Saturday, December 1, 2012

Elf on a Shelf - Creepy Creature or Cute Custom?

It's December 1st!!  There are just 24 shopping days left before Christmas.  The malls are bustling and children are making lists for Santa.  Of course, as tradition goes, Santa only brings toys to those who've been good.  Who monitors this behavior for Santa?  Parents?  Teachers?  Maybe, but many people purchase "Elf on a Shelf," a little elf figurine with an accompanying book that notes the elf should be placed on a shelf to keep watch over the children and he/she will report back to Santa on the little ones behavior.

We stocked these figures and the books in our Borders for years and we always sold out of them.  I always found the figurine and the concept downright creepy.  I polled my BWOBNY colleagues for their thoughts.

My good friend Melanie disagrees my unease with the elf.  She finds him to be cute and adds, "I don't see how it's any creepier than 'He sees you when you're sleeping He knows when you're awake.'  As an adult you find it creepy because you've all seen movies such as Chuckie and Puppet Master, etc where inanimate objects come to life to hurt people. However, Elf on a Shelf is presented to children in a fun, light-hearted manner. He is no more dangerous than the toys in your bedroom."

Maybe but even as a kid, my Cabbage Patch Doll spooked me so much that it was abandoned in a closet until it got banished to the attic.

However, most of the BWOBNY crew finds the elf creepy.

Jess B., "Honestly I think it is weird. Creepy old school looking elf playing nanny cam on children. It gives me the hibbie jibbies just saying."

Jess P., "
I do not like him, he is creepy. The last holiday season we were open I remember this little boy crying at the register because his mom was buying one and he was scared that the elf was going to watch him. For the record my new Asst Manager thinks he is creepy too!" 

Rachel, "Not only is it creepy, it's expensive too. I would never spend $29.95 on a weird doll that will probably try to eat me in my sleep."

Rebecca, "The thing that bothers me the most about Elf on a Shelf (and there are many things....) are the double entendres in the descriptions on the box and on the accessories. THAT is what creeps me out the most - for example, on the skirt (which you buy separately) it says something to the effect of - leave this skirt where your elf can see it and she'll slip it on before she heads off for her late night visit with Santa. Granted, kids won't pick up on it, but it totally creepifies the whole thing on a new level."  

Unlike House Elves, this creature doesn't go away when presented with clothes.

Not only do find him creepy, I don't like that the product is designed to intimidate children in behaving well.  It should be enough for parents/guardians to instruct their children to behave properly without the fear of an elf reporting back to Santa.  It's like the elf is an enforcer for Santa's mob or something-not cool.

What do you guys think?  Please share with us! 


Anonymous said...

We had the Elf at our home when I was growing up. This was before he had a middle (Ona) and last (Shelf) name. The creepy thing about him was his legs were bendable wire in green cloth. And his arms (with no hands) were wrapped around his knees. Crazy Twilight Zone dreams would invade my sleep thanks to the little green guy.

Jenn N. said...

LOL, Moonlite. When I first read this I thought, he has a name?! It's Ona Shelf? That sounds like a vetoed James Bond girl name. Then Rebecca T pointed out you were making a joke *headdesk* Please forgive my stupidity.

Anonymous said...

What really bothers me is that they needed to put out a "girl" elf that looks like she's wearing makeup and earrings. The darn thing was pretty androgenic to begin with why do we have to tart her up to be sure it's a girl? :S