jen groeber: mama art

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

Elf on the Shelf Gets the Last Word

Santa and four kids

Santa ice skating
December 2015

Something you might not know about me is that I’m not so into magical creatures. I mean, the Tooth Fairy forgot my kid last year (what a jerk, right?) and Santa is always a bit hard to figure out. If he’s real then why doesn’t he freeze his feet off? Robert Peary “discovered” the North Pole with a boatload of Inuit who carried him and he still lost half his feet. And sometimes Santa has a red beard and sometimes he has a white cotton candy confection on his face. What’s that about? And then there’s the gigantic Easter Bunny. Seriously.

Santa hay ride

Santa hay ride
December 2015

And yet, they still keep coming into my house, sometimes two or more on the same night. You can ask my kids, it totally creeps me out.

Don’t even get me started on our elf. I mean, this guy is a tattle tale and a beady-eyed stalker, if you ask me. He’s a cross between an evil red voodoo doll for emaciated Santa and a nanny cam. And there was the year that he didn’t show up for like a week. Was he drunk or something? How hard could our house be to find?

But the other day, I took a peek at my husband’s e-mail and I saw this note from December 14th with the subject line “News From Your Elf.” With a subject line like that, I couldn’t resist reading, and I have to say, the whole thing brought back a bit of the Christmas spirit.

Hey, buddy,

This is Erwin, your Elf on the Shelf. You know me as Frosty-Bo-Bo-Dee because that’s the dumbass name your kids gave me. Don’t get me wrong, I’ve had worse. But as you can imagine, I’ve had better. That goes for your kids and for the name. But whatever. It’s not about me, am I right?

So anyways, I heard your wife mention that she wanted cross country skis while she was talking to one of her flaky friends last year. I know you probably think she sits around on her tush drinking lattes all day. I mean, that’s what I thought, but pretty much, she’s all over the frickin’ place doin’ god knows what.

I followed her on one of her mad dashes today to Instant Replay Used Sporting Goods (so not a catchy name- these chumps ought to leave it the professional, am I right?) And sure, following her all over town makes me a creepy stalker. But whatever. I’m a tiny, thousand year old man in red tights. Creepy is my shtick.

So while she was worrying over which lacrosse shoulder pads to get for the boys and whether their helmets would fit and which lacrosse bag to get for your daughter, I saw a pair of freakin’ awesome cross country skis sitting in the corner of the store for, like $80. Did I mention they came with poles? And they’re a size 9? I mean, it was straight out of Miracle on 34th Street, the black and white version. (Now THAT was a good Santa. Am I right?)

And then when she wasn’t looking I got them and climbed onto the roof of the frickin’ minivan (has that thing ever been washed, by the way? Sheesh. Dis-gust-ing. I miss the one horse open sleigh in moments like that, I’m tellin’ ya.) And we rode home, like on the highway, me riding on top of the car. I’m tellin’ ya, you couldn’t pay somebody to do my job.

She’ll frickin’ love those skis.  And trust me, I know gifts. Now go slap a bow on them and stick them under the tree. You’re welcome. They’re hiding behind the door to the garage. She’ll never look there. It needs cleaning so bad in that garage she’ll avoid it ’til summer.

I’m off to nip some of your gin and then sit on the mantel and molest the snowman ornament.

love (in a totally creepy way),


P.S. Stop talkin’ smack about me. I’ve been watching you since the 70’s and I know things.

P.P.S. Don’t reply or this house of cards falls. I’m writing from her address. Thank god she’s too lazy to shut down her computer. Am I right?


Frosty Bo-Bo-Dee
December 2015

And lo and behold, look what I found under the tree on Christmas morning. Which just goes to show that I was right about the creepy stalker thing. But hey, even creepy stalkers can sometimes bring Mama a little bit of joy if she plays her cards right, especially the creepy stalkers in the red elf tights, am I right? 😉


New cross country skis!!
December 2015

Hope yours was filled with love and laughter. (Your holiday, by the way, not your elf.)

7 comments on “Elf on the Shelf Gets the Last Word

  1. Nadia
    December 28, 2015

    Merry Christmas Jen! I laughed so hard at this one… x

    • jgroeber
      January 4, 2016

      Oh, Nadia! Where, oh where, have you been? So amazing to see you here or anywhere. Were you kidnapped by an effin’ elf?! Those goddamn elves. Let me know if you need me to send Frosty-Bo-Bo-Dee to rescue you. He sort of sounds like a badass, am I right? 😉
      (Hope you had a bacon-and-wine-filled holiday!)

  2. Dawn Quyle Landau
    December 29, 2015

    Have I told you that I love you, and that you two are so adorable it’s crazy? Seriously. If I haven’t, then yo! I just did. 😉 Happy holidays to you and your cutie pies!

    • jgroeber
      January 4, 2016

      You are too sweet, Dawn. We’re not half as cute as that grandbaby of yours. Oy veh! (as they cay in the old country.) A brokheh, am I right? (Okay, I googled that. It should mean “a blessing”?) xoxo

  3. Helen Parker Brown
    December 31, 2015

    This is perfection! It is amazing to me that you can write about funny things and serious things, both with such clarity and aplomb. (Wow, you even inspired me to use a word I didn’t know I knew). Thank you for sharing it all with us!

    • jgroeber
      January 4, 2016

      Oh no! This is quite literally my worst piece of writing to date. Ha! I mean, 50% of it was written by our elf and he sort of sounds like Joe Pesci! (Am I right?)
      (And thank you for reading!)

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This entry was posted on December 27, 2015 by in Memory, Surviving Motherhood, Uncategorized and tagged , , .

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