Thursday, December 15, 2011

Santa's Enforcer: The Elf on the Shelf

Now available, from Extortion Industries… Elf on the Shelf!

This is the hot new Christmas “tradition” annoying parents all over America -- a useless, overpriced and obnoxious product you have to buy for your child or suffer the consequences, because all of their friends will have one.  And if all of your child’s friends DO have one, you will look like a big fat Grinch for depriving your child of the privilege of having a dedicated stalker-on-premises, reporting their every move back to the big boss at the North Pole.

What kind of cretin merchandises such an awful product? A CRETINOUS MILLIONAIRE, apparently -- in my town, this ridiculous product has spread like wildfire.  In case you haven’t experienced this merry shakedown yet, let me explain.

According to their website, “A Christmas Tradition is the very special tool that helps Santa know who to put on the Naughty and Nice list.” Uh. Huh. “Special tool” is right.  This is a snarky looking little gremlin that comes with a story book explaining that the elf is Santa’s informant, spying on you all day and flying off to narc on you to the toy shop overlord at night.  When Santa’s minion  returns to break into your house every morning, he is always in a different place.  The book describes this as “magical”.  Is it just me or does that not sound kinda, I dunno, CREEPY?  As in, the plot of every horror movie involving some kind of homicidal doll?  As in, you turn around and the Chucky doll or carnivorous ventriloquist dummy is leering at you from a new location in your house…cue the dramatic music.

His behavior definitely reminds me of somethinggggg...

1988 Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Studios Inc.

A homicidal “Chucky” doll, obvious similarities

Remember this one? From the old "Twilight Zone" TV show?
"I'm Talky Tina and I'm going to KILL YOU!"
Totally looks like Elf on the Shelf's

Talky Tina (the Living Doll) from 
The Twilight Zone, CBS, 1959-64

Creepy, yes?  We already own a Furby, which is plenty spooky, can’t I just have him stand guard on my daughter’s room and terrify her into behaving?  Anyway, if we are talking about using guilt, manipulation and intimidation to bamboozle my children into behaving, let me do that all by myself, it’s only natural.  

“You vill behave if you vant zee presents!”

As a side note, if you Google "Chucky", you may happen upon this disturbing image on “”. Oh, and by "disturbing", I mean "hilarious":

But wait, there’s more!  Here’s the best part: they cost $30 each, but the kids think all they have to do is “make three wishes” and they get one.  They don’t even know it’s a product for sale in stores at a ludicrous price.  It’s not like you can say, “Money’s tight, little Timmy, let’s buy your medicine instead…”, because according to the legend (myth? deception? giant load of malarky? ), it only “costs” THREE WISHES! And let’s say you DO let them wish for this thing (which you have to know ahead of time so you can run around trying to find one before the wishes are made)… what happens when your little angel sees this pricey mutant freak on the shelf at Target?  

Between Santa and the Tooth Fairy, I feel like I tell my child enough bald-faced lies throughout the year. Speaking of the Tooth Fairy, this monster is like the Tooth Fairy EVERY NIGHT FOR A MONTH. If you don’t move the little troll around EVERY NIGHT, your children will think the elf and Santa FORGOT ABOUT THEM. Good thing you have nothing better to do, parents.

Isn't Christmas supposed to be about CHRIST? And isn't religious GUILT enough of a motivator for kids to behave? I mean, anybody ever heard of a little ole place called THE FIERY PITS OF HELL?? Hello? You don't need an overpriced elf for this. If your child is misbehaving, you can just show them a picture of Christ up on the cross and say, "Jesus is crying 'cause you're not really trying.”

Since the creator of this product is probably swimming in a pool of crisp thousand-dollar bills every night, he might want to think about how to continue to keep the cash rolling in once every willing victim household already has one of these holly jolly hobgoblins.  In the spirit of the chia pet, in which the creators “spun off” several different versions of the same lame piece of crap, the inventor of the Elf on the Shelf may want to consider several other hot money-makers:




So, thanks to the more easygoing (read: less-grinchy) parents in my daughter's school who embraced this trend (or perhaps just simply went along with it, sighing), I had to sit my nine-year old down tonight and explain to her that I wasn't going to allow the three wishes of doom, that having a stalker elf in the house was "way creepy and gross" and furthermore, "That sounds like something only for naughty kids and you're a GOOD kid, you don't want some entry-level snitch spying on YOU, you're already getting great presents."  

Oh, and I added some other stuff about Jesus being the reason for the season, just for insurance. 

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