He sees you when you’re sleeping. So goes the traditional Christmas tune warning kids to be good if they want Santa to visit them. The Elf on a Shelf is one way to get kids to behave before Christmas without singing the song over and over again.
The Elf on a Shelf tradition involves placing an elf doll somewhere in the house to spy on the kids. The elf supposedly flies back to the North Pole to let Santa know how the children are behaving leading up to the Christmas holiday. Although no one is supposed to touch the elf, it can be hard for kids to keep their hands off the adorable doll. The elf is supposed to move to a different place in the house every night, demonstrating that he really is alive. However, parents may have trouble getting creative every night. If they forget to move the elf, the kids will surely have some questions in the morning.
Courtney Boles, a mother in Stephenville, Texas, solved that problem by wrapping her elf’s leg in a makeshift cast. She told the kids that the elf fell and had to be on bed rest for a few weeks. Boles’ husband added a note from the elf telling the kids that he fell from the top of the tree and had strict orders from Santa not to move around. The note stated that Santa himself would be coming to the house every night to hear about the kids’ behavior. It warned that if the kids didn’t get to bed on time, Santa would see them, which is absolutely not allowed.
Boles’ girls, Hannah and Emma, felt bad for Buddy the elf and wrote him cards telling him they hoped he’d get better soon. Even 4-year-old Case, Boles’ son, felt sorry for the little guy and got a kick out of the cast. Of course, a photo of the elf and his cast made it to Facebook, and not everyone thought it was a parenting win.
The photo went viral, with more than 31,000 shares. Many people remarked that Boles was taking the fun away from the Elf on a Shelf tradition by restricting his movement. This mother wasn’t having it, and she stood up for herself. Boles received so much attention that she was interviewed on “TODAY.” She explained to viewers that Case has autism. He has trouble following the rules, and it’s difficult to come up with creative places for an elf to reside that are at least five feet off the ground.
In addition, the parents were going out of town and didn’t know how they were going to handle Buddy’s adventures while they were gone. Instead of stressing out, they decided to make it easier on everyone. Boles’ admirers, most likely other busy parents whose kids aren’t always the best listeners, thought the idea was genius.