How To Handle The Untimely Death Of The Elf On The Shelf

elfOh, Elf on the Shelf. By now we’ve all had it up to our eyeballs with that guy. Some of us forget to move him and leave our kids constantly disappointed (hint: that’s me). Others of us spend hours on Pinterest looking for adorable ways to pose the elf that won’t require trips to the craft store. And sometimes, our elf suffers a horrific tragedy.

That’s what happened to the friend of one Reddit poster, who wrote into the Parenting subreddit with the following predicament:

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Oh my lord. Can you imagine what that poor boy walked into? There must have been arms and stuffing and red felt everywhere. But this does bring up an interesting question: how does one deal with the premature death of the Elf on the Shelf? Perhaps it was a gruesome accident, like the one above, or maybe you had an elf that knew too much and got whacked. Either way, if your kid still believes in the elf, but your elf has been eaten, what do you do?

The first option is to come clean about the elf. That doesn’t seem like such a bad option, particularly in this case, where the child is six-years-old. This could be the perfect time for an old-fashioned, “Have a seat, son. I’m afraid you’re not going to like what you’re about to hear,” kind of conversation. Here’s what you could tell Junior:

“Mom and Dad were being silly and pretended the elf was alive because it was so much fun hiding him. So there’s no reason to worry, because Jerry The Elf was just a doll, just like your teddy bear. No, I know Teddy is alive, I just meant because they’re made out of the same sort of stuff. Right, not like Santa, because Santa is a person. Of course Santa is real. No, you’re right, real people don’t live forever, but Santa is magic. I don’t know where he got his magic from, but he has it. Yes, I guess Mrs. Claus must be magic too. Yes, exactly like fairies. Oh my God, where is your father. Wasn’t he supposed to be home five minutes ago? I think I’ll go text him.”

Easy peasy.

The other option is to keep with the story that Jerry was alive, but now he is dead after having been dismembered by your Schnauzer. That conversation is going to take a lot more finesse:

“What’s in the shoebox? Oh, um, well sweetie, Jerry had a little accident today. You see, he was playing with Bailey and Bailey got a little too rough and…um…Jerry got hurt, and then he died. Yes, basically Bailey killed Jerry. Not really like murder, no. Well, it wasn’t premeditated. How did he die? Well, some pieces of him got…separated…from the main part of him. Yes, I suppose he was alive when it happened. Um, I don’t think it hurt that much, I think it was over pretty quickly. Why don’t we sit down and talk about how much we’ll miss Jerry and say good-bye to him. What’d you find there? His head? Oh. Oh dear God.

You know what? Just buy a new one.

(Photo: lev radin / Shutterstock)

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