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I think we all know that it’s not a great thing when your kid learns to read. Sure, there are a few moments where you are like, “Holy crap, that child whose butt I wiped for about 2 years too long knows how read. Like real words. That is AMAZING.”

For awhile it seems like it’s working out brilliantly. Especially when you are being stalked by a 2 1/2 year-old boy who wants to be read “Curious George Makes Pancakes” every 7 minutes. George is too curious. He gets abandoned as usual by the man in the yellow hat. He makes pancakes. He gets sticky. He saves the day. Over and over again.

But now you have a kid who can read. Really well. Hey, SHE can read the book to him every 7 minutes. This is fantastic. Except then she doesn’t want to read the book anymore. She says it’s boring.

And she starts reading everything else.

Like now she can read the cover of the New York Post and she wants to know what this Lindsay Lohan does in these clubs.

And then she sees this in her iPod Touch calender….

“Move Elf on a Shelf.”

Uh oh.

I have a lot of Elf on a Shelf anger and one of the reasons is because I can’t remember to move that little red guy every night. So I told Rick to put a reminder in his phone. But of course we have one of those iCloud thingys so it ends up in 8-year-old Dylan’s iPod Touch.

Dylan immediately asks me if I’m moving the Elf on a Shelf.

“I would never touch that creepy elf,” I say aghast at her accusation.

And nearly 6-year-old Summer says, “Is daddy moving it? But why would a Jewish man like daddy move the elf?” I almost pause to consider the fact that Summer just described her daddy as a Jewish man but I have no time.

I madly text Rick at work, “The girls want to know why you have a reminder to move the elf in the phone. Don’t text back if they can read your response. Can they?!! I hate the iCloud. I’m paranoid now.”

The girls decide they are going to sneak around and try to catch daddy near the elf. But as soon as Rick gets home from work, Summer blurts out, “Why are you moving the Elf on a Shelf?!! We saw it in the iPod!”

And Rick, a Jewish man, who probably never thought he’d have to explain to his offspring why he did or did not move some dumb Christmas elf, says…

“Oh I don’t move the elf. I just noticed that the elf is very lazy and doesn’t always fly back to Santa every night to report whether you’ve been bad or good. So that was a reminder to myself to talk to the elf and tell him to stop being so lazy and to fly back to the North pole each night.”

And they bought it.

And that’s how the Jewish man saved Christmas. Or at least the magic of the creepy elf.

19 Responses to elf on a shelf: a cautionary tale of how things can go wrong when your kids learn to read

  • Elissa says:

    I totally want to create a Jewish version of the elf on the shelf. I mean seriously…I’m sure it gets annoying to remember to move it and come up with fun ideas for weeks…but I think it would be fun for a few days. Maybe an 8 night Hanukkah troll? Judah Maccabee holding the shamash (that’s that tall candle you use to light the other candles on the menorah)? I’ve found it…damn…shouldn’t have posted it…you clever ladies out there better not even think about stealing my idea! How much is the Elf? I’m thinking I can easily get at least that for Judah the shamash stealer…I mean, us Jewish moms may be thrifty but we also love to spoil our kids so they know Hanukkah is at least as good as Xmas!

  • Nancy Horn says:

    Hysterical. You can turn off the notifications on your daughter’s iPod Touch. Go into settings – or google it and watch a youtube video on how to do it. Take off her iMessage also and she won’t be able to see the texts.

  • Susan Kintner says:

    I am very proud to be related to such a creative and proactive family. Magic moments are where it is at! Blessings to all, mom

  • Amy K says:

    I think the elf on the shelf is really creepy and I’m so glad my kids are too old for that thing. I’m not quite sure what the point is of it? You buy this elf so you can make a mess and say that the elf did it just so you have to clean it up again?

  • Melissa says:

    ha ha ha, that’s awesome… oh and your post, just reminded me to move ours… thank goodness kiddo is not up yet. Sigh

  • This post made me laugh in so many freakin ways! First, it reminded me of all of the times I’m trying to spell something I don’t want my daughter to hear and she then asks me why the heck her aunt’s boobs are leaking. Second, I can’t tell you how many times I have woken up at 2am in a panic because I forgot to move the freaking creepster. And lastly, the Jewish man saving Christmas and your daughter referring to him as “a Jewish man like daddy” are pretty much the funniest things ever. Thank you.

  • beachgirl says:

    LOVE it!!! Maybe Elfie can hang out on the menorah this week in honor of the jewish man in your house 🙂 I move elfie as soon as the kids are asleep as if I start to get into an episode of the housewives or some other high brow T.V episode I forget so as soon as they start to snore elfie gets plucked and placed!

  • Issa says:

    You can turn off the iCloud on their iPods. I finally had to just do that. Not everything needs to be shared. Ha.

    Rick wins though, because that is a simple and great explanation.

  • ErinB says:

    I thought this Elf thing was super cute….until I realized I had to come up with 25 high places to put her so the baby can’t reach it…oh God its only day 10!!!!

  • Lauralucy says:

    My lazy solution to the creepy elf is moving him around different parts of the Christmas tree. He moves around, the magic is still there for my 4 year old , but takes little imagination on my part! I am active duty Coast Guard mama waking up at 0450 every morning and work 48-72 plus hour shifts.

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kelcey kintner