Elf on the Shelf causes post-holiday chaos

How I sent my elf back to the North Pole

Elf on the Shelf wearing a robe surrounded by birthday cards.
PHOTO: Nik / Unsplash

By: Saije Rusimovici, Staff Writer

The attack of the oat milk foam, 9:02 a.m. 

I woke up to the sound of my Nespresso machine whirling. It was recently gifted to me under the name of “Santa,” which I decided to take as a whimsical gesture from my partner’s mother, who never quite gave up her sense of childlike wonder. Usually, the drip drip sound of the caramel-scented coffee and the satisfying spin of the milk frother would stimulate my brain with the promise of caffeine. The thing is, though, I live alone — I did not turn on the coffee machine. 

Stumbling into the kitchen, I was flabbergasted by the disaster that awaited me. It was almost comical: espresso pods scattered all over the counter and floor. A half-full mug had tipped over and dripped down the cabinets, leaving perfectly frothed oat milk foam on the linoleum. I don’t know what I was more upset about: the mess I had to clean up, the hours of sleep I had lost, or the fact that there was now a chip in my favourite One Direction mug (right across Niall Horan’s face). 

Then, I heard it. The tinkle of jingle bells, the high-pitched, menacing giggle of a troublemaker I knew all too well. 

Elf gone rogue, 9:30 a.m.

I had neglected to put my holiday decor back into their respective places in the storage closet, which I now realize was a big mistake. My elf on the shelf was most certainly not in its packaging, meaning it was hiding out in the house somewhere. My landlords were going to have a rude awakening if it somehow managed to get upstairs. 

It was time to catch the little bugger and ship him off to the North Pole (aka the big bin labelled “decorations”). 

Setting the trap, 11:30 a.m.

By the time I had cleaned up the disaster in my kitchen and brewed a new coffee, which I drank black (I didn’t have the heart to use more oat milk), I had come up with a Home Alonestyle booby trap to catch the elf. It would involve a trail of candy canes, a lot of powdered sugar (those little tricksters run off the stuff), and the last three shortbread cookies I painfully set out on a dish by the fireplace (I’m convinced Santa doesn’t even eat the cookies, just takes them back to the North Pole for the elves). Once the trap was set, I found my butterfly-catching net from my aspiring days as a seven-year-old ecologist and waited.

Caught sugar-handed, 1:30 p.m. 

YES! Sure, it squirmed a little bit, but after a gentle talking to, I managed to coax the little guy back into the box. I would now be safe from all of its shenanigans — until next year, that is. 

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