As if we didn’t have enough going on this holiday season, along came Elmo, Buddy and Steve. Welcome to my holiday world of horrors where three little elves reign supreme

If you have older children, then you may not know about Santa’s new helpers – better known as “Elf On A Shelf.”

With the population exploding as it is, Santa has simply become too busy to check on all the children in the world who have been naughty or nice. So, in an ingenious (and commercially brilliant) moment of forethought, he has enlisted the help of personal assistants – the elves – to do this job. Santa usually sends out his army of elves right after Thanksgiving. And once they get to your home, they’ve been instructed to only come out to play when everyone is asleep.

Santa must certainly have a wicked sense of humor though because many of his elves have a mean streak. They are known to create havoc eating crackers and leaving crumbs; finding toothpaste and scribbling messages; climbing over furniture and turning things over. And when the family awakens, they then magically freeze in place until the next evening – watching all you do.

So when our elves appeared this year, my children were overjoyed. I, on the other hand, was not too excited to see our  new visitors. You see, I had things to do, presents to buy, trees to decorate, cookies to bake and now . . .

Each and every morning since Thanksgiving my children have run about trying to see what mess the elves have created and where they have ended up. But being “our” elves, ironically, their mess is miniscule and, astonishingly, they only move a few feet each morning. All of which appears to have seriously ticked off my 7 year old.

Saturday morning, having found the elves, “just” sitting on the mantle, he couldn’t take it anymore and blurted out, “We’ve got lazy elves. Ours don’t do anything!”

“What do you mean? Our elves aren’t lazy. They’re just calm and neat,” I tried to explain. “No they’re not,” chimed in my middle child. “In fact, I think they are dead. Look at them, they just sit there – doing nothing!!

“What exactly are they supposed to be doing?” I inquired, hurt that the elves weren’t living up to expectations.

“Sara’s elf leaves her presents.” “Garret’s elf makes him homemade crafts.” “Madeline’s elf writes her notes … in magical elf handwriting that only her mom can decipher.”

That evening, after putting the kids to bed, I walked up to the elves who were still sitting on that mantel – doing nothing. “Did you hear all that? You better step it up or next year you’ll be back working the line at the North Pole.”

Angel Kane can be reached at  For more of Angel and Becky’s columns go to and hit Columns & Blogs.

Angel Kane - Kane & Crowell Family Law Center

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