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  • Writer's pictureNiamh O'Reilly

Why I Hate Elf on the Shelf...

I’ve come to realise there are two types of people in this world. Those who do Elf on the Shelf and those who do not. I’m sorry but there is just no in between and I’m firmly in the latter camp.


The Elf is banned from the house.



I have to preface all of this by saying, I’m far from being a Grinch. In fact, come December 1, I’m just short of stapling tinsel to my knickers and changing my name to Nolliag, because I’m all about the festive fun. I’m the first to blast out the tunes on Christmas Fm, break out the festive sweets, and start ticking gifts off my list. I’m here for the lights, the hot chocolates and the wrapping paper. I love hearing my kids say they cannot wait for Santa to arrive on repeat. I love putting the letter up the chimney and the chats about what we’ll leave the big man in red on Christmas Eve and if Rudolf will ever finish a carrot.


But I unequivocally refuse to do Elf on the Shelf. In fact, I’d go so far to say that I hate the little f*cker and his smirking expression with a passion.

But the magic, Niamh, the magic! It’s SO much fun.


Is it though? Because, between booking elaborate Santa visits, buying multiple chocolate advent calendars, going on festive light walks, going to Christmas school plays, carol singing, multiple after school activity Christmas performances, donning matching Christmas Pjs, and putting up enough deccies to put Clark Griswold to shame, I’m hoping my kids have enough Christmas magic to last them a lifetime.


Don’t get me wrong, I can see the appeal of the Elf. But I also think it is just another layer of stress to add to an already stressed-out mum in the run up to Christmas, because let’s face it, it’s us mums that do the lions share of all of the above.


I also think the idea of an all-seeing, all-reporting Elf watching your kids to make sure they behave is a little bit creepy. I mean come on, it wouldn’t take much to push that smirking Elf into Chucky territory.


I’m all for the joy and the magic, because when your kids are small Christmas is magical. There is nothing like sharing in that with them and it really takes you back to when you were small. It’s this universally lovely thing we can all understand and it’s hard not to get carried away by it.


But the truth is that magic and joy don’t just happen by themselves and for every happy kid at Christmas you’ll find a tired, stressed mum behind the scenes ensuring it all goes off without a hitch.

What she doesn’t need is to wake up at one in the morning in a panic because she forgot to move the Elf into a new position and now must run downstairs in the freezing dark to do so. She doesn’t need to see Instagram posts with pictures of the elf in increasingly exotic poses and situations that puts hers to shame. In fact, she needs it like a hole in the head.


What do you think are you an Elf on the Shelf person or not?


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