. I made sure to ‘dispose’ of Flynn properly yesterday by throwing him into a box with the xmas lights. Hopefully I’ll never find him again.

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