Thursday, December 6, 2012

Elf on the Shelf vs Peek-a-boo

Photo: Anyone else doing Elf on the Shelf? We started this year. Pro: about a 50% reduction in fighting between siblings because I can say "Hey you two better stop or Fred The Elf is going to tell Santa!" Con: I have to remember to move the damn elf every night.

I can't lie, I find Elf on the Shelf creepy as heck.  I can only imagine the therapy that will be needed by the children subjected to this particular Christmas trend.  In fact it reminds me of the creepiest Christmas tradition my family observed...

When I was a little girl, my Grandma told me about Santa's elf, Peek-a-boo.  Peek-a-boo was a magical elf that watched little boys and girls, and reported their behaviour back to Santa.  Lovely story to tell a child with a wildly vivid imagination.  Really.  At the ripe old age of 3, I was convinced that Santa's elf was watching me through my bedroom window.  One night just before my grandparents who were visiting got ready to leave, I was sent to my room to get into my jammies.  It was about this time of year, and the threat of Santa not coming was being held over my head...for every little transgression (although I must admit my mother never "phoned" Santa....I did several times when my children were had the desired effect).   My grandma, ever helpful, retold the story of Peek-a-boo that evening.  As I readied my 3 year old self for bed, I saw him looking in my bedroom window.  My bedroom in rural Ontario, no neighbours, pitch black outside, absolutely no way ANYONE was looking in the window.

That was 40 years ago.  I still have the image of that little b*st*rd looking in my window, engraved on my brain.  He was wearing a white outfit with coloured polka dots, and had a blue pompom on his hat.  I remember the shriek of terror that I emitted, and my little heart pounding as I ran screeching back to the livingroom, and leaping into my dad's arms.  My dad swears he thought Jack the Ripper was in my room from my behaviour.  I was wearing apple green pjs with pink cherries on them (it was the '70s after all...).  The worst part of all?  They laughed at me.  My grandpa laughed until tears rolled down his cheeks.  My father still laughs so hard he can barely tell the story.  Which is repeated at least once a Christmas season.

The moral of the story?  Be careful with that freaking Elf on the Shelf.  40 years from now your darling child might be reliving the horror.  And considering help from a mental health professional to overcome the trauma.  You've only yourself to blame if you're asked to put money into the shrink pot to help defray the costs of extensive therapy.

I wonder what Jung would say about Peek-a-boo vs Elf on the Shelf?  I say avoid them both.  Creepy little b*st*rds.

3 comments: said...


IT is a terrible story to tell a three year old..damned granny!

Thanks for calling it a bastard. Made my night!

Remind me to tell you about my mom's idea about trading me in for a different daughter. My 40 yr old self thinks "now that's some stellar parenting! "

Nicole said...

True story. I never told my kiddos about Peek-a-boo, and we never did Elf on the Shelf. I did however "phone" Santa to report their transgressions. Usually on about Day 7 of a stretch of their father working all hours of available overtime. They're lucky I didn't throw them to Peek-a-boo!

I believe there were many days that my mother wanted to trade me for a different a little more compliant and with normal hair :) said...

My mom used to tell me "I'm going to trade you in for one of the models in that book!" and it would be a Sears catalog. It scared me because I always thought those little girls modeling clothes had once been alive, but were now stuck in the Sears book, frozen! I was little..what can I say? I have no clue where I got that from and I'm sure I didn't express it to my mom..because had I..I ASSUME she wouldn't have tortured me. But it was very scary to me! My mom had issues with my hair too. I was the "constant beneficiary" of many home perms, haircuts and all other types of non sensical ridiculousness that all failed to cure my bad hair. :-)