Some of you look forward to Dec, 1 every year when the Elf on the Shelf arrives back in your homes, where they will engage in nightly mischief for the next 24 days, until Christmas arrives. And then there are those of us who dread his mere existence, regretting we ever introduced the tradition into our homes.
For those of you who would like to buy a little time before his shenanigans become a daily chore, we present to you the Elf on the Shelf 2020 edition: the Quarantine Box.
According to the viral pic, when the Elf arrives from the North Pole, he must enter a 14-day quarantine period. He can watch and report back to Santa, but he just can’t move around a whole lot and get into trouble. That leaves just 10 simple days of debauchery ahead, where he can live his best life, but not lock you into yet another overcommitment during the holiday season. Win-win, right?
And, listen, if you want to move him around for the full season, knock yourself out. For some people, this brings them and their families joy. Have him get flour all over the kitchen and rappel down the drapes. But for those of us with our plates already full, this is a miracle idea.
Luckily, Etsy is fully onboard with this plan, with lots of sellers offering variations on the quarantine theme.
Instagram has some ideas, too, to stop the spread of elf naughtiness in your house, like jars and envelopes.
If a box is too much, the official Elf on the Shelf brand even has a letter you can print out for the Elf to check in and encourage hand-washing if maybe just a short visit makes the most sense.
If your kids really need extra elf time this year, fine don't deprive them. But it's good to know we’ve got options when we need them most.