A Post-Holiday Open Letter to the Inventors of Elf on the Shelf

A Post-Holiday Open Letter to the Inventors of Elf on the Shelf

- in Ages & Stages, Parenting

Dear Carol Aebersold and Chanda Bell,

I’d like to first start off by thanking you for inventing Elf on the Shelf. It’s a wonderful idea and has helped me tremendously. We first introduced our elf, Andy, last Christmas when my son was 20 months old and my daughter was just 3 months old. While she was too young to realize Andy existed, my son was eager to find him each morning. He did not grasp the concept of Christmas or that the Elf was watching him but we sure did have fun hiding him!

Fast forward to this year. My son, now 2.5, totally got it. He loved Andy and my daughter liked finding him each morning, too. He understood the concept and that little Elf had a solid hold on my household for five weeks! My son was so influenced by the presence of Andy that I once watched him stop his arm midair with a metal train in clutch, look around the room to see if Andy was there and abort his mission to slam the train into my daughter’s head. It. Was. Amazing.

Not only did Andy help to stop my energetic little toddler from inflicting bodily harm on his now 15-month-old sister, but Andy encouraged good deeds, as well. Take, for instance, the time that my daughter spilled her Cheerios all over the carpet for the 900th time. I watched my son glance at Andy, walk across the room and help her pick up the Cheerios. When he was done, he peeked at the Elf out of the corner of his eye and asked me, “Did Andy see that?” BRILLIANT. A slow clap went out to you two ladies that day.

I’m sure you’re feeling very good about yourselves right about now. What a tremendous story of discipline gone right! Well, my friends… NOW WHAT?! The Elf is gone. He went away (like you said he would in the book) on Christmas Eve and we are left with a house with no little plush toy watching over my toddler’s behavior. I’m lost! I don’t know what to do. My daughter even asks, “Where’s Andy?” ever single day since Christmas and I have to explain that there’s no more Andy until next Christmas. Her giant eyes are disappointed every single morning when I tell her this. So I ask you where is the sequel? Where is the plush Cupid that will magically bring chocolate candies on Valentine’s Day? Where is the plush bunny that promises colored eggs?! Where is…. ANYTHING TO HELP ME TAME MY LITTLE LION?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?! I feel deserted and betrayed. You can’t just waltz into our lives and spread good behavior all over our home and then leave for the next 11 months. It’s unfair if you ask me.

Please sit down and consider what I’m saying. I know a lot of parents fell into the rabbit hole of Pinterest Elf on the Shelf ideas and they couldn’t wait to get rid of the little red sprite, but not me. When I needed him the most he was there for me. And now he’s gone. I’m sad. Someone suggested I knit him a vest with hearts all over it. Great idea if you’re Martha Stewart but I am a typical Mom who doesn’t sew and can’t seem to control her 2-year-old so if you could just make this for me then I could give you another $29.99 and we’d all be happy.

Missing my Elf

About the author

Hi! I'm Reneé Sanden and I am Cora And Leo's Mom (C.A.L.M in CLE). I stay at home with my toddler and baby but I rarely ever "stay home" as we are always visiting some kid-friendly event or location in the area. I married an incredible man (Adam) and we share a pretty amazing life together. When my kids are sleeping I like to drink good Cabernet, play three card poker at the casino and stare at my kids on the video monitor app on my phone. My life has changed in major ways since having kids that are 17 months apart but I couldn't possibly be any happier. I know as Moms we are supposed to say that, but I mean it. I don’t miss my old life. Except for maybe the vodka. And the sleep. Other than that, I’m good.

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