‘The Elf on the Shelf’- the phenomenon that has grown men and women taking intricate photo shoots of dolls and has children everywhere believing that Santa has spies planted in their homes – is totally creepy. Sorry. Somebody had to say it.

Pictures of the cute little Elf and all of the mischievous situations he finds himself in are taking over Facebook and Pinterest. I ignored it for a while, but it became one of those things that made me feel like a crappy mother – so I had to look into it. Should I have an Elf on the Shelf? Is my child missing out?

It turns out that these seemingly harmless little Elves are Santa’s secret police. Well, that might be a little dramatic. They may not be terrorizing children, but their function is a little creepy.  From The Elf on the Shelf website:

Have you ever wondered how Santa knows who is naughty and who is nice? The Elf on the Shelf®: A Christmas Tradition is the very special tool that helps Santa know who to put on the Naughty and Nice list… Excellent listeners and even better observers, these scout elves are the eyes and ears of Santa Claus. Although they cannot be touched, or else they may lose their magic, the elf will always listen and relay messages back to Santa.

“Excellent listeners and even better observers?” So, they’re spies. They’re Santa’s spies. Every night they return to the North Pole to rat out your kids. They come back in the morning and “hide” in a different place. But if they are touched, they lose their magic and Santa cannot receive the information he needs to fulfill your Christmas wishes.

Bringing a new toy into the house that your child can’t touch? How much do you want to bet that every single child out there has touched this thing and cried himself to sleep, convinced that he killed the power of Santa’s magic elf? Santa has always been a little creepy, with the “he sees when you are sleeping, he knows when you’re awake” thing, but they deployment of these little elves is taking it a little too far.

Of course, I don’t want to be a Scrooge. When my child is old enough to care, maybe I’ll try the little spies myself. Just don’t expect any new Elf on the Shelf Pinterest boards from this craft-less mother.

(photo: Amazon.com)