December 18, 2013

Elf on the Shelf inspires its share of mayhem

The Christmas tradition involving a picture book and stuffed felt elf becomes the object of some cynical backlash even as families continue their elf duty.

By Leanne Italie
The Associated Press

(Continued from page 1)

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Kim Boerman bandaged her family’s Elf on the Shelf and set him with a prescription by the Christmas tree in the Boerman home in Charleston, S.C. after the elf fell from the chandelier during dinner.

The Associated Press/ Kim Boerman

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“The Elf on the Shelf: A Christmas Tradition” book comes with an elf for the shelf. The elf serves as a scout for Santa and has to be moved stealthily every night, traditionally around Thanksgiving until Christmas Eve. The mission? To report back to the boss in red on who’s been naughty or nice.

The Associated Press/CCA&B, LLC

Meaghan B. Murphy isn’t ho-ho-hoing. As deputy editor of SELF magazine, the busy and tired mom of three kids – ages 3, 20 months and 4 months – is on elf duty with her husband.

“The elf is the bane of my December,” she said. “Her name is Arielle. She wears a Target-exclusive sparkly tutu that cost like 15 bucks. She has two. I can barely remember to brush my teeth, let alone hide her nightly or do an outfit change.”

The fact that she forgot to move the elf usually hits around 3 a.m., while she’s feeding her newborn. “At which point I run downstairs only to discover that I can’t reach her because my husband who is 6-foot-3 hid her the night before on the ledge of crown molding 12 feet high,” Murphy said. “I then peg her with things in the dark until I finally knock her down, at which point I hide her someplace glaringly lame.”

She knows an elf supermom or two. Their Facebook feeds are hard to ignore, Murphy said.

“I have a friend who staged a marshmallow snowball fight between the elf and ‘Monsters Inc.’ (characters),” she said. “Honestly, (my kids) are more excited about the chocolates in their Advent calendars.”

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