Those darned elves

Erin Smith Staff writer

December 10, 2013

OK, so it just me or does anyone else out there find the “Elf on the Shelf” trend a little disturbing and downright creepy?

For those who have absolutely no clue what I am talking about, there is a phenomena that seems to have swept through numerous households over the years with a tiny doll called Elf on the Shelf. According to myth or legend, whichever you prefer to call it, the elf doll observes all the activities of the unsuspecting youths residing in their new “home” (all while posing as a doll) and they make nightly or daily reports to Santa at the North Pole.

Folks have even gotten so wrapped up in the whole Elf on the Shelf phenomena that there are pages and pages on the Internet dedicated to ideas of how to pose your pet elf and even a suggested timeframe of when he should arrive from the North Pole for his annual “duty.”

There are even contests that take place each year to see who can come up with the most creative poses and ways to use their elf doll.

I have seen all manner of creative poses and uses from playing games with other household toys to bathing in sinks and even being held prisoner by a toy army.

The entire purpose of the cute but dubious Elf on the Shelf is to entice little ones to behave until Santa arrives otherwise facing being reported to the Naughty List if they don’t.

While the critter is cute, I have to admit I wonder about those who have no young children but yet have found themselves to have been “adopted” by an Elf on the Shelf. It is almost as if we have been taken over by an elfin army at this time of year.

This elfin army is not one to be trifled with either. They are armed with cuteness at a level not seen in many years. They are cunning as they pose as mild mannered dolls by day and by night they skulk to our computers to make their reports to equivalent of the Elf Secret Service. They are able to melt even the hardest of human hearts with ease.

I do have to wonder why it is that Steven King has yet to pick up on this phenomena and write yet another masterful creation using this idea as fodder for a plot so twisted it will make you sleep with the all lights in the house turned on for a month!

One of my co-workers even made the comment about how the trend was downright disturbing. She even mused how difficult it would be to sleep with one in the house. After all, who knows what it may do when you are asleep. If you still think these sneaky elves are cute you may need to view the Gremlins or Chucky movies for ideas what could go wrong with this.

I honestly wonder how these silly elves have managed to take over our holiday celebrations. Everyone seems to be plotting these devilish beings are going to be doing. They are making plans for how to entertain them for a few weeks nad even buying “elf food” to feed them.

Yes, I agree with my co-worker, this trend is truly getting disturbing. I even found where one Elf on the Shelf doll has his own private twitter account and tumblr page. Now that is just taking it too far in my opinion.

This trend may be cute and it may even be fun for some, but I for one am keeping a wary eye out. After all these elves seem to be popping up everywhere and they seem to know everything about us humans while we know little to nothing about them. Be aware if an innocent looking elf doll shows up at your home or office. It may not be all that it appears.

— Erin Smith is a staff writer with the Bladen Journal. She can be reached by telephone at 910-862-4163 or by email at or follow her on twitter @ErynnSmith.