Dear perfect Elf on the Shelf people, an open letter.

Dear perfect Elf on the Shelf people,

stop it.

Seriously, quit it.

You’re making the rest of us parents look horrible.

It’s only December 11th and do you know what our Elf did last night? I’ll show you:


That’s right. He’s in a freezer. Why? Because when our Elf on the Shelf iPhone “hide the elf” alarm went off, we were out of ideas. Let’s pause for a second. That’s right, we had to set a freaking alarm to remind ourselves to hide this thing. We are the worst parents.

So @JennyAcuff and I decided, “Let’s put him in the freezer. That’s a thing. We’ll make him hold a popsicle. That’s whimsical or something. Whatever.”

I think he’s sitting on a loaf of bread or maybe some ham. I don’t care. The day before that he hid in a jar. Why? Because jars are easy for me to open. Don’t judge me. You don’t know my life.

Then I get online and see photos of your elf. You’ve built a trapeze with the elf hanging from the roof of your house with some sort of homemade jet pack. The day after that he’s driven your car into the front yard and left some clever message spelled out with Skittles. You’re making the rest of us parents, who hide the elf in the Christmas tree 9 times in December, look bad. Plus, you’re not showing all of your elf days online, just the greatest hits. (That’s the photographic equivalent of putting the song “Christmas Shoes” on repeat.)

And don’t tell me you got that photo in one take. You didn’t. You took at least 10 photos of that scene, I guarantee it. You tried 5 filters before you found the perfect one. Do you understand that? We’ve become Elf on the Shelf paparazzi. You also never show the after photo. The one where there are ants all over your counter because you left a trail of powdered sugar footprints when the Elf had a powdered sugar snowball fight with a teddy bear.

I think next year Jenny and I are going to have to move houses because we’ve run out of ideas. This is our 6th year. If this is your first, I totally give you a free pass. Have at it. But if you and your spouse are holding brainstorming meetings in November for elf planning, we’ve got a problem.

It’s exhausting.

Please stop,


p.s. If this is you, please sign this petition by forwarding this or sharing it on Facebook or tweeting it or doing anything you can to get it into the hands of perfect Elf on the Shelf people. They must be told.

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  1. Jessica says

    Oh I am so relieved to find out that my husband and I are not the only ones that feel this way! Our elf stayed in a glass pitcher in our curio cabinet for 5 days before the kids started asking why he hadn’t moved. We are guilty of putting him in the refrigerator and explaining that he wanted some cookie dough. There is just too much other activities to pay attention to (in my opinion, that are more important) to spend too much time on the elf.

  2. BKA says

    Please don’t stop this. Ask a grandma, they know a lot of places to hide he or she. lol

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  7. Glenn says

    What happen with the naughty and nice list? This Elf stuff has taken it to another level
    of bullying our kids into being nice. Doesn’t work does it. We sin everyday and the kids do too. I don’t think any parent has followed through with not giving their children gifts at Christmas.

  8. Somer says

    I just read your elf on a shelf and have to say I am sooooo flipping grateful we didn’t have these when my kids where young. I like the freezer, it’s winter time, trust me the elf is missing the north pole, HE WANTS TO BE IN THE FREEZER!!. I think he needs to sleep in the dog toy basket one night. Trust me one night in the dog toy basket and he will never been seen again……..

  9. barbara says

    Praise the Lord! no Elfs in the Shelfs in Switzerland! How relaxing is this?!
    Just tell the kids next year, you do celebrate like in Switzerland, I will tell you what to do (you bake some stuff: Cookies. And the 6th a Grittibänz.) But it is not to compare with that stress with the Elf. Really

  10. Jojo says

    The way my husband and I see it is that this time of our children’s lives will pass so quickly. I think back on how much work it was to always coordinate having a diaper bag or baby carrier. However, now that my kids are 5 &7 I realize that precious time is gone. You control how simple or complicated the elf on the shelf is. It is for the enjoyment of you and your kiddos. Don’t worry about the people posting their overachiever elf. You be the best parent you can be. The children don’t have this high elf standard, they just love you and the magic of Christmas. Don’t sweat the small stuff! Enjoy your children!

  11. Katharine Kendrick says

    Dear Underachieving Mediocre Parents – stop – just stop complaining because you are not creative and have no sense of humor. Your children are going to be just as boring and whiney as you :( I am so sick of being persecuted as a parent who enjoys being creative. I enjoy sharing photos of my kids (& elf), and seeing photos shared by my friends. It is sad that miserable little trolls like yourself sit behind your keyboard, steaming mad over what other parents do. Especially if you are judging your so-called friends/family. Move on – get a life, if pictures of the Elf get you this upset, perhaps you need to put the laptop away and go play with your kids. Or get therapy.

  12. Katie says

    My grandson found his elf in the cornbread pan this morning. He told his grandpa, “Max is in the cornbread and he’s got a KNIFE!”

  13. Jama says

    I thank the Gods daily that my kids are too old for this Elf on the Shelf bs!!

    My sincerest respect to the parents trying to keep up with this kind of stuff in an already hectic season. Bless you. I couldn’t do it!

  14. says

    Hilarious! I don’t get the allure of this either. I want my kids to behave to honor God and their parents. Anything else just seems like you’re adding confusion.