Photo: tubesox_family via Flickr Creative Commons

Several years ago, we were the recipients of an Elf on the Shelf. Let me just say that the elf scared the living daylights out of me! It scared me eight years ago when I was given the kit, and it scares me today.

By now, everyone understands the concept. Each day, the elf will be hiding somewhere in the house (presumably on a shelf) where it watches over the kids ensuring they’re on good behavior to report back to Santa.

From the minute I saw this creature, it freaked me out. The little thing is scary! And the idea of some little imp moving from place to place in my house watching over me gives me the creeps. Even as it sat unopened in my garage, I felt as if I would awaken in the middle of the night to this little Chucky coming after me.

Now I’m not belittling the concept and its impact on kids’ behavior. A friend of mine told me he and his wife thank their lucky stars every day for that elf because their daughter’s behavior improved dramatically the month of December. Other friends have sworn it’s done wonders for their children. And that’s great … really!

I’m just saying that to me, that little elf is frightening. Maybe it has to do with growing up in the Jewish religion. Jewish kids typically grow up wretched with parental-inflicted guilt that the fear of our parents far outweighs this little troll.

Come to think of it, I’m sure that scary little imp does work wonders. After all, if I were a kid and that elf was on my shelf, I’d be too petrified to do or say anything, let alone goof off. A freakish elf and Jewish guilt — now that’s a scary combination!