Elf Fail.

December 5, 2013

You would think moving an elf from one spot in the house to another spot on a nightly basis wouldn’t be such a hard task. Right? WRONG! Despite the millions of Pinterest pins inspiring parental creativity in their elf-ly duties, moving this 12 inch little bugger every night  to ignite the Christmas magic in our innocent children isn’t as simple as it seems. I’ll be the first to admit that my husband and I can’t get our act together. Today is December 5th and thus, far we have had 4 elf fails in the 5 days that “Franklin” bestowed his magical presence upon our house as Santa’s #1 look out man. Here is a recap.

Day 1: So far, so good.

Children wake up and race downstairs to see if the elf had arrived. He did, indeed, and was peering at them like so when they entered the kitchen:


We read the Elf story, we named him Franklin, we explained the “rules”. Day 1 = success. Since then, we have totally sucked at this elf-moving business.

Day 2: The Decoy.

At 6:18am I hear footsteps running towards our room. Crap! I elbow my husband to wake up, “Did you move the elf last night?”

“No, I thought you did?”

“Well I didn’t. Quick, run downstairs and move him before they go down and I’ll distract them.”…. My husband rolls out of bed, ushers kids toward me as I bribe, “Come here little guys whooooo wants to get some extra snuggles with mommy????!!!!!!” (Thank god they still love stuff like this. Worked like a charm.)

Day 3: The Guilt Trip.

6:45 am the kids skip coming into our room and run straight downstairs to find the elf in the same exact spot. “Mommy! Mommy! Franklin didn’t move!!”

“He didn’t?????”…..pause…..think of an excuse…..curse the damn elf…. curse myself for forgetting…..and say the only logical thing I can think of…”Well, he must not have moved because you were mean to your brother yesterday. He probably wanted to give you a second chance to behave better today before he reports back to Santa.”


“Yeah, he didn’t go back to the North Pole last night, but he is going back tonight so you better be good.”

Seriously…. now I am guilting my own child at something that was clear my fault. Nice.

Day 4: Lies. 

6:36am the boys run into our room. “Good morning little buddies!” Elbow husband… “Psst, the E-L-F… did you M-O-V-E?”


… and as he starts to roll out of bed so I can distract the boys (again) while he moves the elf my older son says, “Mommy we already went downstairs and Franklin STILL didn’t go back to the North Pole?!”

Sounding as astonished as I can possible sound at this hour of the morning I reply, “He didn’t????! Hmmm… well that must have been because your brother touched him yesterday and he lost some of his magic. He probably didn’t have enough strength to get back home.”

…. hmmm, yeah it’s pretty sad that I am getting so good at coming up with these excuses… not to mention passing the blame to my children.

Big brother proceeds to punch little brother in the arm. “See. I told you not to touch him!”

Okay husband.. We can do better than this. We need to keep the Christmas magic alive. I dug deep and sent my husband this list of ideas…. and told him that he was in charge of Franklin from now on because clearly hoping the other one would remember wasn’t working.

Day 5: The Fumble.

Dearest Daddy didn’t disappoint. This morning my kids ran downstairs and found Franklin doing acrobatics in our kitchen like so:


Yes! We can do this!! One point for moving him and and another point for it being semi-creative. But just wait….

“Mommy how did Franklin get up there like that?”

“Daddy did it.”

Yep. Epic Elf Fail.

Without thinking those were the words that rolled right off my tongue.

“Daddy did it?”

“I meannnnnn, Daddyyyyy(crap think!!)yyyyyyyyyy, left out his fishing wire last night and it looks like Franklin decided to tie it up to practice his circus act.”

“Oh. Daddy goes fishing?”

“Yep, sometimes when you are sleeping at night he practices and stuff…”

“I wanna go fishing with Daddy! With Daddy and Franklin!”

Yeah, so we aren’t doing so great with this whole elf thing. And then I read this post about Elfing for slackers and realized that I am not alone.

So what are your elf fails?… Or wait, maybe you are too busy to read this because you are staging something like this:


Well, Bring it! Game on for December 6th-25th!


  • Natalie
    December 5, 2013 at 8:43 pm

    it is so hard! I have had to stall them or distract them while I move the thing!!

  • Casey Leigh
    December 5, 2013 at 9:44 pm

    I’m glad Liz told me to wait another year!!!

  • Lauren
    December 6, 2013 at 9:46 am

    This is hilarious! My husband is in charge of our elf, and thankfully he is up early and leaves for work before the kids are up. So if he forgets the night before (happens often), he has time to do it in the morning.

  • sherry
    December 6, 2013 at 10:49 am

    See this is the reason I did not get into an elf on the shelf.. more parent guilt for not follow through. The Tooth fairy is hard enough.

  • Emily
    December 6, 2013 at 11:16 am

    I would forget pretty much every other day… that’s why I can’t do this Elf stuff. I have a hard enough time remembering the tooth fairy with four kids! LOL good job!

  • Gina Badalaty
    December 6, 2013 at 12:39 pm

    This is seriously the BEST elf on a shelf post I’ve ever read. I am really trying to hope there’s equally good no follow up 🙂

  • Caitlin
    December 6, 2013 at 1:40 pm

    So funny! This will totally be us next year

  • Katie
    December 6, 2013 at 1:41 pm

    This is awesome!! Thanks for making my day!

  • Carrie
    December 6, 2013 at 2:53 pm

    Yup. Ours kept falling off the hook daddy put him on – I mean – he landed on – and luckily “Mommies can touch them, honey. We don’t have magic left in us so it doesn’t hurt them.” What?!?

  • Katie
    December 6, 2013 at 3:00 pm

    You’re doing a way better job than us! Our elf is still named Happy (same name as last year) and he finds his way to the toy bins on a regular basis… “thanks for cleaning up, girls!” 🙂 Loved your excuses, very creative!

  • Jacque
    December 6, 2013 at 7:51 pm

    This is our fourth year with an elf – and I forget WAY too often!! (Usually I just tell her that he must’ve been super tired and slept all night, and then when we leave for the day, I “forget” something and head back in to move him… )

  • Janeane Davis
    December 7, 2013 at 1:36 am

    I don’t celebrate Christmas so I am totally out of the loop with this elf moving thing you have going on. I am going to have to do some research to find out what is going on. You did make it seem like a fun family activity.

  • Tiffany
    December 7, 2013 at 10:52 am

    This is so funny! I missed out on getting an Elf again this year but I am getting so many good ideas and even horror stories I am going to be totally prepped for next year!

  • Carrie
    December 7, 2013 at 1:21 pm

    Daddy did it, LOL! That’s hilarious!

  • Amber
    December 7, 2013 at 3:14 pm

    I recently wrote about our elf adventures. A fail for me was letting the kids touch him. I didn’t know they weren’t allowed to. Oops.

  • Megan @ C'mon Get Crafty
    December 9, 2013 at 11:04 am

    Take comfort, you are definitely not alone! We have an Elf, and the crafty show-off in me enjoys the elaborate stuff I make him do occasionally, but more often than not I’m so tired by the time my son is asleep that Fred (our elf) just gets a basic relocation. And yes, we’ve forgot, but thankfully J had his own idea why – “He’s sleeping!” Thanks for linking up at Bloggers Brags! 🙂

  • Tammy Doiel
    December 10, 2013 at 9:57 am

    This is one reason why I do not do this–b/c I would always forget! Thanks for linking up with the Bloggers Brags Pinterest Party. I have pinned your post to the Bloggers Brags Pinterest Board!

  • Isabelle
    December 11, 2013 at 9:55 pm

    I was just getting caught up on your hilarious posts and had to share this one with Brett. You had both of us laughing out loud here in the living room. Too funny

  • Emma @ P is for Preschooler
    December 14, 2013 at 12:25 pm

    So funny! This is our first year doing the elf thing and day 1 found my daughter crying because she didn’t want the elf to go back to the North Pole ever. Fortunately it’s gotten better since, but I still go to bed some nights and think “%*&@ elf!” and have to get up to move it!

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