Ah, Elf on the Shelf.
It’s a beautiful Christmas tradition, but the bane of parents everywhere.
If there’s one thing everyone who’s ever had children seems to agree on, it’s that December is already a tough month: the endless cleaning, cooking, present-buying, present-wrapping and present-re-wrapping (because that shit is hard). That’s on top of school Christmas concerts, speech days, end-of-year presents for teachers, and the ordinary stress of having the kids home on school holidays.
In light of all that, it’s not hard to imagine that the pressure to movie that darn Elf to a different Shelf every night can sometimes feel overwhelming.
Which is why Illinois mum Christy Heins, who came up with an ingenious method of “retiring” her family’s Elf George, is our new hero.
“Cleaning up after [three] children and a dog is enough,” she wrote on Facebook. “I forgot to move him more times than I can even count, and I cut it close a few times trying to sneakily move him after the kids were already awake.”
So Christy did what any enterprising mum would do in this scenario: forge a letter to her kids from Santa himself.
Thinking of staging an Elf on the Shelf murder? You’re not alone.
The letter, which Christy shared with ABC News in the US, described how George wanted to be a “real toy” instead of just a “scout elf”, sent to children’s houses to decide who was on his Naughty and Nice lists.
“He saw the excitement and happiness in your eyes each morning when you found him, and he wanted you to be able to touch him and play with him just like your other toys,” wrote “Santa”.
“He asked me if I could make this wish come true for him this Christmas, and I said YES! I love making Christmas wishes come true.
“He knows that once you touch him, he will lose his magic to be able to fly and that’s okay! That’s what he really wants!”
George the Elf hid one last time for Christy’s kids to find – and now, he’ll be an ordinary toy until Christmas Eve, when “Santa” will pick up and take him back to his elf friends in the North Pole.
Well bloody played, Christy.
We could all learn a thing or two.