Elf Anxiety by Andra Gillum.
Every year just after Thanksgiving, I look forward to unpacking all our Christmas decorations. I pull out the boxes, and the kids and I put everything in its proper place. I must admit, however that there is one holiday decoration I wish I could leave in the bottom of the box.
The Elf on the Shelf triggers my anxiety. I hate to admit it, but this little guy really knows how to push my buttons.
As I said, I love almost everything about Christmas. From the decorations to the lights to the music and traditions, I l really do love it all. It’s just that darned Elf!
It’s not that I dislike elves in general. The movie Elf is a classic. I love that Buddy the Elf and his Pop-tart pasta with syrup. And how could you not root for the little misfits: Herbie the dentist and his friend Rudolph?
It’s just the Elf on the Shelf who makes me twitchy. The holiday season is busy enough, and the stress he adds just pushes me over the top.
Every night, I’m expected to come up with some clever thing to do with the Elf, or some funny place to put him. There are photos and ideas all over the web about it.
Somehow, I’ve gotten on an email list that sends me ideas an inspiration for my elf. When they suggested that I soak the elf’s feet in a bath of marshmallows and call it a spa day, I decided that I’d rather leave the elf on his shelf and have my own spa day.
My kids show me You Tube videos of all the clever things that other elves do. Someone’s naughty elf actually wrapped their entire Christmas tree in holiday paper. I’m lucky to get all the gifts wrapped. Never mind ribbons and bows.
Then there’s the Elf Shaming. My daughter comes home from school with stories of all the silly and clever things that her friends’ elves did. She tells me how bad she feels that she has nothing to share. Mom guilt.
Plus, the pressure goes on all month long! That means 24 nights of anxiety. 24 days of trying to think of something new and different.
There have been nights when I have finally climbed into my warm bed after an evening of wrapping gifts. I’m half asleep when I am jolted awake by the realizations that I have forgotten to do anything with the elf.
I’m certain that I am not the only one with elf-anxiety. A friend posted a funny picture on You Tube of an elf wearing a full leg cast. He left a note for the children saying that he wouldn’t be able to move from the shelf for 2-3 weeks. That’s one smart mom.
I hate to come across as a Grinch because I really do love Christmas, and all the fun traditions for our kids. Maybe we can just shorten the elf’s visit from the North Pole? How about a nice, 3-day weekend? Who’s with me?
I mean no offense to any Elf lovers out there. I applaud your enthusiasm and perseverance. We’ll just have to agree to disagree.
So, whether you love the Elf…or count down the days to his departure, I wish you a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!
Andra Gillum is a Pencil Storm contributor and the author of the children’s books “Doggy Drama” and “Puppy Drama” and “Old Doggy Drama”. Learn more or order online at www.doggydrama.com. Like us on Facebook at: www.facebook.com/doggydrama.
If you work for a school, or know of one who would be interested in an author visit, please contact Andra at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow Andra on Twitter @GillumAndra