5 REASONS...Elf on the Shelf is a Tool of Evil

Elf on the Shelf is a toy that comes with a Christmas themed book that is subtitled “A Christmas Tradition”. Here’s the sales pitch direct from Elf’s official website:
“The magical Scout Elves help Santa manage his nice list by taking note of a family’s Christmas adventures and reporting back to Santa at the North Pole nightly. Each morning, the Scout Elf returns to its family and perches in a new spot, waiting for someone to spot them. Children love to wake up and race around the house looking for their Scout Elf.”

So it’s just a whimsical Christmas game, right? 


Elf on the Shelf is a tool of evil, a pointy-hatted assemblage of society’s worst features. Here are five reasons why that’s true.

1. It's a Lie

I’m not referring to the fact that Elf “moves” each night. That’s kind of sweet. But if you really want to blackmail your children into behaving by shifting an inanimate object around your house I’d play them Poltergeist then rearrange the furniture while they sleep. Nothing sorts out troublesome brats like the threat of otherworldly manifestations.

No, the lie is that this is “a Christmas tradition”. Because when did this ages-old ritual begin?


Nothing that began after 2000 is a “tradition”, not even in these modern times where pop culture moves at lightspeed.

I can’t deny Elf has inveigled itself into the public consciousness. It’s the result of self-publishing, so kudos to the creators.

But while Elf is an example of a little company that could, it will need to stick around a little longer before it can truly call itself a “tradition”.

How much longer? Tradition is typically held to be a practice transmitted twice over three generations. So until around 2055, Elf’s creators should go easy on the whole “tradition” claim.

2. It's Always Watching

Elf is a toy version of the “you better watch out, you better not cry, you better be good” threat in Santa Claus Is Coming To Town. Except you could always count on Santa’s attention eventually wandering while he checked up on the other billion plus children in the world.

With Elf you have a personalised informant in your house 24/7, one that never sleeps. This peeping pervert sits there and judges every single thing you do. Are we sure this thing was invented in 2005? Because it’s giving me 1984 Orwellian vibes big time! Congratulations, world, you’re creating a generation of paranoid conformists who will have a meltdown trying to interpret why Elf didn’t shift to a new perch during the night.

3. It's a Money Grab

When children thought only Santa was watching, parents had a cost-free coercion service. Now that same blackmail costs over US$30.00 and that’s just for Elf and the book.

There’s also a reindeer, a fox, and a St Bernard that all sell for almost as much. Children must adopt the pets and show them love to help assure Santa’s success. So, no pressure, tykes!

The reindeer in particular has a medallion that helps store “Christmas spirit” which is the fuel that enables Santa’s sled to fly. I’m no Einstein, but I don’t believe that’s based on any accepted science.

Oh, plus Elf can’t go naked so you have to buy them clothes, except “clothes” are for common people—Elf gets outfits from the Claus Couture Collection®. Then there are additional books, DVDs, craft sets, a board game, and accessories that have included a sled, fishing hut, and a soccer goal.

Just kidding, I made that last one up. A Christmas Elf soccer goal? That would be ridiculous.

So, of course, it totally exists.

4. It's Not Just About Christmas Anymore

Not content with ruining the festive season, Elf also wants you to “invite” it to observe your child prior to family birthdays. Oh yes, now having the Elf snoop on your child’s birthday is also a tradition in itself!

How long will it be before that little freak gobbles up Easter? Then Valentine’s Day. And Halloween. Watch out other mascots, Elfie is coming for your holidays! Although, between you and me, Elf can have Valentine’s Day. It’s a low-rent holiday at best. What are its defining traits? Love and chocolate? Pffft! I can get those things at any drunken Halloween party. For free!

5. Just Look at It!

Those lifeless eyes with their creepy sideways leer, those smugly pursed lips, those rubbery limbs that are just aching to wrap around your neck and tighten until your body goes still. Elf is a demonic nightmare unleashed upon our world. The internet is packed with images of inventive places that Elf has appeared and they’d be quaint except they all feature this unblinking psycho. 

It’s no wonder people have also taken to photographing Elf in shady and obscene settings—grabbing knives, snorting cocaine, buggering Barbie, and writing RED RUM on the bathroom mirror. Elf may not be a true tradition, but its popularity has certainly bred contempt.

Want to see Elf on the Shelf disparaged even more? Then check out The Mythic and the Illustrious Lie. I totally slice this abomination to ribbons. That’s not a figure of speech, I literally slice it to ribbons. Also, don’t forget to invite me to your next Halloween party. Because free love and chocolate.