Georgia judge ‘bans’ Elf on the Shelf

November 9, 2021, 3:22 PM UTC

When it comes to holiday traditions, there are few more divisive than the Elf on the Shelf. For some parents, it’s a fun way to engage their kids (and help ensure good behavior). For others, it’s a headache that causes some awkward moments with their children. Now a Georgia judge is offering a reprieve.

Judge Robert D. Leonard, of the Superior Court of Cobb County, posted an order on Twitter banishing the Elf on the Shelf in that county. The tongue-in-cheek and completely unenforceable order addresses the concerns of parents whose children are traumatized when the parents forget to move the elf before they go to bed at night.

“Inexplicably, Elves sometimes move and don’t move overnight. When those Elves do not move, it leaves our children of tender years in states of extreme emotional distress,” Leonard’s order reads. “The undersigned recalls a horrific incident in his own house where three children were sent to school in tears, with one child being labeled an ‘Elf Murderer’ and accused of making the elf ‘lose his magic.’ The Court has no doubt the day of education was lost to everyone.”

In his tweet unveiling the order, Leonard says, in part, “Tired of living in Elf on the Shelf tyranny? I am a public servant and will take the heat for you. My gift to tired parents.”

The judge isn’t launching a war on Christmas with the order, though. He adds that anyone who enjoys the tradition should feel free to welcome the elf into their home as usual.

“P.S. If you love your elf, keep your elf. No contempts,” he said.

Since its launch in 2005, the Christmas tradition has snowballed from poem to multimillion-dollar franchise, including a TV special and a balloon in the Macy’s Thanksgiving parade.

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