The_Elf_on_the_Shelf_bookElves are everywhere apparently. On your bathroom vanity and beside you creepily when you wake up in the morning.

Elf on the shelf is one of the most disturbing new holiday traditions and they are slowly taking over one house at a time. Women are lining up and stores are sold out of these creepy little minions and it is all purposed to manipulate young children to behave.

The phenomenon started with a simple children’s book published in 2005 by Carol Aebersold and her daughter Chanda. A Dr. Suess-style picture book to remind children that Santa is watching and knows all of their dirty little secrets, so they better straighten up.

The book has gained a cult following around the holiday season and the strange little creatures have their own line of clothing. Once the elf is named it inherits a magic ability to fly to and from the North Pole and nark on you every chance it gets.

Personally the elf gives me the creeps, so we obviously don’t have one. I am not sure that it sends a really good message to children either. It basically tells them that it is okay to tattle on everyone and that if you’re really good someone is going to give you whatever you want.

Then again I think the whole message of Christmas these days is completely lost. Commercialism has consumed us and parents feel obligated to live beyond their means to please their devil children and give them their hearts desire, even though the other 364 days they are complete jerks.

Did I mention that children are not allowed to touch the elf or all their magic will disappear! Intelligent children do whatever misdeeds they wish and just smother the elf when no one is looking, that way they have all their bases covered. At least that is what my niece would do, but she’s a clever little bugger.

The women who started the story of the elf are laughing. The crazy little doll won a best toy and two best book awards in 2008. It has even gone on to star in its own film, has been in the Macy’s parade and has released a birthday book. Although it has had some not-so-nice reviews.

Prominent publishers have called it a parental crutch and a new way to obsess over the penal code, along with some other negative statements defending the rights of children. All I know is I feel the same way about that elf as I do about gnomes. No thanks and I’ll burn them to ashes before they come in my house.

Even creepier are the people who come up with all different scenarios for the elf so they can wake up doing something new every day. That is an open invitation to some pretty messed up dreams and imagine how your kids must feel when they find out it is all a lie.

Between Frozen and the elf, I’ve had enough marketing for this year and I think part of us all are just counting the minutes until the holidays are over and we can go back to crying about all the snow.