being a mom

Pinterest Parents Want Us All To Know How Cool They Are In Their Elf-Hatred

By  | 

Last week our best friend Blair from STFU Parents took parents to task for being a little too cynical with their ‘Elf On The Shelf” holiday scenarios. I agree with her, I think it’s one thing to depict this annoying little elf getting run over on a Hot Wheels track, and a little excessive when we see the same elf murdering women and playing in their ketchup blood.  Now thanks to Pinterest, we have some people who just want to fuck that whole elf middleman and go straight to the gist of the matter.



I love all of the black humor elements of parenting. Parenting is hard and difficult and a lot of the times if we didn’t laugh, we’d cry. I get it. I’m not one for pearl clutching or getting my panties in a twist (I really loathe that term) over people making fun of aspects of parenting, but come on. I get that some parents are cool, and think they are super funny, and they need to put their own special little brand of cynicism and holiday loathing on everything and share it with their friends so they can appear someone cooler than, beyond than, this whole silly little parenting thing – but come on.

For every asshole parent out there who finds this sort of shit funny, there is a little kid out there who has this sincere optimism about the holidays, who still loves dolls and elves and ugh, we get it parents, you are cool and smart and oh so clever and you can take a dumb elf idea and puke all over it. Now go away.

(Image: Pinterest)


  1. Mystik Spiral

    December 10, 2013 at 2:47 pm

    More disturbing than the holiday cynicism is the perpetuation of the whole “women who drink and don’t dress like schoolmarms are whores” attitude. THAT is what’s disgusting, at least about that picture you included. Ugh.

  2. Rachel Sea

    December 10, 2013 at 2:47 pm

    If you hate Elf on a Shelf, don’t get one. Problem solved.

    Personally, I’m totally buying a Mensch on the Bench for next year.

    • Kay_Sue

      December 10, 2013 at 2:51 pm

      Unless your mother buys you one.

      This happened to me last year. I’d taken care to make sure that our kids weren’t exposed to it, and she saw it, thought it looked cute, bought it, and then started the “tradition” at her house when the kids were spending the night. The kids loved it so much, I was cornered into continuing it, even though I actually do hate the little bastard. *sighs*

      Maybe this year will be better since I’m not working six day weeks. Fingers crossed!

    • Rachel Sea

      December 10, 2013 at 2:59 pm

      That’s when you bring down the hard truth, and relegate him to the toy bin.

    • Kay_Sue

      December 10, 2013 at 3:28 pm

      I wish I could, but I’d break their hearts, and for some reason, I can’t bear to do it.

    • Frances Locke

      December 10, 2013 at 9:03 pm

      I am torn between both your’s and Rachel’s points, lol. On one hand, I would hate to hurt my kid’s feelings. But on the other, my kids are all weirdly pragmatic, so I think they would totally get me nipping this particular tradition in the bud. I think it’s one of those “you gotta do what’s right for you” kind of deals.

    • Kay_Sue

      December 11, 2013 at 9:50 am

      It really is. My eldest is very dramatic, and very invested in this whole thing. My mother did her tree on Saturday, and he was all upset because “Barney” didn’t come that night (she kept Barney at her house, and lost him…). So last night, after we did our tree, we put up (a newly purchased) elf. Today, he was super psyched, checked the whole house, found him and flipped out (in a good way).

      So I am stuck. I will be that parent relegated to the back of the pack because my elf-play is subpar. But, my kid will be happy. I reckon it all evens out.

      But I will not relinquish my hatred of the thing. It’s not a cool thing. It’s just that I can’t stand it. It’s creepy, and weird, and a pain in my ass.

    • FormerlyKnownAsWendy

      December 10, 2013 at 10:34 pm

      You know, sometimes Santa calls those Elves back to the North Pole and reassigns them to another family…..

  3. Véronique Houde

    December 10, 2013 at 3:01 pm

    I feel torn about the Elf on the Shelf. On one hand, I find it a fun magical way to get amped up for the holidays… But I also don’t really believe in using things to bribe kids into good behaviour. What really irks me though is when the parents keep taking pictures of the elf and posting them on facebook. When they do this, I find that has more to do with wanting to show off how awesome of a parent they are to the people around them… I mean, my parents didn’t go around showing their friends the family videos of us putting up the tree while eating cookies and listening to a Chipmunk Christmas… Nor did they flaunt all of the other family traditions we had. Traditions aren’t about what others think about them – it’s about your children. No need to share it with the world! It makes it way too much about your own vanity and that’s the antithesis of Christmas to me…

    • Justme

      December 10, 2013 at 3:02 pm

      What really gets me is when the parents are just basking in the sheer creativity they’ve used in positioning their Elf for the night, when in reality…I saw that they “pinned” that idea two days ago on Pinterest.

    • Mel

      December 10, 2013 at 3:13 pm

      We’re donating some toys to a children’s hospital this year. I’ve put a lot of effort into collecting books and toys from my dauughter’s kindergarten. I purposefuly don’t mention it on fb because I really want it to be about doing something good, not about getting recognotion. It started as a learning opportunity for my daughter, but maybe I’m taking away even more from it!

    • Véronique Houde

      December 10, 2013 at 3:21 pm

      I’m the same way… When my best friend was battling cancer, she really wanted to stay private about it because it was very hard for her to accept her paralysis and the other effects of the brain tumour. One of her other good friends kept posting stuff on her wall about the times they would see her instead of sending her a private message, and I always knew how much it bothered her. With her death, I was always very mindful of her wish for privacy, and posted very little about the way that I felt – after all, I could talk to her directly in my prayers… i didn’t think she would check her facebook from up in Heaven to see what we thought about her death!!! It always breaks my heart for her when her other friends and most of all her mom keep posting about their suffering. I understand the need to talk about your feelings, but when you’re doing so on an online forum, what are you really trying to accomplish?? One of those friends is the only person I know to take pictures of the Elf on the Shelf… And so i realize that she seems to want to live her life on Facebook openly with her friends… But does she realize what message she’s sending to people? I don’t think so…

      For Christmas, I bought a Christmas ornament for my best friend. I think it would be bad taste though to show people on Facebook – it would just come off as “look how awesome of a friend I am”… Which is tacky. So to this day, I only have a picture of her and I on my profile, and more as a reminder to me that she’ll always be there for me. I don’t have the heart to take it off yet…

    • Mel

      December 10, 2013 at 3:36 pm

      I’m really sorry for your loss! And honoring her by respecting her wish for privacy is just the right thing to do!

    • Frances Locke

      December 10, 2013 at 9:01 pm

      I totally agree. I will put a few holiday moments up, mostly because I genuinely enjoy seeing a few moments from my friends and family too, but the people who throw up 100 pics of them decorating the tree reek of “I AM THE BEST AND MY FAMILY IS THE BEST,” lol. I also hate those Christmas “haul” pictures where everyone brags about their gifts. Tacky and gross in my eyes.

  4. momjones

    December 10, 2013 at 3:24 pm

    Last year I asked my daughter if she was going to get one after I saw all the pictures, etc. on Facebook. I thought the premise and the pictures were rather obnoxious. She didn’t then, but she decided to this year because she felt her oldest (almost 4), was the right age. Late night both the girls slept over at my house, and since I didn’t have the Elf, this morning I printed out a picture of him with a note, telling her he sent me an email. Her excitement and joy when she saw it were delightful. Even the 18 month old squealed when she saw the note. I’m hooked now!

    • Eve Vawter

      December 10, 2013 at 4:40 pm

      That’s pretty cute. I don’t know, ours annoys me because he is so much work but the kids love it

    • Kay_Sue

      December 11, 2013 at 9:50 am

      I wish I could upvote this a thousand times.

  5. pixie

    December 10, 2013 at 3:31 pm

    Earlier in the fall, the mom of one of my friends from high school/undergrad was doing an Elf on the Shelf-type thing with a Peanut doll (one of the ventriloquist dummies from Jeff Dunham). My friend is my age (23), an only child, and there are no small children in the house. My friend started posting the pictures to Facebook as a sort of public eye roll. Nothing was over-the-top, or gruesome, but every day I would wake up to a new picture my friend had posted and couldn’t help but laugh and feel kind of sorry for my friend.

  6. Julie

    December 10, 2013 at 3:33 pm

    Elf on the Shelf never used to bother me. I just chose not to do it. Well, now my kids are hearing about it from their friends at school and are asking me daily why we don’t do it. One of my kid’s friend’s elves bakes treats. He also took all the decorations off the tree one night and put underwear on the tree instead. This is the kind of shit my kid is hearing and what she is asking for. Holy crap. I do not have time for that. Her expectations are way too high. Some people say “just move it around”. Yea, not going to impress my daughter. Then I’d be hearing about what a lame elf we have. So yea, this dumb new fad has become a pain in my ass. Yea, I just don’t do it. But I am subjected to bitching and moaning by my kids about why we don’t have one. Oh well. Thankfully I have the resources to pay for the therapy my kids are going to need after growing up in such an awful unfun house with such an awful uncreative mother. 😉

    • Rachel Sea

      December 10, 2013 at 3:34 pm

      You are giving your children the gift of having something to bitch about, they should be grateful.

    • Mikster

      December 17, 2013 at 4:31 pm

      Consider it Parent-training. Then you won’t have to buy them IPhones, sports cars and let them go to Cancun just because ALL THE KIDS ARE going/have one.

  7. D.Y

    December 10, 2013 at 5:20 pm

    My kids got one last year for Christmas from their grandma, but they are two years old, so I just have it sitting politely on the mantle with the stockings. I’m not moving that creepy little fucker all over my house. When my kids are old enough to understand the story, I might do a little more, but I wont be posting pictures every day. What kills me is a friend of mine: she’s 35. Her elf is named (with 4 middle names!) and she poses it daily and talks about it in her facebook status like its a real boy. here’s the kicker- she doesn’t have any kids! She’s just weird as hell. I wonder how many posts she will do about her stupid ass little elf before she realizes that no one reads her lame ass blog either!

  8. Elisa Probert

    December 10, 2013 at 6:48 pm

    I will never have an elf on the shelf even when I have kids. I have a resin doll, Bruce the Brownie, who does get into mischief because he’s funny and posable and Brownies are known troublemakers. He won’t be monitoring kids for good behavior while being worse than they are, either. You can’t teach good by showing bad. Bah.

  9. C.J.

    December 10, 2013 at 10:49 pm

    I did not want to do the elf on the shelf. My younger daughter came home from school last week all excited about the reindeer on the shelf that Santa mailed to her class. It was the only thing she talked about. My dad has always told the kids he knows Santa so they better be good or he will call him. My daughter asked me to call grampa to ask him to call Santa and ask if he could send her an elf on the shelf. Now I have to play with a doll every night. My dad even made Santa an email address and emailed Santa to send one. Santa of coarse emailed back and my daughter checked the email with grampa when we were at their house. Santa told her where to look to find her elf. I don’t post pictures of the elf, I doubt anyone cares that I have an elf sitting in my Christmas tree right now. I will be glad when the elf goes back to the north pole on Christmas day.

  10. DatNanny

    December 10, 2013 at 11:21 pm

    I hate the elf. I hate him. I hope the fad dies by the time I have crotchfruit running around because I will not let one in my house.


    • Mikster

      December 17, 2013 at 4:29 pm

      Why do you care what other parents/families do? Just don’t do what you despise and let them have their own fun.

  11. Shelly Lloyd

    December 11, 2013 at 7:35 am

    My kids are teens so we dodged that bullet. But if it came out when they were younger I probably would have done it. The whole concept is pretty much you read the story of the elf and then each night after the kids are in bed you move him to a different location so that the kids thinks he comes to life? Or am I missing something else?
    As for Holiday cynicism–even with the kid being teens I try to keep the cynicism away from them, but I do let it out on line. I work in retail and that pretty much kills what ever holiday spirit I ever had. On-line my out-let for dealing with all the crap I put up with over the holiday.

  12. Shelly Lloyd

    December 11, 2013 at 7:41 am

    Off topic, but know what I did hate when my kids were little? Flat Stanley. UGh. Each year one of my two children would have a class that was going to do Flat Stanley. Ok the first time it was cute and fun, but then each year we would have to do Flat Stanley again. And the kids did not want to do the same thing. So I had to come up with some other fun weekend for Flat Stanley. By the 5th grade I was like “Here is Flat Stanley and me doing the dishes. And this is Stanley and I folding clothes and then Flat Stanley and me hung out on the couch and watched Ellen and ate cold pizza.”

  13. Emma Lewis

    December 11, 2013 at 8:27 am

    The doppelganger of the top celebrity literally shocked me, lol

  14. Pingback: Anonymous Mom: Let's Say No Elf On the Shelf

  15. Mikster

    December 17, 2013 at 4:28 pm

    Nope. If I had one, he’d be boozing and partying like a rock star with all the leftover Barbies- and maybe GI Joes too 😉

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *