A new American Christmas fad is slowly creeping across the UK, and honestly – I don’t like it.

Elf on a Shelf seems to be taking the UK by storm, and I’m baffled as to why. For those who have never heard of Elf on a Shelf, it’s essentially a horrific plastic bastard, sent ‘From Santa’ to monitor a child’s behaviour. Each night, it inexplicably flies back to the North Pole to ‘report’ on a child, and then comes back the next day and assumes a new position somewhere in the house for the children to find it. This is usually made a little more ‘interesting’ by the Elf being somewhere it shouldn’t, perhaps being a bit cheeky or naughty. It’s not designed to be a toy, a child touching it will apparently make the Elf loses its magical flying bollocks and won’t be able to report back to Santa.


So basically it’s a bribery tool, with a kitsch cutesy twist.


I understand that the threat of being on Santa’s bad list has been something that has been around for many years. Even in the past with G, I’ve had to ‘phone up Santa’ to report bad behaviour (usually making her stop whatever he was doing immediately), this just seems to add ANOTHER layer on to the lie of Santa. Honestly, I don’t want J to grow up with another fictional character in the arsenal that us parents already have, especially not one that’s been thought up by ‘Santa’s Team‘. Essentially three grown women who obviously make a tonne of cash over their creepy little creation. You can get clothes and accessories for the plastic faced f*ckers too, heck there’s even a DVD and BluRay too – it’s nice to know someone is getting rich off Santa and his elves.

Also the fact that parents put the Elves in ‘naughty’ places or poses seems counter productive, you’ve got something monitoring bad behaviour, that’s up to no good itself?  Weird.

The look of them too, they give me the creeps, I imagine they do come alive at night, either to harvest your organs or gradually steal your soul – or rummage through Mum’s knicker drawer.

The general consensus seems to be a bit ‘Marmite’ – either you’re a household that’s on board with the concept, or you’re not, there’s not much middle ground. I did ask people to tweet their thoughts on the soul stealing midgets here are a few –

I will never get the concept of an elf who is sent to watch children’s behaviour then being naughty itself. There, I said it. – @kateab

@kiphakes A friend on fb is doing it and uploading pics everyday. I don’t understand the logic in it really. I wouldn’t do it. – @AFatKindaThin

@kiphakes I think for some parents he’s just a bit of Christmas magic, for others its a stick to beat kids with. I don’t do him, creepy elf – @kykaree

@kiphakes our elf is well behaved just moves around, the children love looking for him in the morning. Got the DVD which they enjoy too – @FBishWife

@kiphakes A way for parents to manipulate children into behaving. A bit like ‘Old Nick’s listening’ my MIL likes to say to the grandkids. – @EvelineTimeless

@kiphakes I’m on the fence. Not bothered either way. – @genuineplacebo

@kiphakes They’re a bit ugly & take up way too much time. If I had the time, I couldn’t be bothered. Don’t mind seeing others creativity tho – @ETusty

So a bit of a mixed bag – obviously I can’t berate anyone on how they choose to get their kids in the Christmas spirit, but I just can’t get on board with this. It’s all a bit corporate for my liking, obviously you don’t have to buy the official doll this is a slightly less scary / creepy / soul stealy version @FBishWife has one that looks a little kinder .

I wonder if this will become a real ‘thing’ that snowballs (ha!) each year, or will slowly die out in favour of some other corporate wizards trying to fleece you out of money another way.

Kip Hakes is a 35 year old Daddy Blogger, Columnist and Designer from Essex. He’s got two children Georgia (13) and James (4). He’s been blogging since 2008, and subjects include – Parenting, Technology, Reviews, Photography, Rants and Raves and more.