But since the Elf on the Shelf is a newfangled tradition dating back only to 2005, unlike Santa he's extremely vulnerable to thinkpieces calling him a tool of the "nanny state," a kid-friendly NSA, and a doll whose only message is that it's okay to "spy on kids."
That may be true, but a less thinky way to discredit the Elf on the Shelf tradition would be to read this story of an Elf prank gone wrong, shared by a mom named Lynn Heinrich on Facebook.
Let me apologize now for the language. Last night I did my motherly duty of moving the damn elf. So I was feeling creative and I got shaving cream and sprayed it all over the bathroom mirror and filled one of the two sinks with shaving cream and left a little note that said," Miles did it" and Angel the elf was holding the pencil and had his arm around the shaving cream. Well here is where it all went to shit!
Miles woke up before me and went to the bathroom and apparently got scared shitless that he was going to be in so much trouble that he needed to cover his tracks. Soooo my son, apple of my eye, the monster I was on bed rest for 5 months for, that I went through 21 hours of labor for and took 3 hours to push his huge ass head out, well he decides to frame the elf. So he gets a magic marker, black to be exact and draws squiggly lines all over my bathroom walls. Yes you read that shit right. Then writes a note with the said marker saying, "You are ugly Lynn" and then the mastermind puts the marker on the elf. I have to give him credit there, he is smarter than some of the dumb asses on Snapped or I Almost Got Away With It. Kind of scary if I think about that. Anyway so now because of this Mother F%^$%$& elf I have to paint my bathroom again. I mean how can I yell at him without telling him I know he did it b/c I did the shaving cream.
So to whomever the friggin genius was that came up with Elf on a Shelf, you're an asshole and I hope the elf murders you in your sleep! #ElfOnAShelfFail
UPDATE! No painting was required. Apparently when you use a high gloss paint its so damn shiny and oily that the marker wiped right off with some soap and water!
Since the idea is to move the Elf on the Shelf every night to make it seem alive and incredibly vigilant, Heinrich decided to get a little inventive. She set the Elf up next to a scene of shaving cream mayhem, and made it look like the elf was framing her kid, Miles.
Miles, well, Miles decided it wasn't going down like that.
Mom's funny Elf on the Shelf prank.
Son's quick-thinking solution.
Instead of pleading his case in mom-court the next morning, Miles decided to frame that damn Elf right back, scribbling all over the walls and putting the marker in the doll's hand.
Now, his mom's completely stuck. She can't discipline Miles for what he did, because she doesn't want to reveal the truth of the elf. Also, Miles thought the terrifying elf had turned against him, so his actions are not only understandable but also kind of badass.
"So to whomever the friggin genius was that came up with Elf of a Shelf, you're an asshole and I hope the elf murders you in your sleep!" concluded Heinrich.
See? Elf discredited. And we didn't even have to think about anything serious.