To Whom It May Concern:
My name is UPC 14085-10204, but my American family calls me Pixie. I’m what you playfully refer to as an Elf on the Shelf, and I’m writing on behalf of all of us magical, mischievous elves this holiday season.
2020 got straight up weird. I think we can all agree on that, but we elves are very much looking forward to returning to your children’s lives to bring smiles to their faces as you parents exploit us in efforts to shame your kids into not being naughty.
Hey, it’s the gig. We get it.
So, considering that all parties understand this business arrangement I’ll get to the reason you’re receiving this letter. Plain and simple: we’re bored, and we have some grievances.
Speaking from personal experience, I’ve been with my American family, the May family, for at least a decade. The family is lovely, and the two girls are very excited to see me each year. They’re good kids. A little overdramatic but based on some of the stories the other elves share in the cafeteria, I’m doing just fine.
I mean, seriously, we’re impish elves and even we know you shouldn’t rip a solar-powered lawn light out of the ground and try to hit your friend with it. It should be an unspoken rule that you don’t try to wash your chinchilla on “pots and pans.” Just saying.
I drew a good family of girls. It’s the parents though. I’m going to use my family’s parents as an example, and you might be able to see where we elves are going here. I’m not saying the parents are bad people. The dad’s a little questionable, but they’re your all-around normal, dysfunctional family. The mom loves Christmas, so I arrive with great fanfare and frivolity. We’re talking the elf equivalent of rose petals thrown at our non-existent feet.
Then a few days pass, it’s time for me to go visit my Australian family during their night time, and then it’s up to dad to wake up and figure out where my office is that day when I return.
Dad is super creative with quarantine tips for his daughters or Halloween ideas, but he’s not so much on his A-game at 5:00 in the a.m. I’ll bet many of you parents are similar, so I, Pixie, on behalf of all of us elves on shelves, have a white-gloved handful of light suggestions from us and for us based on what we would prefer when we visit your families.
- Just let us sit on a shelf. It’s right there in our job description. We’re an elf. On the shelf. We don’t need to look like doofuses who, whoopsie-doo, fell headfirst into a bowl of candy beans. It’s demeaning. We can just sit on that properly dusted shelf of yours, any shelf will do, and monitor your children.
- One word: acupuncture. This is taxing work we’re doing here. We spend a month traveling from the North Pole to two different hemispheres and back. EVERY NIGHT AND DAY. We’d love a deep tissue massage, but Santa is all MC Hammer and says “you can’t touch this.” So maybe a few needles in the pressure points would earn you points with us. Parents need to be good too, not just the children.
- Grant us top billing. We know it’s cute to have us hanging out with all the other dolls and stuffed animals that live with you but think about this — we made all of them at our factory and shipped them out for a reason. They get an entire year with your kids. We get a month. I’m not saying we’re bitter or anti-social, but this is kind of our time to shine. Let us glow on our own.
- Can we have feet? In the North Pole, it’s a necessity because no feet means less frostbite. But when the shoe is on the other imaginary foot and we enter your home, hook us up with a prosthetic or something. Borrow some heels from Barbie or some boots from Woody (no snakes inside please).
- Show us new movies. The North Pole is basically the Hallmark Channel 24/7. We would love to watch the first Die Hard because, yes, it’s a Christmas movie. But we’d be fine with Legally Blonde or perhaps even Misery because we can relate to the no feet thing. I’ve heard stories that pro wrestlers have movies now. I’d like to see those. We’re well rounded, but we don’t get out much. Introduce us to your culture and non-Christmas world. If you’re going to place us in front of the television, let us binge-watch that Full House reboot instead of Snow Buddies on repeat.
- Gift cards would be nice. We’re up to our oddly receding hairlines in holiday spirit and snowflakes, but that doesn’t exactly feed the chickens when it’s time to pay the tab at Applebee’s or when I’m trying to order my Fitbit (our step count is huge!). So, while we love peppermint bark and marshmallows, $25 to Lululemon would always be appreciated.
- Give us the mobile device. Here’s an idea the other elves and I have been workshopping, so hear us out. Save this one for when your little booger pickers are out of school for the holiday break and just want to sit around and watch YouTube videos on their iPads or smartphones. Give us the iPad. Plop us down right in front of it for an entire day so we can play Candy Crush, and tell your kids that it’s a no-can-do on taking it away from us while we’re on duty. We get entertainment; you get your kids’ brains back for the day. Win-Win.
- Stop with the glitter. Glitter is the herpes of arts and crafts. No matter how or what you try, it won’t leave you. Glitter is on the list of things that “sounds good in theory” yet rarely works out in practicality. Everyone loves glitter when it’s on something else, and we elves feel the same way. You put it on us and the kids think it’s cute, but then we wake up in the middle of January and realize the back of our necks still looks like a David Bowie concert. Can we agree on no glitter going forward? Yes?
- Exercise, exercise, exercise. We burn a ton of calories flying around the globe at speeds that should cause our felt-shrouded bodies to burst into flame, but when we get to our destination (your home) we sit on our flat, red tooters all the day long. Hook us up with a stationary bike from the American Girl stuff you have or maybe some resistance rubber bands. If you decide to give us the bike, this goes back to point #4 about giving us prosthetic feet.
- Let us see your world. With my family, I show up, I sit around, the kids are in school so there’s nobody to monitor, so why not let me drive around for a bit? What if I “magically appear” in the car when you drive around to look at the lights in your neighborhood? I’ve heard really good things about a place called Hobby Lobby. Just suit us up in a Babybjorn, and introduce us to your lives outside the home. Oh, one elf here warned me against the DMV, but I’m curious about all the other places you can take me.
We can go on and on like most holiday traditions, but I’ll cap it here. We’ll see how you parents do when you take into consideration what we shelf elves might like to experience or, more importantly, what we shelf elves would prefer you stop doing to us.
I know imagination runs through December like a tank of gas on a long road trip. I know you have so much else to focus your mentals on right now rather than “should the elf pretend to drink coffee” or “how about I stick the elf on a different side of the mantle today.” We elves also feel that Pinterest is the bane of our existence, but we understand why you parents use it. Just be warned that the ideas you see there aren’t all elf-sanctioned.
This holiday season, first, think of your kids. They are our mutual top priority. Second, think of all the happiness this season can and should bring. Like I said earlier, parents need to be good too. But this year, think of us elves. There are plenty of shelves to occupy; like a shared workspace with your other décor. Mix it up, but consider our feelings when concocting your next idea. And if you’re out of ideas, always remember:
No Elfing Glitter. We’ll put your entire family on the naughty list until we can delouse ourselves thoroughly. Think of the kids and think of us. That is all. This is Pixie on behalf of the rest of the Elves on the Shelves looking forward to many more years with you parents and your families and all of the new, elf-friendly ideas you can come up with going forward.
Pixie, the May Family Elf on the Shelf