We Have No Elf Here: Merry Elf-Free Christmas

It’s that time of the year folks! Christmas Time!

It’s a time of cheer, a time of family togetherness, a time of all things yummy, a time of giving, and ….. time for the freaking Elf on the Shelf.

Now, full disclosure, if you love the Elf, great. Good for you. Keep on fighting the good fight. But, I don’t love the Elf. In fact, I hate everything he stands for actually. I rue the day that he was born in the imagination of stay at home mom in Georgia.

So, if you are on the fence about starting the elf or just want someone to tell you that it’s okay to throw that cherub-faced Christmas crook in the trash, I’m your girl.

I was called “Scrooge” for not embracing the Elf on the Shelf. I was told that I have no Christmas spirit and why would I want to deprive my child of the timeless Christmas tradition?

(cue my eyes rolling all the way


around into the back of my head)

How dare they? I have Christmas cheer coming out of my freaking ears!

I put up a tree! We even have one of those felt trees for babies to decorate. Our house has decorations! We take Santa pictures! I bake cookies! I will even consider participating in the fraud of a Secret Sister Christmas internet chain letter!

Here’s my problem with the elf.

What was so wrong with just writing a letter to Santa?

Why does Santa’s tiny spy need to hide in my home in varying positions? (Though I do enjoy the adult versions of the Elf on the Shelf in compromising positions – overdoing it on eggnog, passed out with Barbie after a wild night).

Does he or she need to move every night?

Why is it a 911 emergency if my impulsive child touches the obvious toy with ties to Santa?

Do I need ONE MORE thing to do this holiday season?

No. No, I do not.

That does not make me anti-Christmas, it makes me pro-my sanity.

I am already the president of putting the tree up, decorating, present obtaining and wrapping, and the keeper of the “the list” for the entirety of the year.

Every year, there are elves at the grandparents’ house, friends’ houses, and classrooms. I don’t need one here at my house.

If I want to strike fear into the heart of my Christmas coveting child, I will do what I and those who have gone before me have done – I’ll list my brother under the name “Santa” and call him whenever I need to put in a good disciplinary threat of canceling all presents. And anyway, according to Santa Claus is coming to town, Santa is already always watching and he knows when you’ve been bad or good. It says so right there in the song. There is no mention of a nosy elf that contacts Santa with a thumbs up or thumbs down. There are several ways to call Santa if you don’t have a willing friend or family member for on-call Santa duty – click here for some options!

As far as I’m concerned, Christmas is already so commercialized, I don’t need another component to further reinforce the focus on presents and cut into my dwindling sleep time.

So, instead of the elf, I have instituted or am looking at instituting the following Christmas traditions:

12 books of Christmas

I used to do a book for every day of December fueled by a book swap, but that’s a lot of books. After day 10, it seemed to lose its appeal. This year, I’m moving towards 12 books for the 12 days of Christmas to keep it fresh and exciting!

Advent Calendars

As a child, one thing that I looked forward to more than anything during the Christmas season was receiving my advent calendar. On the calendar, each day of December has small chocolate in the shape of something fun. I would so look forward to each morning when I was able to have the treat! If you want to stay away from food items, check out this wooden advent calendar stuffed with little squishes!

The Shepherd on the Search

I have not purchased this, but the idea is beautiful! There is a book that contains the story of the shepherd on the search for the baby Jesus. This still does require that you hide the shepherd every night. But if you have the energy for this, go ahead! The story ends with the shepherd finding his way to the baby Jesus in the manger and provides for plenty of options to talk about the meaning behind Christmas.

Nativity Scene

I have 2 nativity scenes – one from my grandmother that I don’t want my butterfingers of a 5-year-old to touch just yet and one from Fisher Price that he can roll in the grass with. Putting out the nativity scene has been a fun tradition that we have enjoyed every year. It gives us a regular opportunity to talk about the Christmas story and allows my child to interact with the story on his level. Plus, when #lunathewonderterrier gets a hold of wise man, it’s not a tragedy because he’s plastic.


So, should you choose to embark on the Christmas journey with the Elf, good for you. No judgment here, I applaud you! I just know that I do not have it in me.

But, if you are anti-elf like me, know that you are in good company. And you do have Christmas spirit, don’t let anyone tell you otherwise!

Solidarity and Merry No-Elf Christmas!

Amanda Fuselier
Amanda is a native of Kenner, LA and is now an honorary Cajun. She is married to the most interesting man in world (Joe) with one son (Kael-pronounced like the superfood), one dog (Luna), one cat (Loki) and a partridge in a pear tree. She spends her days working as a social worker/yoga teacher/toddler tamer. Amanda graduated from the University of Louisiana of Lafayette in 2003 and earned her Master’s in social work in 2005 from Louisiana State University. She has worked in the fields of inpatient and outpatient mental health and is now immersed in Hospice and End of life care. For fun, she enjoys long walks with her favorite furry companion (Luna the wonder terrier) accompanied by a disturbing amount of true crime podcasts. She has learned that life is too short - do the things, pet the dogs, drink the drinks, and eat the cake!

1 COMMENT

  1. I feel you! I was anti-elf hardcore. Then my son won his elf as a door prize at an event. It’s been a rough 2 years but he loves it. Our elf is kind of lame and we keep the activity and messes at a minimum. I also switch turns with my husband because it gets old fast. Power to those that get into it. It’s just not my thing.

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