“No, don’t open it!”
As strange as holiday customs and lore can be, we tend to get used to them pretty quickly if for no other reason than self-interest. Sure, the notion of a large bearded man breaking into your house and eating your baked goods sounds a little freaky out of context, but once you realize that he’s only doing those things so that you can get the toys you wanted, you learn to make your peace with the whole weird phenomenon.
What makes matters worse is that the whole thing seems to be a marketing scheme by those who own the rights to the bizarre convention.
Though I happened to miss the ‘Elf on the Shelf’ trend by about a decade, it would seem that even younger kids are still having a hard time with the idea of a diminutive, motionless spy staring at them all day long, moving around the during the wee hours.
And who could blame them?
When this dad just takes out the box containing the Elf on the Shelf, two of his girls start to really lose their composure, begging him not to open it. Naturally, the third and youngest sister, influenced by the reactions of the other two, starts to sort of cluelessly freak out even though it doesn’t seem like she knows why.
I’m with the kids on this one. Not only is the concept a little bizarre, but you can see why the kids are downright terrified when the dad flip open the box for the big reveal – a lifeless elf laying in a jackknifed position. Of course, for the dad, scaring his kids like this is just one more perk of having kids around the holidays, so I’m sure he was loving the whole spectacle, even if his daughters were screaming bloody murder to keep that prying elf out of the house.
Of course, not every Elf on the Shelf experience has to be a traumatic one. Sometimes, they can be used by father and son to cause a little trouble, as this video demonstrates: