by Tina Seymour Demoran, Esquire

So, I was perusing my Facebook page today, when I noticed my sis-in-law had shared a December calendar written by a blogger for all those moms who needed a few more things added to their completely stress-free, totally relaxed month of December (insert sarcastic tone): An “Elf on the Shelf” activity calendar.

Um, Ok.

You know I had to read it.

I downloaded the calendar and smiled, thinking, “Ok, this is kind of cute. On December 1st, the Elf arrives with a book/movie/letter from Santa.”

Sweet start, right?

I grab my afternoon Diet Coke and curl up in my chair to read more. However, as the days progressed, I tried to imagine how an overworked, sleep-deprived mom with an already full calendar would interpret this daily deluge of activities….so…here goes…Mom’s adventures with the Elf on a Shelf calendar…

December 2nd: The Elf wears a superhero cape and “flies.”

As I read this one, I’m already shaking my head. A few problems here. First off, please advise me, as I’m not that Shelf-Elf-savvy, but is there an accessory area in the store for this Elf? You know, like the ones we used to shop in as kids when we wanted to magically transform Beach Barbie to Doctor Barbie to Cowgirl Barbie?

If so, then I’ll add it to my list…if not…I’d better add red felt, string, and some way to put it all together after the kids are asleep to my shopping and to-do list.


Second problem with this idea: how does the Elf fly? I mean, do you hide behind the shelf and fling the small Elf’s body at the kids as they shuffle sleepily into the living room/Elf location and scare the living daylights out of them in the process? Do you work out some intricate pulley system with fishing line so he “appears” to fly around the room as they “ooo and ahhh”? Or would you just do as I am more akin to do, and duct tape his scrawny red butt to the ceiling fan and let him take a few turns around the room on the low setting while the kids watch? (while cleaning off the built up dust bunnies that have been there all summer)

Ahem…moving right along…

December 3rd: Elf writes a grocery list for candy, candy corn, candy canes, and syrup. Thus, effectively adding ammo to my child’s already growing list of reasons why I should buy out the candy counter at the checkout line for them.

This sounds like a very bad move.

But I digress…

December 4th: Elf removes all of the marshmallow from cereal.

Hold on…back up…I couldn’t have read this one right. First off, if my kids are anything like I was as a child, those marshmallows are probably already gone (as I could separate/sort/return cereal to the box faster than lightning). Second, are you TRULY asking me to spend 20 minutes of my precious time standing in front of the kitchen counter, blearily sorting CEREAL from marshmallows so I can blame it on an Elf?

Ah hell with it…I’ll just remove the whole damn bag from the box…replace it with a bag of marshmallow-free cereal…and pair the marshmallow-filled bag of cereal with a nice crisp (large) glass of Chardonnay in my bedroom as I happily spend the marshmallow-sorting time saved by watching TV that is unsuitable for their little eyes and ears.

December 5th: Elf plays hockey with candy cane and M&Ms.

We live in the south. Bugs and vermin live in the South. Bugs and vermin like open candy. Leaving open candy in front of the Elf for more than 5 minutes unattended is going to ensure that Elfy Boy will have at least one new best friend.

Whether it’s Flying Cockroach on the Shelf that dive bombs the nearest person when the light switch is hit…or 2 Pound Rabid Rat chewing on Elf’s leg on the floor…will truly depend on where he wants to play this particular game of hockey.

Hey, but think about the plus side here…if it’s the Flying Cockroach…I can combine Day 2 and 5 and fix that whole “how am I going to get the Elf to fly” dilemma.

December 6th: Elf leaves shoes out for St. Nick. No big deal. Except for the fact that we own an oversized mongrel that harbors a severe hatred for all footwear, who ate said shoes waaaay before the kiddos woke up and witnessed this sweet act.

December 7th: Elf makes mini sized pancakes. You have got to be kidding me. My kids can smell food cooking in the midst of a complete coma and be seated in the kitchen, fork in hand, in less than 30 seconds of taking that first whiff. Unless I cook those bad boys at the neighbor’s house or out in the garage…the chances of pulling this one off and blaming the elf are going to be slim to none.

December 8th: Elf hangs kids undies up instead of stockings. A little cheesy, but okay, I’ll do this one without much comment.

December 9th: Elf leaves a progress report from Santa. Good lord, now he expects me to do his freaking paperwork for him. Seriously?

December 10th: Elf makes it snow cotton balls on kids beds. Rest of December 10th, I and my (slowly starting to hate this particular elf) husband try to find all the damn cotton balls that have flown around the room and landed everywhere when they woke up, covered in white cotton. Dog poops brown and white turds for a week.

December 11th: Elf takes “selfies” with kids sleeping and posts them on Facebook.

Sure. Totally convincing. Because no kid will wonder how “Elf” was able to take pics, open the laptop, put in mom’s password, access her Facebook page, and then upload said pics without her knowledge.

Come on, lady who wrote this blog. You know this one is listed just so you can piss off your friends with no Elf stories and guilt them into rushing to the store to buy one so they can put retaliatory pics up on Facebook by the next day.

December 12th: Elf leaves a message in candy.

See comments regarding Day 5.

December 13th: Elf leaves crisp $1 bills and instructions to find crazy items at the dollar store.

Instead: Mom takes the crisp $1 bills and buys herself a nice bottle of wine to drink after the kids go to sleep later that night, right after she tells the Elf to stop leaving shopping lists for her damn kids.

December 14th: Elf set up an ornament scavenger hunt.

And it was all going so well…until I was hit with the not-so-subtle reminder that nothing says “Christmas” like the screams of a child who just stepped on a glass ornament that was hidden behind the couch by old Elfy. Trip to ER to remove broken glass: $500 (after deductible).

I’m starting to wonder if this Elf even LIKES children.

Shaking my damn head…

December 15th: Elf makes donut hole snowmen…SERIOUSLY…why did I even bother hiring an exterminator last summer if I’m going to just bait my house like an oversized feeder for vermin and bugs a few months later?

December 16th: Elf makes a Lego masterpiece. Mom doesn’t realize she dropped a Lego on the carpet as she is helping the Elf complete his work of art. Mom turns off the light and goes to leave the room, steps on the Lego with her bare foot and her bloodcurdling screams of pain wake the entire block.

Mom tries to figure out how to kill the Elf and make it look like an accident.

December 17th: Elf does a workout with marshmallows and a toothpick. Family dog eats said “barbells” and has to be rushed to the afterhours Vet where mom cuts a check for a $400 removal of toothpick from dog’s GI tract.

December 18th: Elf reads Christmas story from the bible. Yeah, you’d BETTER get religion, you evil little red-cheeked demon.

December 19th: Elf writes the lyrics to Jingle Bells on toilet paper. Family cat strolls through the house after we all go to bed…finds the toilet paper…and shows off her natural feline ability to convert TP to snow. Kids wake up and say “oh look, the Elf made it snow.” Mom totally goes along with the whole “Elf made it snow” story…mainly because she’s just too damn tired to argue.

December 20th: Elf has a game night with the other toys. Yeah right…the other toys have seen the way Mom is looking at the Elf, and they know that the only way to survive past December 25th is to isolate and cut that little red bastard from the group.

December 21st: Elf makes mini donuts with cheerios, chocolate and sprinkles. Mom laughs hysterically after the tenth failed attempt at trying to dunk a cheerio in burning hot melted chocolate and getting it to resemble anything other than an amorphous blob. Mom buys regular chocolate doughnuts for the kids’ breakfast and consumes the rest of the melted chocolate left in the bowl.

With a spoon.

In her bedroom.

With the rest of the bottle of wine.

As Dad cowers on his side of the bed and avoids eye contact with Mom at all cost.

December 22nd: Elf makes a parade with cars and toys. Mom forgot to warn Dad about this particular activity and he converts the toy firetruck into a makeshift skate as he’s leaving for work. Bloodcurdling screams of pain again awaken the entire block.

December 23rd: Elf is in Barbie car ready for Christmas movie drive in. Mom puts movie in for kids and goes in search of the dregs of wine left in bottle from the night before, with visions of mutilated Elves dancing in her head.

December 24th: Elf gets the supplies ready for reindeer food (cornmeal + glitter). Dog has late night snack. Poops and farts glitter for the next week.

December 25th: Elf wears party hat and has a Happy Birthday Jesus card and says goodbye to kids before they go to bed.

When kids go to bed, mom uses the crumpled up calendar to make a bonfire in the back yard bbq and gleefully tosses said Elf in the middle of the flames.

Next year, we’ll just put a nativity scene on the damn shelf.