Exile the Elf in 8 Simple Steps

 

elf

When it comes to The Elf on the Shelf, we parents are divided into four separate camps. There are those of us who adore the ‘lil fella, those who despise him and his creepy face, those who are sort of “whatever” about it all, and those who live peacefully, in a bubble, oblivious to the elf-world.

For a long while I was contently a member of the latter camp. Then we moved from the UK to Canada and my peaceful bubble was popped. The elf was everywhere, the kids loved it, and before I could put my UGG-clad foot down, we’d added a new little buddy to our holiday traditions: Summer the Elf.

And so began the nightly moves from one not-so-crazy spot to the next while a barrage of Facebook updates, showing the wild antics of other people’s elves, highlighted the dullness of our elf’s life.

Other people’s elves were pooping rainbow coloured chocolate while our elf lounged next to the toaster. Other people’s elves made snow angels in fluffy piles of flour and had a jolly-old-time messing up the kitchen while our elf sat alone in a window sill (wishing she lived in a home where fun happened). Other people’s elves “came in like a wrecking ball” while ours hung upside-down from a dusty chandelier for three nights in a row.

We didn’t hate the elf. She didn’t hate us. But, I admit, enthusiasm was low on the parental front.

Yet, as uninspired as we were, the kids liked the elf and seemed happy to find her in her ever-so-basic locations each morning. So, my husband and I settled into a sort of “whatever” approach to life with our elf.

Boxing Day marked the end of our first elf-filled holiday and Summer went back into her box. We’d had a semi-successful first round of elf-antics together but I wasn’t sad to see her go. Nobody was.

The next year, it was time to get the half-assed elf party started, so I took Summer out of her box and began to set up a simple scene to greet the kids with in the morning. The series of events that followed wound up being an unintentional 8-step program ending with the exile of the elf from our home. That’s right, the kids wanted her to leave and to never come back.

Although unplanned, I knew that we’d stumbled upon a practical (and only mildly traumatic) set of steps that other parents (especially the elf haters) could easily replicate if they wanted to have an elf-free Christmas season.

So, here they are! If you want to end the elf-capades, this 8-Step (2 part) process should do the trick:

PART ONE (at night):

  1. Sit elf on small doll’s chair.
  2. Place sitting elf alone in dimly-lit hallway, outside kids’ rooms.
  3. Ensure something wakes kids up in the night. (We lucked out with some random night-walking but you may have to get creative and steal blankets or something.)
  4. When child walks out of room to discover a small, creepy thing in her doll’s chair, be there to hold child as she screams in horror.
  5. Upon child’s request, hide elf so elf isn’t “wooking” at child.

PART TWO (the next morning):

  1. Just as the prior night’s trauma is forgotten, husband must chase kids, elf in hand, while making haunting ghost sounds. (Tip: Craning elf’s neck from side to side greatly enhances creepiness.)
  2. Capitalize on terrifying and ridiculous situation by asking kids if they’d like elf to go live with another family.
  3. Kids say YES.

BAM! Just. Like. That. You get to go back to an elf-free holiday season, like it used to be. You’re welcome.

 

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Sh*t, We’ve Killed the Tooth Fairy

Never trust a caffeine-free mom with envy-inducing frontal-fro

Never trust an uncaffeinated mom with enviable frontal-fro

We’re sitting at the kitchen table. The kids are eating cereal and I’m sipping coffee. My littlest daughter is sticking her tongue into the gap where her two front teeth used to be.  She went from sporting a double Nanny Mc Fee to a toothless wonder in a matter of hours, and was so excited to wake up to two dollars and a tiny, little note from the fairy.

Keep smiling. Xoxo, said the note.

Nailed that one, I think (giving myself a mental pat on the back). Simple yet effective tooth-fairying. BAM! That’s how it’s done. I think it’s safe to assume I’ve redeemed myself the fairy since the almost-fairy-casualty, a few months ago.

“Remember when you squashed the tooth fairy?” my little one asks her older sister. (Ok, so I assumed too quickly.)

“Oh ya!” says my middle girl, with a half-assed smile.

I too recall the tooth fairy squashing. That morning (that fateful morning) I’d woken-up to a sad little face, a few whimpers, and these words: “She didn’t come, Mom. She didn’t come…”  My heart sank (shit!) as my eyes bolted open. (Turns out guilt works even better than coffee!) Continue reading