I don't have kids. Not having kids makes it so that I don't have to threaten them to be good or "Santa won't come", and means that I don't have to adopt one of the creepiest Christmas traditions I've ever seen.

The Elf on the Shelf is quite possibly one of the creepiest things I have ever seen. Part of this, I am sure, is that the elf looks a little bit too much like a clown for my taste. But, the story behind it is a bit creepy, too. Basically, you tell your kids that this elf is in your house as some sort of not-so-covert Santa spy, and he's watching everything that you do.

So, this creepy little doll, that you can purchase for the low low price of $45, comes into your home on, say the day after Thanksgiving, and just hangs out until Christmas. You initially put him on a shelf, but he's supposed to move every night, so that the kids know that he "comes to life" at night.

Some parents are totally over the top when it comes to their elf, though. There are entire websites dedicated to creative ways that you can entertain your kids with the elf.

I think that, if I were a parent, these things would be far more work than what they're worth. For instance:

1. Stage a marshmallow fight - marshmallows everywhere.

2. Stage a pillow fight - feathers everywhere.

Cute? Sure! But, you're wasting food! And feather pillows are kind of expensive! Not to mention, someone - probably you - is going to have to clean up the mess.

20. Make faces on school pictures with a marker.

Ok... correct me if I'm wrong here, but don't most parents try to discourage their children from writing on things other than paper with markers? Start out this way, and after a while, your kids will be drawing all over everything, and blaming it on that stupid elf.

47. Put toothbrushes in toilet or clean toilet with toothbrushes.

Well, that's both strange and unhygienic. Another one that seems like it would give the kids bad ideas. Isn't this thing supposed to be making sure they behave themselves? Sounds like it's a bad influence to me.

There are 101 things on that list to choose from. And some of them aren't as destructive, nor do they require as much work on your end. But, I still think that I'll stick to threatening to cancel Christmas, or pretending to call Santa Claus. That always worked for my parents.


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