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Image by Pam Patterson from Pixabay

The Unnecessary Stress of Elf on the Shelf

Is all this work really necessary?

I was wandering through a Barnes & Noble about five years ago when I stumbled upon a giant display of something called “Elf on the Shelf.” Despite the box referring to it as “A Christmas Tradition,” I’d never heard of it. Who is this red-clothed elf? And what does he want with my shelf?

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From “The Elf on the Shelf: A Christmas Tradition” by Carol V. Aebersold & Chanda A. Bell (Photo by Sandra Ebejer.)

That Fateful Day

So, there I was, in the store, eyeing the stack of Elf on the Shelf dolls when it hit me just how insane this item is.

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Bob and his poses through the years. (Photos by Sandra Ebejer)
  • On the upside, my husband and I have become creative storytellers in our attempts to answer our son’s many questions about why we can’t touch Bob, what happens if the cats touch Bob, whether Bob has a family, where Bob lives when he’s not with us, and so on and so forth. We now have five years of backstory on Bob, which I plan to turn into a scandalous tell-all once my son is old enough to no longer believe that Bob moves himself from place to place.
  • Because we lived in Los Angeles and spent Christmas on the east coast for the first four years of my son’s life, Bob has followed us on many out-of-town trips, requiring careful unpacking of suitcases so as to not let my son see Bob lying dormant in one of our bags. So far, our Elf has been to Los Angeles, Boston, Albany, New York City, and Melbourne, Florida — more cities than some people visit in a lifetime.

This Elf Thing is Getting Out of Control

When I was a kid, the Santa story had only one main character: the big man himself.

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Photo by Tim Mossholder on Unsplash

Why Do We Do This to Ourselves?

The holidays are a stressful time. We spend money we don’t have on things we don’t need to impress people we don’t really care about as we eat food that increases our waistline. We listen to music telling us “it’s the most wonderful time of the year” while watching news reports of fist fights breaking out over Black Friday sales.

Writer, reader, mommy. Just trying to figure out this thing called life. Pub. in Boston Globe, Washington Post, Greatist / sandraebejer.com / Twitter: @sebejer

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