The Elf on the Shelf is a surveillance-normalizing little creep


#1

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#2

Didn’t the elf get replaced?


#3

Not only is he spying on you, YOU HAVE TO BUY HIM CLOTHING!


#4

It’s a lot less creepy than this snowglobe I was given this year :

The little Hal in the middle just keeps tracking me around the room and it’s not even all that Christmassy looking to be honest with you


#5

My mother bought us an Elf on the Shelf years ago, and every year I dutifully put him out for my kids to find. Just started this morning. I can’t say it has any influence on my children’s behavior. I can’t even say that they’re very invested in the tradition. If I do a really good job hiding him, they just give up and go on with their lives.

We haven’t really played up the whole “be good or Santa won’t bring you good presents” thing. Early on my wife suggested that this might not be the best parenting tactic.


#6

I take greater offense to this product declaring itself to be “a tradition.”

That’s not how traditions work.


#7

Pretending that things you “have to” buy are a tradition is a fine capitalist tradition. It worked wonders for De Beers.


#8

My parents never used the elf on me (Santa constantly watching was scary enough), but they tried this on my brother when he was younger. The fact that it was always there freaked him out; the poor kid had nightmares about it. Then the elf quietly disappeared and I completely forgot it existed.

It’s certainly a lot weirder now that I’m an adult. :flushed:


#9

This is why the security minded instead buy a Mensch On A Bench. He reports to no one.


#10

That really kills “Festivus” for me.


#11

I guess that we can all rest comfortably with the fact that Krampus does not have a convenient rhyming household perch…


#12

Great, now I have an itch I can’t scratch.


#13

Seriously! I can’t think of anything else!


#14

I always took the war toy idea with a grain of salt, but when I saw a kids toy wearing a gas mask, it shocked me. Now when I see the TSA represented, police in riot gear, military helicopter toys, none of it seems like fun and games anymore. There is a dark future in the works, and our kids are being conditioned to accept it from early on. With this toy, Its only fitting that kids learn early that spies dont really have a uniform.


#15

There’s the obvious one for students… Krampus on Campus. :stuck_out_tongue:


#16

Something, something, college, campus? That’s all I’ve got, sorry.


#17

Gah. Sniped.


#18

It is possible to remove the worst of Elf on a Shelf and still use it. We do not treat it as some horrible “gotcha” but as a simple game of hide-and-seek. The Elf brings chocolate advent calendars on Dec 1. Then every morning after the Elf is in some other spot in the house and the kids have to find it. Nothing more than that. No reporting to Santa, no watching behavior, nothing. The kids don’t even know that’s part of the story. It simply provides a bit of delight to the morning routine during December.


#19

I keep picturing Krampus sitting on a grampa.


#20

I had never heard of this phenomenon until just a few years ago (like within in the last 5 years.) At the time, I wrote it off as a creepy regional thing and tried to ignore it. We have no children and Christmas isn’t our holiday, so it was easy at the time. Now it seems like this is popping up all over the place and people are indeed acting like it’s something that they’ve been doing forever. (Or at least for a generation, which I’ll note is effectively forever for a lot of people.)

Yeah, seriously, not a tradition.