Alice Column

It's Time for Full-On Elf on the Shelf Parenting

I found it in the children's book section of Barnes & Noble. It was colorful. It had birthday balloons all over it. It was sent to my eyeballs from the devil himself. And now, I share this awful news with you: There is an Elf on the Shelf for birthdays.

Unfamiliar with the concept of Elf on the Shelf? Allow me to explain. The Elf on the Shelf takes the concept of Santa and makes it into a month-long threat. On December 1, you put this elf toy somewhere in your home, maybe your mantel. You tell your kid he's a messenger of Santa's. Basically, he's the Jesus to God Santa. When your kid's being a shit, instead of parenting the kid, you point to the shelf elf and say, "The elf is watching you. He's going to go tell Santa how you're acting -- you'd better be good."

And just as I was getting comfortable with this Jesus Elf, they have now created Birthday Elf. Elf on the Shelf comes to your home on your b'day, and celebrates with you. So, now parents can use the same threats around the kid's birthday that they use at Christmas. "You'd better stop being a turd basket, or Kerfluffle The Elf might not show up at your party."

See also: It's Not That Hard: Just Put the Dang Elf on a Dang Shelf, People

The book says elves are too tiny to carry gifts (which is total bullshit; everyone knows the elves pack Santa's sleigh and drop off all the gifts), so instead they decorate a chair for you with balloons and shit. Balloons and shit being so much easier to travel carry-on than a gift card, right?

I say don't stop here. Go full-on Elf Parenting. If this elf gets to decide what gifts your kid gets at Christmas, and is the star guest at the birthday party, but is basically an absent parent most of the rest of the year, I say you make him pull his weight during some of the harder moments in your parenting life, too -- it ain't all rainbows and sunshine, Shelf Elf.

I want the next book in the series to be Elf On The Shelf: First Pube. Or, Elf on the Shelf: You're Bleeding From Your Lady Parts. It's Not Awful, It Means You Get Boobs Soon! Maybe, Elf on the Shelf: Get A Job You Lazy Sack of High Schooler Shit. Or perhaps, Elf on the Shelf: Oh Crapcracker, You're Pregnant.

If this elf doesn't start pulling his parenting weight, kick him to the dang curb.

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Alice Laussade writes about food, kids, music, and anything else she finds to be completely ridiculous. She created and hosts the Dallas event, Meat Fight, which is a barbecue competition and fundraiser that benefits the National MS Society. Last year, the event raised $100,000 for people living with MS, and 750 people could be seen shoving sausage links into their faces. And one time, she won a James Beard Award for Humor in Writing. That was pretty cool.
Contact: Alice Laussade

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