Tag Archives: elf on the shelf

Jingle: That Little MotherPucker


The  year my daughter came of age, that is, she was old enough to understand The Elf on the Shelf, I, like all other (unknowing, naive, unsuspecting, moronic) first-time moms was beyond excited to introduce the Elf to our family. “Jingle” as she was soon named, was welcomed into our home with the holiday cheer and merry magic that accompanies all the wonders of Christmas. Every night, Vivian went to bed speculating on where, oh where, Jingle would be in the morning. And every night, my husband and I took turns finding new and creative ways to move that impish little thing. Oh, what joy! Or so we thought…



Chapter 1: The First Year

  1. No alarm was needed to remind us to move Jingle. We could barely wait for the kid to fall asleep!
  2. There were so many choices of where to place Jingle! She could peak from the window, sail through the wind on a toilet paper swing or sleep soundly in a Kleenex box! Hooooray!
  3. When we got low on ideas, there was Pinterest – waiting to provide “1,001 Ways to Pose Your Elf on the Shelf”! AND lucky for us, you only had to spend 2 hours a night (not counting travel time to the craft store) with your hot glue gun, bag of chocolate chips, sewing machine, welder’s mask, soldering iron and eye of newt.
  4. Every morning, Vivian flung herself out of bed and with utter joy searched our home for Jingle. When she found her, she would have whole conversations with her and then regale us with what she thought Jingle was saying in response.
  5. The threat of Jingle telling Santa about bad behavior was enough to make Vivian hop to attention military-style and remain obedient for a day or two. Ahhh… parenting at its finest!
  6. I took pictures of every single spot where we found dear Jingle. Come Christmas morning, Vivian found a special note documenting the elf’s travels around our house now that she had returned to the North Pole.

Chapter 2: Every Year Since

  1. I set an alarm on my phone to remind me to move that MotherPucker. I turn the alarm off because inevitably I am in the middle of something when the alarm sounds. I finish the night’s chores, get all snug in my bed, await visions of sugar plums and… OH SHIT! I forgot to move that MotherPucker.
  2. There is not an inch of this house where that MotherPucker hasn’t sat its tiny felt ass. Some spots more than once.
  3. Pinterest is an asshole. And I don’t want to build an entire scaled scene from the Mesozoic era to incorporate that MotherPucker into an historically accurate lesson on tectonic plate shifting.
  4. It’s 6:30 am. I don’t want to look for that MotherPucker and frankly, Vivian isn’t all that thrilled at that MotherPucker’s antics either. Where the hell are you? We’ve got shit to do.
  5. The threat of that MotherPucker telling Santa about bad behavior makes little to no difference because… well… yeah, right.
  6. One of my Christmas miracles is getting to pack that MotherPucker back up and hide it in a closet for another year. PEACE.


It’s less than a week until that MotherPucker returns. I have zero new ideas and not much more inclination to think of any. BUT… I will move and hide that little shapeless shit, Jingle, every single Christmas of my life if that is what Vivian wants. If it makes her believe in magic and gives her faith, I will fill the house with Jingle’s entire genealogical line. Because that’s what matters. Her smile. Her happy.

Still. Jingle = MotherPucker



Marriage Counseling with an Elf

If you have a kid or some child that visits your home frequently and is over the age of 3, you have an Elf on the Shelf, so you can skip the following debriefing. If you do not know of this phenomenon, let me illuminate you. It is a poorly formed stuffed elf with a hard plastic head that you can barely pose, yet you are expected to contort the thing in all kinds of anthropomorphic ways. The idea is that once you name the elf, it gets its magic and every night flies back to the North Pole to report the child’s behavior to Santa. It returns by the first flicker of the kiddo’s eyes in the morning, but it is always in a new spot. You can’t touch the elf or it will lose its powers. There you have it.


With a child of 3, this is our first year having an elf. Our daughter named the elf Jingle and every night since Thanksgiving, my husband and I have been positioning Jingle in every room of the house doing every conceivable rated-G activity. A few nights in, it was clear to me that Jingle was sent to us as more than just a way to bribe our child into behaving; she was sent here to be our marriage counselor.

1. She demands teamwork and partnership: “Did you remember to move Jingle?” “Oh! Thanks! I almost forgot. Boy, that would have been bad!” “Asshole.”

2. She fosters our creative thinking: We literally have a typed list of possible places Jingle can go so we always have something to draw from if we get stuck. We brainstormed, that’s right… together, to compile a fairly comprehensive list, if I do say so myself.

3. She forces us to communicate: We disagree on tonight’s placement of Jingle. We see the little gleam in her eye. She’s prompting us; “Tell each other how you really feel.” And so we do… “Why do you think your ideas are soooo much better than mine? You’re never supportive of me and you act so superior!” “No, you are twisting my words! I said there MIGHT be a better place to hide the elf than with its head in the oven…”

4. She helps us prioritize family values: Our child’s happiness is our number one priority so if it means that one of us can’t brush our teeth for an entire 24 hours because Jingle is “practicing good dental hygiene” with our toothbrush, then so be it. It’s all about sacrifice.

5. She encourages intimacy: After you have spent four hours coming up with an idea, creating the perfect backdrop, sewing custom-fitted elf clothes to match the scenario, placing the entire elf diorama somewhere that your kid can’t knock it over thus taking away all the elf magic, cleaning up any evidence and then discussing the answers to any possible questions your child might ask that would render you speechless and give away the whole darn plot… Well, after all that, there is nothing left to do but hold each other close while you shake and whimper, “What have our lives become?”


The Elf on the Shelf is a marriage saver, I tell you. It really brings you closer than you ever thought you could be. So my friends, I leave you with this advice: Once December 25th arrives and your elf returns back to the North Pole for the next 11 months, don’t be too quick to fall back into the old routines. Try to carry all the lessons your wise elf has imparted with you throughout the year. Either that or pack that elf away in a box that will never get opened again, because DAMN! Hiding that little shapeless shit night after night gets exhausting and who the hell wants to stumble around acting happy to search for the thing at 6 am? We sure as shit don’t…