This is Jingles. He is Sadie’s “Elf on the Shelf”. In case you are living in a fallout shelter, “Elf” is a little toy that you can use to launch a nice Big Brother spy mission on your kids at Christmastime. Elfie sits on his shelf, or wherever, and watches your kid all day. Then at night, he reports to Santa on the day’s transgressions before flying home. As a parent, it is your job to move the elf each night to his new spot so your child can find him upon waking up. Also, the child cannot touch Elfie or
she will contract full blown AIDS she will rub off his Christmas Magic.
I can’t believe I actually fell for this shit. It’s because I saw one too many pictures like this:
Freakin’ Pinterest is the bane of a lazy Mom’s existence. “OHMAGAWD!” I exclaimed. “How cute is that! This is going to be sooooo fun! Christmas memories. YES!!!” And before you could say “Kris Kringle” I was slapping down my plastic at amazon.com. I couldn’t wait for Elf to arrive! Where would I hide him? How would Sadie respond? Even more important, would he actually make her BEHAVE???
Two days later Elfie arrived. I had gotten the $30 version with elf, book, and bonus DVD. Now from all these pics I had seen of Elves hanging from Christmas trees and ziplining through kids bedrooms, I figured he would have a bendy Gumby body. Not so. Get some duct tape, ya’ll, if you plan to get freaky with your Elf. He is your basic “Made in China” piece of shit with a felt suit, permanently sewn together hands, and no feet. Workshop accident, maybe? Even worse is his face. From all the photos, I knew he had an impish grin and upturned eyes, but let me tell you…look in his eyes and it’s clear to see he has killing on his mind.
Later that night, I introduced Sadie to him. Now keep in mind, she isn’t even three. So, in addition to explaining about the old fat man who brings toys in his magic sled, I am now trying to coax her tiny mind around the idea that this CHEAP DOLL is actually one of Santa’s magical elves. I read the book for some backup help. But with awesome writing like this:
“Each night while you’re sleeping to Santa I’ll fly to the North Pole right through the dark sky.”
“A push or a shove I’ll report to the boss but small acts of kindness will not be a loss.”
She was more confused than ever. I kinda get why the book was self-published. “Let’s give our elf a name!” I cried, undaunted. “Ummm, you do it.” she tells me. Now keep in mind Sadie names EVERYTHING, even her turds. So I named him Jingles.
I also thought the whole no-touching thing would be an issue. But she has never tried to touch him, ever. Little kids can sense evil.
But the main thing I hate about Jingles is that I’m supposed to move him every night. It sounds fun, it’s not. The last thing I want to do after I get home from work is make some holiday magic. The first night I put him in the leftover Halloween candy. I also put him on top of the aquarium with a fish net. I put him in the Christmas tree (yawn) and then her stocking (double yawn). And after that, he’s pretty much stayed on top of the bookshelf. Sadie doesn’t care.
And the few times I’ve tried to use Jingles to stop her bad behavior, i.e. “Sadie STOP punching the dog!! Jingles is watching and he will TELL SANTA!!” she has looked at me with a “bitch, please” face, like, “ok mom YOU can’t tell me what to do and now you think I’m going to listen to that toy?” And, sadly, she is 100% right.
Here’s the moral to this sad holiday tale: make your own traditions. I’m an unconventional Mom with a crazy, wild ass kid. Something that’s mass produced and comes from a box is not going to make our season bright. I could have just as easily bought a two dollar rubber snake (Sadie loves snakes) and made up some sort of tale around him. Even better, we could do this in JULY when I don’t already have a long list of shit to do. If you love your elf, awesome. You are a better woman than I. It just seems like anytime I try to be the kind of mom I’m not (organized, cheerful, crafty) I lose out on being the Mom I am (awesome).