Parents, Put The Elf On The Shelf Down

This is not the year we need to stress about remembering to move a "magic" stuffed doll every night.
Elf on the Shelf is a weird tradition in normal times. But 2020 isn't normal times.
Elf on the Shelf is a weird tradition in normal times. But 2020 isn't normal times.

I must admit, we’ve never been an “Elf on the Shelf” kind of house for a number of reasons. I’m lazy, forgetful and personally think your kids should try to behave because they know it’s the right thing to do (yes, I’m aware that is much easier said than done). Besides, we’re more of a focus-on-the-tree kind of family.

But I know there are a lot of parents out there who swear by the elf. Sure, it’s cute to look at and funny for the two minutes it takes the kids to find it in the morning, granting you a hot second to get a cup of coffee. But let me be the first person to give you a gift this season: Put. Down. The. Elf. 2020 is not the year to worry about the damn elf. No parent, I repeat, no parent, needs to spend any excess energy this year to ensure holiday magic, or anything else.

Even the Elf on the Shelf website is aware it’s reaching, issuing this statement:

We checked with the Big Man in Red himself for the definitive answer to all your Scout Elf quarantine questions. Great news! Santa says, “All Scout Elves are 100% healthy and remain well at the North Pole. They are excited to return to the human world for a season of excitement and giggles. Since Scout Elves are magical beings from the North Pole, they do not get human sicknesses and do not need to quarantine!

See, they know the jig is up. And then there’s this:

I probably don’t have to tell you that parents around the world are tired. We’re weary. We’re anxious. We’re at the end of our rope. And that’s OK and understandable! My GOD, this has been a year.

Add in a fake quarantine, when so many real ones are happening, and I call BS. While it’s certainly topical to have the elf “quarantine” upon arrival in your home, it’s just too on the nose for this dreadful year.

This, however, is accurate:

As for your kids, tell them something believable and entirely appropriate for the times: You’re not allowing anyone from outside your family physically in your home, including magic elves. It’s the safe thing to do during this pandemic anyway, so it tracks.

So please, back away slowly. Grant yourself some small slice of serenity. Consider it self-care! Just don’t, I repeat, don’t, add anything else to your plate. And while you’re at it, don’t buy anything to contain the quarantined elf, like below.

And hey, maybe come Christmas 2021, your kids will have forgotten all about the Godforsaken elf. Win-win.