jen groeber: mama art

4 kids in 3 years: reflections on motherhood, art and life.

Elf on the Shelf: A Re-Purposed Re-Poem

It’s the first day of December and what should appear?

But Mr. Elf on the Shelf, the puppet so dear.

He’s hiding in nooks, humping a small wooden lamb

Frosty Bo Bo Dee is nothing, if not a bit of a ham.

And so it seemed fair to dig, far back through the archives

To a poem from last year, about this weird little wise guy.

Forgive the repeat, please enjoy the merriment,

Can’t wait til’ morning when the kids race screaming to see where-he-went.


December 1, 2013

Twas the midnight before December and all through the house

There I was tip-toeing, just like a big mouse,

Looking in places you’d never go look

For a cute little fellow that somehow got took.

He was pink of complexion and blue of the eyes

with chestnut brown hair and an air of surprise.


Oh, Frosty Bo-Bo-Dee, the elf we hold dear,

Where oh where have you gone? We need you right here!

The children are talking all over the school,

of how their elf has arrived, how he’s so cool.


But you, you’d gone missing. POOF! Gone in a flash.

Where had you gone to? To what place had you dashed?

I thought I knew where you hid, while the months ticked away.

Yes, I helped you get there late, late, that fateful day.

Nearly one year ago, the eve that Santa arrived

I helped bid good-bye to our sweet little guy

It was after the reading and tucking and wrapping,

When everyone else was deep sleeping, dreams mapping.


It was late Christmas Eve, I’d been assembling some “stuff”

With directions in Spanish?! I’d had more than enough.

Sure, I got reckless. I drank a glass of wine. Maybe two.

But I was exhausted! December-beaten, certainly blue.

From the shopping, the drama and cookie baking,

From the frenetic pace and the gifts I was making.

It was Christmas, after all, and the days were so busy

I was dragging, befuddled, perhaps even dizzy.

Yes, maybe I was careless, sleepy, burnt toast,

When I ushered you out, sayonara, adios!


To be honest, I don’t mean to make you unhappy,

but I’d always thought your attitude was fairly crappy.

You sat and from way up on high, passed judgement all day

Then off to the North Pole to tattle and play.

La-dee-da, it must have felt so great to be the elf,

Narking on people! Ever take a look at yourself?

You’re not the friendliest guy. Who invited you here?

You threaten my kids? Fill December with fear?

With your doofus grin and your spidery limbs

Your shifty eyes, and who’s ever that thin?!

During the holidays no less, sitting on high

Confusing the children. I’m glad that you flied!


You effin elfin, good riddance! Be gone!

Our two years together were two years too long!


But ah, the dear children. Yes, the children I love,

they wake up every morning and stare up above.

They miss Frosty, they wonder, why hasn’t he come?

They miss you, dear elf. (Even though I know you’re a bum.)


So off to Local Store Saturday. I threw myself

on the mercy of the cute toy shop, “Have you seen my elf?”

Then, there, on the top shelf, big price tag, up in the box,

With the eyes of a devil, that grin like a fox.

That kindly, spindly old elf looks vaguely familiar.

“Here’s my American Express, would a free gift bag kill ya?”


And lo and behold, Frosty Bo-Bo-Dee returned!

The children are thrilled! Only Mama got burned.

We’ll all smile and celebrate and things will seem fine,

But know this, Frosty… I’m just biding my time.

My day will come. Get ready to eat what you sowed,

For I’m sure that you’ve heard, revenge is a dish best served cold.

Peace out, Frosty.

19 comments on “Elf on the Shelf: A Re-Purposed Re-Poem

  1. Amy Reese
    December 3, 2014

    Hilarious! His name alone. This is great, Jen! I guess Bo Bo Dee (did I get it right?) was not quite ready to leave you. But where is that gift bag?! You earned that. There’s one little store I go to that gives out the best gift bags. It’s a nice little perk. I hope your kids enjoy Mr. Elf for always. 🙂

    • jgroeber
      December 4, 2014

      Yes, we got the gift bag. Ha! And the morning after I posted this my four-year-old came bounding into my bedroom at 6:30 am to wake me and ask where I thought FBBD had moved to. I awoke with a start and, “Um, wait here, baby. Mama has to go get something Dada left downstairs. I’ll be right back!” Zion’s! Damn elf.

  2. cheekymommy28
    December 3, 2014

    Brilliant! I just “LOL”ed while staring down our family nuisance…I mean elf…love this!

    • jgroeber
      December 4, 2014

      Right?! Such a nuisance! Who let that guy in in the first place? Thanks so much for the comment and the reblog!

  3. cheekymommy28
    December 3, 2014

    Reblogged this on Cheeky Mommy Says and commented:
    Hilarious and brilliant! A must read for Moms

  4. kellylmckenzie
    December 3, 2014

    And here I am feeling all sad that my kids missed out on all the EOAS stuff because they were born a tad too early. Silly Me. Your experience? Would have been mine as well. I just know it. Years ago my sister’s mother-in-law gave us a pickle. Not an edible one but one that I’m to hide as the last ornament on the tree. The first of my two to find the pickle on Christmas morning gets to open the first present. Perfect. Except that damn pickle has a sordid history of going AWOL. “Where’s the pickle Mom?” was the mantra on tree day. God only knows. I think it’s track record was 33% at best. Where is it now? No idea. Perhaps Frosty Bo-Bo-Dee knows something. Can you ask him?

    • jgroeber
      December 4, 2014

      My mother gave us the pickle!! We totally lost it. Or broke it. Or maybe we ate it. Classic. And Frosty Bo Bo Dee definitely knows. He’s such a creepy voyeur, he never misses a thing.

  5. talesfromthemotherland
    December 3, 2014

    My cousins are totally Elf nuts! I’m sending this to them tout suite! Hilarious!

    • jgroeber
      December 4, 2014

      Yay! There’s the busy lady we all love! So glad you enjoyed a giggle over FBBD. Share away!!

  6. Burns the Fire
    December 3, 2014

    Sweet, with just the right amount of creep.

    • jgroeber
      December 4, 2014

      In person he’s way creepier. 😉

  7. Samara
    December 3, 2014

    I find that elf really creepy. *shudder*

    But I loved your poem!

    • jgroeber
      December 4, 2014

      Aw, shucks. Thanks, my dear!
      He’s really like a Santa nanny cam. I mean, why is he always *watching*? Total shudder.

  8. Sing Better English
    December 4, 2014

    Hi Jen – I enjoyed reading that, but I think I’m missing something – does the Elf have some function/purpose in relation to your children? I’m guessing that he sits on a shelf to see if they’re being ‘good’? Like a fancy dress Big Brother? It’s funny how traditions exist in different countries – here in the UK we imagine Father Christmas’ elves to be firmly stuck in the North Pole, packing presents for worldwide delivery. In something like an Amazon warehouse.They don’t get to travel.

    You guys leave out a glass of milk and a chocolate chip cookie for Father Christmas on Christmas Eve, am I right? It’s a mince pie and a glass of whisky/port/sherry here. And oats or carrots for the reindeer.

    By the way – tell me what ‘humping’ means in the US? Does it mean ‘carrying’? It has quite a different meaning here. Different enough to make me spit out my cup of tea when I read the first lines of your poem. 🙂

  9. jgroeber
    December 4, 2014

    Your comment is the best! Because it shows that my distaste for the spy-among-us is valid. Only in America, am I right?! Many of us grew up with elves very similar to the EOTS, but now there’s a book and a kit and it arrives on your doorstep (with a wink from your sister-in-law) and you name him and he flies off to the NP at night to report to Santa and then lands somewhere new by morning. Which is creepy. So thank you, sister-in-law. Ha!
    And yes we leave the cookies and carrots on Christmas Eve. And when Santa comes the EOTS flies home with him. But the whiskey? Can Santa drive his sleigh after drinking? Perhaps the elves are needed as designated drivers? Hmmm. That gives them a loftier purpose I can get behind. I’m going to have to think about this…
    And thank you for your thoughtful comments. I really love them!
    P.S. Humping means the same thing here, I think. Frosty Bo Bo Dee is creepy, I’m telling you! Kids thought he was just going for a ride but I have my suspicions…

  10. Pingback: Elf on the Shelf Gets the Last Word | jen groeber: mama art

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