This has, apparently for some time now, been “a thing”. The Elf on the Shelf is a little painted doll thing, looks like an elf. You stick it on a shelf somewhere, move it around every night, tell the kid it’s watching on behalf of Santa so you better behave you little shit. If nothing else it’s an excellent way to indoctrinate a child into the inevitable surveillance society.
Zoe’s friends all have them, Zoe’s class has one (which the teacher says has been effective as a bad behavior deterrent so I shared that with another friend who’s a teacher: she think’s it’s brilliant). So needless to say, Zoe wanted one. Erin went to Target yesterday morning and got one. However, before we revealed it to her, Zoe decided after school to write a letter to Santa to request one. She stuck it to the fridge and added a candy cane as a sort of bribe.
Perfect timing: we removed the letter and put the elf on a shelf.
Zoe is thrilled and has named it Candy Cane (we think it sounds like a stripper name, but better than their class’s elf which is named Sparkles). I’ll report on how well that goes as time goes on.
However, I just wouldn’t be me without having some seriously twisted ideas about how to handle the little bastard and how to seriously traumatize the child. So let’s speculate about that. Note that I’m not actually so cruel as to do these, but you know. I totally would do so for someone else’s kid.
Terror Idea 1 – One night, take the elf. Paint over the eyes so it looks like it has little Xs for eyes as if it’s dead. Leave it on the floor. When the kid sees it, tell her “oh no! The cat must have killed it! Wow, Santa’s going to be upset!”
Terror Idea 2 – This came from a friend who is also doing the elf with his kids. Wait until the kid does something bad, then repaint its normally cherubic grin as a twisted, evil, red-eyed demon. Start putting it in weirder places, and make it start scrawling things on the wall larger and larger until on christmas eve you’ve written SANTA KNOWS in huge letters in blood on the kid’s wall.
Terror Idea 3 – Get stacks of the damn elves so that we can leave them all over the house, including in the kids room and her bedroom. Bathroom, even. Announce that Santa’s watching everywhere, always, and watch her slowly crack under their unyielding, judgemental eyes.