Elf on a Shelf: Keeps Kids Nice, Makes Parents Crazy


I’ll admit it. I’m gullible. I fell for the Elf on a Shelf craze.

The premise: The elf — we named him Sparky — sits on a shelf and watches my boys from the moment they wake until they fall to sleep. Each night, Sparky flies off to the North Pole to reports all the nice and naughty things the kids did throughout the day. Sparky returns to our home every morning and parks his cute elf-self in a different spot. The kids shoot out of bed like they are shot out of a cannon to look for the pesky elf. What fun has he gotten himself into now?! Is he in the sugar bowl? Wrapping presents? Eating the candy canes? Oh, you silly elf! You are such fun!

This is going to be awesome and magical, and the kids will tell stories about Sparky to their kids and grandkids, I told my husband. “We’ll make memories!” I gushed.

“Oh we’ll make memories,” he replied. “But I don’t think we’re talking about the same kind of memories.”

This reality: I was three days into the program before I swore Sparky was an international spy watching for my worst parenting moments. Not only was I supposed to move Sparky every night, but I had to find something for him to do! And unless he was willing to scrub my kitchen floor or clean the boys’ bathroom, I was out of ideas.

Sparky didn’t move for a week. At first, I told the boys he was happy in his spot and didn’t want to move. Then, I told them that Sparky wasn’t feeling well and needed a few days off. A few days later, our youngest, asked if Sparky was dead. I moved him that night and included a note. “I’m so sorry I didn’t move from my spot,” he wrote. “Instead of going to the North Pole every night, I’ve been going on dates with the Tooth Fairy! I promise to do better!” The boys, bless their hearts, bought it. Like every good mother, I promised to do better.

Sparky moved the next two nights. Then he sat for another week, not moving, not going to the North Pole. Every morning, a panic pulsed through me. Sparky! I forgot to move Sparky!

I don’t panic when I send my kid to school wearing two separate shoes. The fact that I was panicking over Sparky meant that maybe — just maybe — this elf-on-the-shelf thing was too much for me.

I gave up. Sparky went back in his box and put out of sight.

He left a note for the boys. “Santa called me back to the North Pole for the rest of the Christmas season,” the note read. “He says that you’re on the Nice List and will receive a lot of presents this year!”

Thankfully, Sparky didn’t tell the boys that their mother is a dingbat and fails miserably at cute-and-fun holiday traditions.

Peg McGuire lives in Roanoke with her patient husband, Joe. Timothy and Charlie are their boys. For unknown reasons, they refuse to wear pants. Peg blogs at CrankyPantsCaravan.com.


60 Responses to Elf on a Shelf: Keeps Kids Nice, Makes Parents Crazy

  1. Hi my friend! I wish to say that this post is amazing, great written and include almost all significant infos. I’d like to see more posts like this.

  2. I’ve been absent for a while, but now I remember why I used to love this site. Thank you, I will try and check back more often. How frequently you update your site?

  3. Thanks for sharing excellent informations. Your web-site is so cool. I am impressed by the details that you have on this web site. It reveals how nicely you perceive this subject. Bookmarked this web page, will come back for more articles. You, my pal, ROCK! I found just the info I already searched everywhere and simply couldn’t come across. What a perfect web site.

  4. Fingers down, Apple’s application retail store wins by a mile. It is a significant number of all styles of apps vs a quite unsatisfied decision of a handful for Zune. Microsoft consists of Options, particularly in just the realm of video games, still I’m not indeed I’d require toward bet on the future if this function is sizeable in the direction of by yourself. The iPod is a a lot better alternative within that case.

  5. Thank you for sharing superb informations. Your website is very cool. I’m impressed by the details that you’ve on this site. It reveals how nicely you perceive this subject. Bookmarked this website page, will come back for more articles. You, my friend, ROCK! I found just the information I already searched all over the place and simply couldn’t come across. What a great web-site.

  6. Simply desire to say your article is as surprising. The clarity in your post is simply nice and i could assume you are an expert on this subject. Fine with your permission let me to grab your feed to keep updated with forthcoming post. Thanks a million and please continue the rewarding work.

  7. I have been surfing on-line more than 3 hours as of late, yet I never discovered any attention-grabbing article like yours. It’s beautiful value enough for me. Personally, if all site owners and bloggers made just right content as you probably did, the internet will likely be a lot more helpful than ever before. “No one has the right to destroy another person’s belief by demanding empirical evidence.” by Ann Landers.

  8. Attractive section of content. I just stumbled upon your site and in accession capital to assert that I get actually enjoyed account your blog posts. Anyway I will be subscribing to your augment and even I achievement you access consistently rapidly.

  9. Wonderful goods from you, man. I’ve understand your stuff previous to and you’re just extremely wonderful. I really like what you have acquired here, certainly like what you are stating and the way in which you say it. You make it enjoyable and you still care for to keep it wise. I cant wait to read far more from you. This is really a terrific website.



The requested block type of 'architect-block' does not exist. Please re-activate the block plugin or child theme if you wish to use this block again.

COPYRIGHT © 2015 GROWING UP IN THE VALLEY. All rights reserved.