Breaking up with The Elf on the Shelf












The Elf on the Shelf craze is a supermom’s (or superdad’s) dream. Who wouldn’t relish in the freedom of frequently reminding their child that Santa is always watching and you better watch out? Not to mention the extreme pinning and creativity that comes with naming and creating these hysterical scenes? My favorite recently is the one with Elsa in her “freeze” position with the Elf frozen into a block of ice. (I hope that is not too morbid, but I am totally Team Elsa!)

New to the game? The Elf on the Shelf is a book with an Elf prop. The Elf is supposed to be one of Santa’s scouts who comes to your home to “watch” the kids and then flies back to the North Pole every night to report to Santa if your children are on the naughty or nice list today.  There is a rule that if the child touches the Elf, the Elf will lose his or her magic and will not return to the family. The Elf is named on his or her first night in your home, and then that same Elf returns year after year, building a bond with your child.

So let’s do the math: assume a child typically believes in Santa until age 8 and gets their first Elf on the Shelf around 2 years old, that is 184 scenes and that is if you only have one child and your Elf doesn’t arrive until the start of December (many arrive the day after Thanksgiving). As you can imagine, by year 3, many parents are over it.

I have heard so many parents say they feel trapped. This tradition seemed like one that once you started, you kind of had to stick with it until they didn’t believe anymore. (Great marketing by the way!) Their kids would think they were AWFUL if their Elf didn’t come back and they never touched it. 


My sweet friend, Katie was there. She was ready to take the plunge and break up with her Elf on the Shelf. I think if you asked her why she would say it wasn’t really that she didn’t like the idea of the Elf anymore.  It was more that her kids were getting older and she and her husband wanted to remind them of the true reason for the season (and yes, maybe they were a little burnt out with coming up with all the scenes).

So she wrote a letter to her kids, from their Elf, Sully, on his first visit of the season.

It was important that the break up helped her kids to remember it was him and not them. It is too sweet not to share and she graciously obliged.

A Note from Sully the Elf

Dear Grayson and Cullen,

I am so excited that Christmas time is here again! It’s such a wonderful and magical time of the year. It’s very, very busy for Santa and all the elves, but we really like it that way.
I am so excited to tell you both that Santa has promoted me (that means he gave me a different job) to TOY MAKER ELF! Woohooo! That means I won’t be coming every night this Christmas season to come be silly with you all.

Please don’t be sad. I know you’re both really good kids, and Santa does too! Santa and I will not forget you, and we will continue to check on you throughout the year.

One final note from me. Getting presents is great, but don’t forget the real reason we celebrate. God sent a special gift, a Son born just for you. So you can be forgiven for any bad that you do. God loves you most, and that’s the best gift of all.

Have a wonderful Christmas, and keep being good. I sure do hope one of my toys makes it on your Christmas list!

Your Friend, Sully

To soften the blow, Sully also left cupcakes for breakfast. And breaking up is always better with a cupcake.

So if you are an Elf on the Shelf family and ready to break up, just do it. If you are an Elf on the Shelf family and still loving it, then keep on doing it! But the important thing is to do what feels right until it doesn’t feel right anymore. Don’t feel trapped. And as you are letting your creative juices flow, share them, we Non-Elf families LOVE it!

So tell us, are you an Elf on the Shelf family? Why or Why not? Did you have to “break up” and if so, how did you do it?