Judge ‘bans’ Elf on the Shelf ahead of holidays with court order

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Judge 'bans' Elf on the Shelf ahead of holidays with court order

A Georgia judge is attempting to alleviate parents of holiday headaches caused by the popular “Elf on the Shelf” by “banning” the recent Christmas tradition in his county this year with a signed court order.

Cobb County Circuit Judge Robert D. Leonard II tweeted the tongue-in-cheek order last week, calling it his “gift to tired parents,” alleging in his order that the popular holiday gimmick represents  “a distraction to school students and a risk to the emotional health and well being of Cobb’s young children.”

“Tired of living in Elf on the Shelf tyranny? Not looking forward to the Elf forgetting to move and causing your kids emotional distress? I am a public servant and will take the heat for you. My gift to tired parents,” Leonard tweeted with the signed court order.

The Elf on the Shelf was launched as a Christmas picture book in 2005 by mother-daughter duo Carol Aebersold and Chanda Bell, who are from Georgia. The book comes with a small stuffed elf doll, who “stays” in homes of young children from Thanksgiving to Christmas Eve each year scouting them for good behavior before returning back to the North Pole. 

The doll is supposed to “move” to a new perch in the house each night for children to find in the morning — but parents often forget, leading to memorable Christmas mayhem that Judge Leonard hopes to abolish with his “ban.”

“The Court finds “The Elf on the Shelf” hereinafter “Elves” represent a distraction to school students a risk to the emotional health and well being of Cobb’s young children,” the judge wrote in the faux order. “Inexplicably, Elvies sometimes move and don’t move overnight. When these Elves do not move, it leaves our children of tender years in states of extreme emotional distress.”

Elf on the Shelf
Judge Robert D. Leonard II said banning “Elf on the Shelf” was his “gift to tired parents.”
Lindsey Shuey/The Republican-Herald via AP

According to the book, if a child touches the elf the magic of Christmas goes away, a rule that last year led to heinous accusations being made against siblings in Leonard’s home last Christmas. 

“The undersigned recalls a horrific incident in his own home when three children were sent to school in tears, with one child being labeled as an ‘Elf Murderer’ and accused of making the elf ‘lose his magic.’ The Court has no doubt that day of education was lost to everyone,” the order states.

“Given the risks posed to our most vulnerable children outlined above, coupled with COVID and supply chain issues, the Court has no choice but to BANISH all Elves on the Shelves from Cobb County.”

The judge assured parents that there would be “no contempt” charges against those who continue the tradition.

“P.S. – I love the elf, and our local company that has so generously supported so many local charities and done amazing things in our community,” the judge added in a follow up tweet.

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