Rowell’s Words: Elf on a Shelf

Published 5:54 pm Thursday, December 9, 2021

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By William Rowell    Is our loveable little character, Elf on a Shelf, heading to timeout with his pals and the likes of Aunt Jemima, Uncle Ben, Elmer Fudd, and other loveable icons? News out of Georgia is that he has been banned by a judge.

That’s correct. A Cobb County judge has banned this seasonal creature in homes there. “Tired of living in Elf on a Shelf tyranny? I am a public servant and will take the heat for you. My gift to the tired parent” Judge Leonard said in a tweet. Afterwards he explained that it sometimes “Leaves our children in states of extreme emotional distress”. Say it ain’t so, Joe. I read this several times, and slowly, to make sure I was reading it correctly.

Let’s hope this was a “tongue-in-cheek” attempt to make light of a small issue coming to light on a slow news day. However, it should have never got out of the county let alone the state.

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This brings up two questions in my mind. First, is their judicial system caught up to the point that the county’s Superior Court Chief Judge has time to devote to this? If that’s the case, I would love to invite him up here to help our courts get caught up.

Secondly, I want to believe that this was blown out of proportion. Maybe it was intended as a joke. If that’s true, it was inappropriate in my estimation. I consider it another attack on the Christmas holiday.

I have been putting our elf on a shelf for my children since the middle of the 1960’s. I still have that little fellow and put him up every year though they are now long gone, and have married children of their own. They probably even have their own little sprite.

I love those times when we would put him on a picture frame or somewhere out of the kid’s reach. The game was they could see him and would point him out; but adults could not see him. They thought he was there for them and that was why only they could see him.

He would always disappear Christmas Eve after everyone had gone to bed. They were led to believe he had gone to report to Santa on whether they were worthy of a visit from him on his rounds.

Our daughters grew up to become normal mature adults without any elf induced emotional issues. They have husbands and children of their own. They are happy, successful, and mature adults.

Like everyone since the Garden of Eden, they have had their share of ups and downs. None of which were ever blamed on our little family elf on a shelf.

We were living there in Cobb County when they were children. That was nearly 50 years ago. We put him in a place of honor then and each year since. You can bet your boots our little elf is up again this year and those that are on the horizon.

Merry Christmas to you and yours. God bless and have a great day.

An old sage, William Rowell can be reached at