When mother-daughter duo Chanda Bell and Carol Aebersold wrote Elf on the Shelf in 2004, it came from Bell’s suggestion that they come up with a backstory to explain how Santa knows when children are naughty or nice.
According to an interview with HuffPost, Bell and her twin sister, Christa Pitts, said they grew up having an elf in the house throughout December. Based on their behavior, the elf would “report back” to Santa, which is where they got the inspiration from.
The story follows a “scout elf” who travels to various homes from the North Pole for the first half of December in order to watch over children before Christmas.
It seems harmless, even a little adorable, and parents absolutely loathe it.
In the 16 years since its publication, Elf on the Shelf has turned into an annual annoyance where parents have to bring out the toy elf on Dec. 1 and hide it around the house (the toy elf obviously needs to move around in order to get a good look at the children, while also occasionally getting into mischief, à la Toy Story.)
A lot of parents took it seriously. Probably too seriously.
Despite, everything that’s happened so far in 2020, the elf is still coming to visit. That realization inspired one mom to come up with a very clever way to avoid hiding her kids’ elves 24 different times this year.
Complete with a miniature Purell bottle and a coveted bottle of Lysol, the elf requires at least 14 days of quarantining after traveling from the North Pole. Fellow parents on Facebook absolutely loved the idea.
“Genius,” one person commented.
“14 [days] then another 14 LOL,” another person joked about extending the quarantine period.
“I SHOULD!” one commenter said in reply to a friend asking if they were going to do it. “I am always forgetting to move the d*** thing!”
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