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Creepy looking little sucker, ain't he?

As if we didn't have enough stress this year with COVID-19 wreaking havoc with our Christmas plans, there is the added responsibility of keeping the Elf On The Shelf active and moving. Because, Heaven Forbid that you forget to move him one day, causing your children look at you with tear-filled eyes and ask questions about WHY Elfie didn't move during the night.

"BECAUSE, HE'S INANIMATE! AND DADDY HAS A DEADLINE AT WORK!"

Yeah, don't use that line. It may not have the desired impact, and your kids will recall the tale when they are having deep conversations with their therapists as adults.

Instead, there are ways to keep up the illusion of The Elf On the Shelf, while giving yourself a much needed break this holiday.

1).  COVID QUARANTINE

I saw this one online and thought it was genius.

Image: GrowingLains/Etsy

Placing the Elf in a box, jar, or other receptacle keeps you in that "2020 Vibe" and takes all the pressure off of you for at least 14 days.

2). ZOOM MEETING

With the surge in teleconferencing, take your Elf and place him in front of a webcam on an old laptop or tablet. Then, download a snowy backdrop. This way, whenever your kids want to see what he's up to, just pull up Zoom or Microsoft Teams, and show them that he's connected and busy.

3). LABOR ISSUES

This usually works on the weekend, just tell the kids that your elf is a card-carrying member of the "National Organization of Elven Labor" (NOEL), and that due to union regulations your elf is not allowed to move or do anything holiday related after hours or on weekends. If they ask what that means, just log into Netflix and show them "Hoffa" with Jack Nicholson. They'll forget all abut that Elf, and start to pester you about how much you've been dipping into their pension fund.

As you can see...lots of options when you just want a break from that little red nightmare.

CHECK THEM OUT: 100 years of Christmas toys, gifts and fads