Judge frees parents from ‘Elf on the Shelf tyranny’

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FILE – Elf on the Shelf figures are piled in a box at the company’s studio Thursday, Aug. 27, 2020, in Atlanta. Santa may have fewer eyes in homes in the 2021 Christmas season after a judge — jokingly — banned the Elf on the Shelf. Superior Court Chief Judge Robert Leonard posted a mock order on Twitter banishing these elves from Cobb County, Georgia as a “gift to tired parents.” (AP Photo/John Bazemore)

MARIETTA, Ga. (AP) — Santa may have fewer eyes in homes this Christmas season after a Georgia judge — jokingly — banned the Elf on the Shelf.

Cobb County Superior Court Chief Judge Robert Leonard posted a mock order on Twitter on Thursday banishing these elves.

“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.

According to the holiday tradition, the elves hide in homes for weeks before Christmas and report back to Santa on who’s been naughty and nice. The elf dolls are supposed to move to a different location each 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 wrote in his order.

He recalled a “horrific incident” in his own home when “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.’”

Given the risks of such emotional damage — and supply chain issues caused by the COVID-19 pandemic — the judge wrote that he had no choice but to banish the elves from Cobb County.

He did make an allowance for parents who don’t feel overwhelmed by the “Elf on the Shelf tyranny,” writing in his tweet: “If you love your elf, keep your elf. No contempts.”

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