Jezebel Investigates: Is Elf on the Shelf Single?

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Jezebel Investigates: Is Elf on the Shelf Single?
Image:Kena Bentacur (Getty Images)

Every year parents across the nation pluck a thin, small elf dressed in a red unitard from his cardboard box and arranges him in various scenarios around the house in an attempt to teach their children lessons about the surveillance state, or maybe just the spirit of Christmas. Elf on the Shelf is a beloved but slightly unhinged holiday tradition that teaches the importance of “being good,” which is nice for those who chose to participate. While the reason for the Elf is merely “the season,” as the nights get longer and the people we’ve spent much of our year with become tiresome, one has to wonder: Is this Elf single?

From my brief research, it appears that Elf on the Shelf comes in two different varieties, male and female, and that both versions of this small surveillance friend are married only to the Christmas spirit. However, I’d like us all to expand our minds a bit to imagine the elf’s interior life—their dreams for the future, their desires in the moment, and what it is they want out of their time on earth. Human beings are generally drawn towards companionship in some form or another and as an Elf on a Shelf is a bit of plastic molded to look human, one can assume that they want this, too. But remember that an Elf is not the master of its own destiny. For 11 months out of the year, the elf lies in repose, waiting for the end of the year, where it will surrender any trace of free will to its master.

While it would be untoward to make assumptions about the division of labor in households I know nothing about, I would wager that most of the time, the person responsible for the elf’s whereabouts is a woman. A real-life example, to prove my point: Kim Kardashian, noted mother of four, recently Instagrammed a harrowing journey for her elves, all of whom found themselves afflicted with coronavirus and stuffed into jars to quarantine for 10 days. My best guess is that if these elves were in charge of their own destinies, they would not choose to catch coronavirus and live in a jar, but they didn’t have a choice in the matter. Following this logic, though, it stands to reason that the elf is possibly an incel, and therefore single. But there’s still hope for the elf’s romantic life yet.

The person in charge of handling the elf’s activities can do whatever they want with the elf in question. That means that the elf is not doomed to a life of chastity and solitude, but can enjoy the fruits of many wonderful relationships as its owner sees fit. If the elf finds himself staring lustfully at a pepper mill on Monday and by Wednesday afternoon, both parties are standing in line at the makeshift county registrar’s office in the bathroom, trying to get a marriage license, doesn’t that count as a relationship? Any person undertaking the task of amusing their family with the antics of the elf should use the opportunity to explore relationships in every iteration, from casual hookups with the paper towel holder to long-term, long-haul marriages with a banana sporting googly eyes or a particularly attractive stem of ginger. Technically, the elf is single, but the possibilities for romance are endless.

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