Elf on the Shelf Shakedown – The Story of a Christmas Chaos

One of Santa's Christmas Elves holds the "Naughty" list looking shocked or surprised.

As the Christmas season rolls in with all its festive charm, one family’s attempt at embracing the whimsical “Elf on the Shelf” tradition turns into a chaotic tale of pranks gone wrong. What started as an innocent endeavor to make the holiday magical for all three kids quickly takes a dark turn.

The original poster (OP), a 35-year-old distressed mother, revealed a family torn apart by the antics of their mischievous elf, “Bob.”

The tale begins with OP’s blended family, consisting of herself, her husband Miles, and their three children—Lucas (9M), Andy (8M), and Claire (5F).

While Lucas and Andy are from previous relationships, both OP and her husband have embraced each other’s children as their own.

Christmas has always held a special place in their hearts, especially for Andy, whose birthday falls on the eve of Christmas.

To make Andy feel cherished and magical on his special day, OP had established a heartwarming tradition.

She would leave Santa Claus’ footsteps, eat the carrot and “grass” left for Rudolf, and engage in other whimsical activities that filled Andy’s heart with joy.

However, her husband Miles wasn’t entirely supportive, fearing that this might lead to favoritism towards Andy, inadvertently neglecting their other two children.

In an attempt to find a balance, Miles suggested adopting the “Elf on the Shelf” tradition.

OP was open to the idea, though she was unfamiliar with how it worked.

They purchased a cute elf together, and the kids named it “Bob.”

Miles explained to the children that Bob would be watching their behavior and reporting back to Santa each night, encouraging good behavior leading up to Christmas.

At first, the children found the idea enchanting. Andy, in particular, was captivated, talking to Bob and eagerly awaiting Santa’s consideration as a “kid of Christmas.”

Naughty Or Nice?

However, things quickly took an unsettling turn when Miles, taking the “behave or Bob will be naughty” aspect too far, began using the elf to mete out punishments.

Lucas became Bob’s first victim when he neglected his chores. The next day, his face was marked with sharpie markers—a prank that left him feeling humiliated and hurt.

Claire, too, fell victim to Bob’s naughty antics after she innocently touched the elf, resulting in her favorite onesie being shredded during the night.

While Miles found humor in these pranks, it was evident that the children were not amused.

Growing increasingly concerned about the emotional toll on her kids, OP confronted Miles, suggesting that they tone down the pranks and instead allow Bob to focus on the positive aspects of Christmas.

Miles, however, insisted on trying to catch Andy breaking a rule, determined to prove a point.

As Andy’s birthday celebrations commenced, things took a turn for the worse.

While the kids were playing in the backyard, OP noticed her husband’s suspicious behavior.

When OP went to find Bob in the kitchen, he was nowhere to be found.

OP’s paranoia heightened, but OP put on a brave face for Andy’s sake as they cut the birthday cake.

To their horror, the birthday cake had been sabotaged, with Bob appearing to have devoured half of it.

Miles burst into laughter, and some of the other parents followed suit. But for OP, it was the last straw.

Overwhelmed with frustration, OP impulsively threw Bob into the trash, inadvertently setting off an explosive argument with Miles.

He accused OP of ruining the magic of Christmas for their children and questioned how they could maintain the holiday spirit without being able to touch Bob.

But the damage was done, and the rift in the family was becoming increasingly apparent.

Christmas Chaos

As OP shared her ordeal on social media, the community response was swift and resolute.

Users were united in their disapproval of Miles’s actions, with several expressing concern about his emotional intelligence and parenting choices.

One user, Shiney2510, immediately notices the disturbing pattern and suggests that Miles might be indulging in hazing, a behavior often associated with bullying.

“There’s something wrong with your husband. He wanted Andy to do something wrong so he could punish him (things like destroying their clothes is not a prank it’s a punishment). Your husband is hazing your children.”

Another user, Peregrine_throw, criticizes the Christmas “tradition” and deems it a creepy and horrible way to traumatize the children, especially with a doll that watches them and enacts vengeance.

The sentiment shared by many users revolves around the damaging impact these pranks may have on the children.

No_Historian_5724 calls out the husband’s actions as “horrible” and suggests that such behavior could lead to divorce.

Elf on the Shelf is meant to foster excitement and hope for Christmas, not serve as a means for parents to bully their kids.

The commenter implores OP to consider the emotional toll this could have on Andy’s birthday memory and urges her to distance herself from her husband’s actions.

Proud_didi voices similar concerns, emphasizing the psychological effects of destroying a child’s belongings to intimidate them into blind obedience.

The user questions the husband’s joy in ruining the birthday cake, suggesting that it might have been the intention all along.

The emotional trauma caused by such acts is concerning, leading the user to question OP’s decision to stay married to someone capable of such behavior.

Lacretiaaa‘s response echoes the same sentiments, condemning the husband’s actions as bullying and terrorizing.

The user draws attention to the unsettling fact that if these pranks were performed on adults, it would be considered assault.

The user also expresses disgust at Miles’s desire to terrorize Andy, especially when the child had been following all the rules diligently.

Lastly, Life-Wealth-3399 adds to the growing concerns, predicting that Andy might never forgive his father for ruining his birthday in such a manner.

The commenter highlights the destructive impact of such actions on the father-son relationship, leaving a lasting scar on the child’s heart.

The Verdict

In light of these reactions from various users, it is evident that the online community vehemently disapproves of Miles’s actions.

The comments call into question the emotional intelligence and parenting skills of the husband, pointing out the potential long-term consequences on the children’s psychological well-being.

In the end, the story of the elf turned Christmas disaster unveils the darker side of traditions, when taken too far.

The notion of the “Elf on the Shelf” is meant to inspire joy and wonder during the holiday season, but in this case, it turned into a tool of torment.

Ultimately, this tale warns against losing sight of the true spirit of Christmas amid pranks and mischief.

Instead, it encourages nurturing a loving and supportive environment for all children during this magical time of the year.

What do you think? Let us know in the comments. Do you think the OP from this social media post was wrong?

Featured Image Credit: jbryson /Depositphotos.com.

This article originally appeared on Ash & Pri.

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Pri Kingston

Ash & Pri are the Founders of AshandPri.com and have spent the last decade building their way towards financial freedom and a lifetime of memories. Having successfully achieved their early retirement goal in under 10 years, they look forward to sharing their financial sense with like-minded people. Read more about Ash & Pri in the 'About Us' section.