Dave goes rogue and buys Elf on a Shelf. I say nothing. The next day, our 9 year old is upset because the Elf didn't move or give her a gift or become engaged in an elaborate marshmallow fight instead it stayed in its box. Dave and I are alone. "So this Elf..." he says.
I say, "Look there's a reason why we never had an Elf on a Shelf."
"What is it?"
"Have you seen our Easter Bunny game? Have you not noticed that the kids think that Tooth Fairies have a genetically poor sense of the passage of time? How our advent calendars just kinda go dry from distraction four days in? Sure, we say that cash prizes hidden by a series of difficult clues on Christmas are an odd familiar eccentricity, but do you remember how the tradition started? This Elf plays to all of our weaknesses, none of our strengths."
We both stare at the Elf, icily. He stares back.