Get the Hell Off My Shelf, Elf


Our Elf on the Shelf finally showed up for the Christmas season. Late, as usual. Something about work obligations and a general lack of sleep.

I guess I’m excited to see the little guy. My kids sure like him. The Elf made some appearances last year before Christmas, but the kids were a little too young to truly understand the magnitude of the Elf’s presence. At 3, the Elf was just another cute Christmas decoration with a vague connection to the fat man that brings presents.

But the creepy little dude in pajamas is back. Honestly, I’m not sure how I feel about it. In principle, I’m fine with any sort of mythology that reinforces good behavior with my kids. I’ve been known to tell them that the Easter Bunny cries himself to sleep if they don’t eat all of the green beans on their plate…and clean up their room.

But my kids don’t get that the Elf on the Shelf is supposed to be Santa’s little Narc. Ask them why Chippie the Elf has showed up, and they’ll say, “to bring us chocolate!”

Which is total bullshit. Daddy gives them chocolate. The Elf is supposed to be the heavy, the bad cop. I don’t need another person in my life to swoop in and hand out sugar and presents. I need someone to make the kids scrub their fingernails and go to sleep at night. I thought Chippie was my guy, but apparently, he’s just another sap.

And don’t get me started on the overzealous Elf on the Shelf parents. To you mother-fuckers who have gulped down the Elf on the Shelf Kool-Aid, I say stop it. Stop finding really cute ways to hide your Elf. More importantly, stop sharing pictures of your Elf hiding in really creative, mind-blowing ways on Facebook. If I see one more picture of an Elf sitting at the center of a Last Supper recreated flawlessly with action figures and Barbie dolls, I’m going to lose my shit.

Who the hell has the time and energy to bake the Elf into the center of a soufflé so that the kids discover Santa’s little Narc is watching them as they eat breakfast? Who does that?!

I can barely remember to move my damned Elf night after night. This morning, I had to stuff the Elf down my pants to get him out of the room before my kids noticed that Chippie was too damned lazy to land in a different spot after his commute from the North Pole.

And what’s with those naughty Elves that have cereal fights in the middle of the night? Parents, why would you create another mess for yourself to clean up? Do your kids not drop enough Cheerios on the floor every goddamned morning? Or maybe your Elves are so full of Christmas magic that they clean up after themselves.

Now that’s an Elf on the Shelf I could totally get behind; An Elf that cleans the house when you’re not looking. Maybe even whips up a couple of PBJ’s every once in a while. Maybe my Elf is broken. He just sits there, smiling, judging, not lifting a Goddamned finger to help out.

Thanks Elf. Now stop giving my kids chocolate.

Dear Santa, Let’s Get Real


Let’s be honest:  I’m not sure which side of the your master list I fall on this year–naughty or nice? I’ve certainly had my share of indiscretions in 2012. The “great beer pong misadventure” probably tops the list (my apologies to the city of Atlanta for the trail of vomit and clothing I left on your sidewalks). But overall, I think I’m al alright guy. Case in point, I’m about to come clean to you. I’ve been lying to you for over 30 years now, sending you half-truth Christmas lists every December because I was too ashamed to be honest. Here’s an example: Remember when I was 12? I didn’t really want season tickets to the Braves. What I really wanted for Christmas was to see Tiffany Altman naked. But how do you write that in a Christmas letter? That your mom sends?

But I’m mailing my own letters now, and the letters of my children, so I figure it’s time to come clean and get straight to the point. Forget the Smart Wool socks I’ve previously asked for. Ditto World Peace—we’d just fuck it up anyway. Here’s my real Christmas List.

12 Things I Really Want For Christmas

1)   I want my kids to eat all of their dinner, just once. Every chicken finger, every macaroni noodle, every sliced grape and green bean. And then, maybe after they clean their plate, they could look at me and say, “Hey Dad, thanks for cooking a delicious yet nutritious meal. We appreciate you.”

2)   The next time I go away on a work trip, I want my wife to stop me as I get into the taxi and give me a naughty video that I “shouldn’t watch on the plane.” You know, like in that Samsung phone commercial. What a great wife that lady is! For any female readers out there, your husband wants you to make one of these videos too. Trust me.

3)    Six hours of complete silence

4)    A butler.

5)    A golf cart.

6)    I want couples with one kid to stop complaining about how difficult parenthood is, or how tired they are. Really? It’s tough to get one kid to sleep? To bathe one kid? To take one kid to the grocery store? People with mono-babies can suck it. You’re not allowed to talk to me until number two comes around. I don’t go around telling people with quadruplets how difficult raising twins is, now do I?

7)    A babysitter that also mows the lawn.

8)    A recording contract for Toots and the McGoots.

9)    Let’s talk more about this video I want my wife to make me.

10)  Two kids that wake up at 6am, look around and say, “let’s go back to bed until 8.” Or maybe one of them says, “I’m not that tired. I think I’ll just get up and vacuum and organize the playroom.”

11)  Bombproof immune systems for the kids…or an antibiotic drip. Whichever is more practical for the elves.

12)  A built-in vacuum system for the mini-van that sucks up goldfish the second the kids drop them.