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Nightmare on Elf Street

November 29, 2012

‘Tis the season for the lack of sleep that comes with waking up in the middle of the night after realizing you forgot to move your Elf on the Shelf.  While I’m grateful for the list of outs and excuses from this post when I do forget, there is something else that’s keeping us from peaceful slumber these days.

Our four-year-old daughter is afraid of our elf this year.

The worst part is that I think this one is actually my fault.

My kids were thrilled about the arrival of Elfie Joe.  They talked for days about when he would come since we’d be out of town for our annual Christmas Walk, knowing the elf usually arrives the night Santa lands on the roof for town’s Christmas parade.  Sure enough, Elfie Joe was here in our house when we got back, much to their delight.

As my kids raced over to stand in front of the elf, I mentioned something in passing that was meant to be an innocent reminder of the rules, but blew up in my face.

“Just remember, don’t get too close.  If you touch him, he’ll lose all his power,” I said as I walked through the kitchen in the midst of unpacking.

A few minutes later, I realized the sounds I was hearing from my daughter weren’t gleeful giggles, but hysterical sobs.  As I raced into the room, I asked her what had happened.

“I…(unintelligible wail) want him (more that I can’t understand) powers (hiccup breath) me!!”


“I…don’t want him…lose…powers….me!!” (or so I thought)

Thinking she’s not understanding how this whole thing works, I tried to console her.

“No, no, no, sweet girl.  It’s okay.  He didn’t lose it.  He still has all his powers.  You didn’t do anything.”

That’s when her brothers stepped in to clear up my confusion.

“No, Mommy. She said she’s afraid he’ll USE his powers ON her.”

Oh crap.  What did I just say to cause this?

I picked up my terrified daughter and walked into a room without a spy doll whose specific purpose is to watch everything they do and report back to the man with all the Christmas power.  I held her in my arms and tried to explain that Elfie Joe’s ONLY power is the ability to fly back and forth to the North Pole every night to tell Santa what great kids they are.

She seemed calmer, but still wouldn’t go into the kitchen where Elfie Joe was hiding unless someone was holding her hand.  When she did, she never looked at him straight on, but gave him her own side-glancing, skeptical glares.

I decided it was time to dig up the book and re-read the story of the Elf on the Shelf to put her mind at ease.  When she saw the pictures and realized that this was like a real-life I Spy game she could play every day, I think that helped her over the hurdle a bit.

She took a deep breath, smiled, and said, “Okay, Mommy.  He can stay. But will he go in my room?”

I assured her that our elf never went upstairs, but told her we could write him a note just to make sure.

Allie’s letter to Elfie Joe

Her letter reads:

“Elfie Joe, I’m scared.  Please stay downstairs.  No going in my room or the bathroom.  Love, Allie”

All seems right with the world again.  My daughter races her brothers downstairs every morning to see who can find Elfie Joe first.  She even stands in front of him with her toys and talks to him, performing her own little Show and Tell program.  She seems okay now with the idea that this little guy can fly around, see everything he needs to see to report to Santa, and is here just for good.

But just before bed last night, she stopped, half-turned and locked eyes with our elf. Then, with conviction, she ordered,  “Stay out of my room.”


Want more Christmas posts?  If you liked this post, you’ll love

Twelve Ways to Save Your Butt When Your Elf on the Shelf Forgets to Move

Twelve MORE Ways to Save Your Butt When Your Elf on the Shelf Forgets to Move

The Christmas Tree Tutorial – Perfection in 10 OCD Steps

Christmas Rejects

13 Signs Your Kids Are Rubbing Off On You

Christmas Lessons Learned From My Three Year Old

Three Great Kid Jobs to Actually Help with Christmas Baking

My House of Faceless Angels

Realistic Fitness for the Holidays

“Merry Christmas, My Friend” By Lance Corporal James M. Schmidt, 1986

14 Comments leave one →
  1. November 29, 2012 8:18 AM

    Poor sweet Allie! I love the end of this post…cracked me up! 🙂

    • November 29, 2012 11:24 PM

      Thanks, Ashley! She breaks my heart, then makes me laugh, each in the same day and sometimes at the same time!

  2. Tricia permalink
    December 3, 2012 12:00 PM

    That is the best thing I’ve heard all day. She sounds like a sweetheart! 😉 I loved the Excuses post too – I have done that several times and I just act oblivious and try to re-direct the conversation. I will be much more creative this year.

    • December 3, 2012 5:03 PM

      Thanks, Tricia. She does keep us laughing. I always wonder why I’m so much more creative with the excuses than I am with the hiding places…

  3. December 12, 2012 11:22 AM

    My girls were having fun until one day our elf, Mark, showed up in our only bathroom. Then, they whined “mom! We can’t go to the bathroom with Mark in there! He’s a boy!” Oops…

    • December 13, 2012 11:44 AM

      Yes, I’m with all of our daughters on this one. No elves in the bathroom!


  1. Twelve Ways to Save Your Butt When Your Elf on the Shelf Forgets to Move « From Grind to Whine
  2. My House of Faceless Angels | From Grind to Whine
  3. Christmas Lessons Learned from My Three-Year-Old | From Grind to Whine
  4. The Christmas Tree Tutorial — Perfection in 10 OCD Steps | From Grind to Whine
  5. 3 Great Kid Jobs To Actually HELP With Christmas Baking | From Grind to Whine
  6. Christmas Rejects | From Grind to Whine
  7. Family Resolutions for 2012 | From Grind to Whine
  8. 12 MORE Ways to Save Your Butt When Your Elf on the Shelf Forgets to Move | From Grind to Whine

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