Dear perfect Elf on the Shelf people,

stop it.

Seriously, quit it.

You’re making the rest of us parents look horrible.

It’s only December 8th and do you know what our Elf did last night? I’ll show you:

Elf on Shelf

That’s right. He’s in a freezer. Why? Because when our Elf on the Shelf iPhone “hide the elf” alarm went off, we were out of ideas. Let’s pause for a second. That’s right, we had to set a freaking alarm to remind ourselves to hide this thing. We are the worst parents.

So Jenny and I decided, “Let’s put him in the freezer. That’s a thing. We’ll make him hold a popsicle. That’s whimsical or something. Whatever.”

I think he’s sitting on a loaf of bread or maybe some ham. I don’t know. I don’t care. The day before that I made him sit on a bunch of copies of Do Over. (Product placement!) The day before that he hid in a jar. Why? Because jars are easy for me to open. Don’t judge me. You don’t know my life.

Then I get online and see photos of your elf. You’ve built a trapeze with the elf hanging from the roof of your house with some sort of homemade jet pack. The day after that he’s driven your car into the front yard and left some clever message spelled out with Skittles. You’re making the rest of us parents, who hide the elf in the Christmas tree 9 times in December, look bad. Plus, you’re not showing all of your elf days online, just the greatest hits. (That’s the photographic equivalent of putting the song “Christmas Shoes” on repeat.)

And don’t tell me you got that photo in one take. You didn’t. You took at least 10 photos of that scene, I guarantee it. You tried 5 filters before you found the perfect one.

Do you understand what that means? We’ve become Elf on the Shelf paparazzi. You also never show the after photo. The one where there are ants all over your counter because you left a trail of powdered sugar footprints when the Elf had a powdered sugar snowball fight with a teddy bear named “Prickles.”

I think next year Jenny and I are going to have to move houses because we’ve run out of ideas. This is our 8th year. If this is your first, I totally give you a free pass. Have at it. But if you and your spouse are holding brainstorming meetings in November for elf planning, we’ve got a problem.

It’s exhausting.

Please stop,

Jon

p.s. If this is you, please sign this petition by forwarding this or sharing it on Facebook or tweeting it or doing anything you can to get it into the hands of perfect Elf on the Shelf people. They must be told.