The Bearded Iris

A Recalcitrant Wife and Mother Tells All

The Elf on the Marriage Counselor’s Shelf

My husband and I are not seeing eye to eye on this whole Elf on the Shelf business.

No big surprise. He and I are polar opposites, of course. That’s how nature works. It’s all about propagating the species and the best way to do that is to mix up the gene pool.

So when I snuck downstairs a few nights ago to move Dobbie, I was not the least bit shocked to find that my husband had already dismantled this “killer” vignette:

…and set up his own low-key scenario for the kids to find the following morning:

Oh how interesting. Elf on a Media Cabinet. {Yawn}

Oh no. This will not do, I said to myself. This is MY dance space.

I knew Martha next door was probably making her Elf do powdered sugar snow angels on her kitchen floor that very moment. There was no way in hell I would let my kids bear the shame of having to tell the other kids at the bus stop that their Elf just sat on a piece of furniture all night! BOR-RING.

So I grabbed a few simple props and voilá:

Instant drama. See how easy that is? Anyone can do it! Well, anyone but my husband. And not just because the cat avoids him like the plague.

(WARNING: Even without the demonic cat in the background, this scene may be a bit too macabre for many young children. My kids were fine with it. They watch a lot of Sponge Bob.)

Later that day after the kids were in bed, my husband beat me to the punch AGAIN and moved Dobbie for the night. He really outdid himself and moved the Elf to a totally different room. WOW – he so crazy!

What? You moved Dobbie to a different room? HI-LARIOUS!!!

FAIL. Poor Dobbie looks sad and alone, not impish and merry! You know who else found his Elf like that one cold December morning? Jeffrey Dahmer, that’s who.

Luckily I arrived in the nick of time. “Step away from the Elf, husband. This is not a job for amateurs.”

Again, with just a few additional props, Iris and her trusty feline sidekick were able to save the day and enjoy a good chuckle at the same time:

It’s the little things.

You’re pretty impressed by my cat right now aren’t you? Yes, Scat Scrabble appeals to multiple ages and species, let me tell you. All three kids thought it was awesome. The husband? Not so much. He’s just grateful I didn’t throw in one of my signature fake turds for extra oomph. (I actually did, but the cat is lying down right on top of it, honest to God. Bet she thought it was a little brown mouse. Damn.)

Luckily for our marriage, my husband catches on pretty quickly. Last night he just handed me the Elf (not a euphemism) and said, “I know you’ll just correct whatever I do, so here; have at it.” (Also, not a euphemism.) Is he well-trained, or what?!

In hindsight, I probably shouldn’t have defiled the collectible Rockwell Christmas Village that he had spent hours setting up just so earlier that day…

My husband was not amused. The kids sure liked it though!

Hey, just trying to keep the “Christ! Why do I even bother?” in Christmas. It’s a gift.

Oh stop it. You know my Mama dropped me on my head as an infant. But guess what! There are more of us out there! I found an entire subculture of other twisted Elfers. Wanna see? Then head on over to Baby Rabies and check out the fun contest she’s doing:

There are some hilarious entries! I’m submitting my Snow-Writing Dobbie picture. You’ll have the chance to vote for your favorite entries beginning on December 12th. Don’t worry, I’ll beg remind you.

UPDATE: Please visit the Inappropriate Elf Contest and click “Like” on #54 (“Dobbie writes his name in the snow”). Voting runs until Tuesday December 20th and the top three will be in the running to win an iPad 2. You can vote once a day, and you don’t need to register to vote! Can I get an AMEN?! 

So wrong, but so right,



  1. Oh crap! I laughed so hard I just wet myself!

  2. Oh gosh this is freakin’ hilarious. I don’t do the Elf stuff… because I’d lose interest before Christmas got here. But this is too darn funny! I love it!

    • WORD. This is the only way I can stay interested too. I used to publicly shun the serious Elf moms in my neighborhood, but now I’m totally onboard. It is truly the most fun I’ve had in a long time (which is actually a little sad, just sayin’.)

  3. I love the Scrabble board! Hilarious!

  4. I can send you a BOND sheet to show them how he bonded out of jail and is on the lamb… Lmao

  5. I’m a failure! We have boring elf syndrome here. Crap. I’ll get on it. After all, it’s the seasons for miracles and inappropriate behavior at office parties. Anything can happen!

    • You are NOT a failure. Just channel that inappropriate office behavior into your Elf…that’s obviously what I do! I’m also hoping if I get it out of my system NOW, maybe I won’t embarrass my husband at HIS office party (like usual). Now get out there and do some nasty shit.

  6. Winner of the most consistently funny blog on the internet.


  7. Thank you for the much needed giggle, Iris! I do so enjoy your dark humor. As a born and raised resident of western Pennsylania having relocated to the south, Texas, though, not Georgia, I take comfort in your blog. I’ve been reading it for a few days now. Keep up the great work! And GO Steelers! I am only brave enough to say that because my husband is at the Cowboys Stadium as I write.

    • Thanks Jay! I have to keep my Steeler love on the down-low at home too…my husband is a Browns fan! Can you believe it? Don’t worry, I’m secretly raising all my kids to bleed Black and Gold.

  8. Is it too late in my children’s lives to do this? They’re 23,22,20 and 12. I wish I’d known about this when they were little. Maybe the grandkids…

  9. I love your creativity.
    So far my elf has just lived dangerously and hug from various objects. My daughter is not old enough to appreciate the art.
    Love the scrabble pic, that made me laugh out loud!
    I can’t wait until we can really get into setting our guy up.

  10. I’m thinking it was a good thing you were kept far, FAR! away from Waldorf Education and the Gnomes, Brownies, and flower fairies — At the end does the cat get to eat the elf?

  11. That was so great Iris!! I love all of the situations Dobby has been in.

  12. Gotta know what you used for the writing of Dobbie’s name! Love.

  13. The publicist says she wishes you were her mommy.
    I don’t know what that means but can I eat your Christmas tree? It looks so yummy

    • Oh LAWD, I don’t even want the three kids I already have. KIDDING! Not really. Well kinda. Most days I just want to skip the mothering part and go right to the Grandma stage. True story.

      Tell the publicist to bark up another bush. But YOU are welcome here anytime. I think you and Ike would get along famously.

  14. Laughed SO hard at Dobby’s name in the snow!!! I earned a “Mom, I was almost asleep!!!” from my girlie across the hall. My son opened the bathroom door (after a 30 min shower he supposedly didn’t want to take – grrr, what’s up with that) and shouted (over my racous laughter): “Is that The Bearded Iris?!?!!”. Mom in fits of laughter in front of a screen = Bearded Iris! You won’t need to remind me to vote!!

    • Now THAT? That right there? “Mom in fits of laughter in front of a screen = Bearded Iris!” That is some surefire T-shirt/bumper sticker material. If I ever open up an e-commerce site, you get the first one FREE for that gem, m’lady.

  15. I can’t say I’m surprised to see Fred running over Daphne and running off with Dobie in the Mystery Machine. Huge muscle beach body and always wearing a scarf? No mystery to solve there….

    Not sure what to say about the scrabble board and penismanship displays. As an impartial outside observer, obviously hilarious to me, but WWJD? Then again, I’ve got eight crazy nights to fill – maybe I’ll try having Hannukah Harry leave melted chocolate coins all over the floor and tell the kids it’s camel crap?

    • Oh praise the LAWD! I knew I could count on you to get my “Scooby Doo You Think Fred is Gay?” message. Love your use of the term “penismanship.” You are a gift. Thank you for all the fabulous support and comments!

  16. Also, if you don’t yet have the game “Scategories”, there’s no need for you to pick up a copy – I think you and the kids will be very disappointed.

  17. Love it! You are definitely the more creative one.

  18. Hilarious!!!

  19. So funny. I hope you don’t mind, but I submitted my own inappropriate elf. Mine is #83, Hangover Elf.

    And thanks so much for your blog. I laugh out loud all the time when reading your posts. When will you get a book deal?

    • Adorable! Love the tiger. Thank you for the compliment and I’m glad I could inspire your inner creative demons! 🙂 Good luck!

      I would love a book deal! Know any publishers?

  20. Absolutely hilarious Iris. I think your husband and mine should get together. I had the same response from him when I was reading this post to him in absolute hysterics!

    Anne x

  21. You truly are a very talented woman! LOL! I will vote for Dobbie for sure, but you REALLY should have entered the Scat Scrabble. Holy crap (no pun intended, heeheehee) that one was the best!

  22. I hope you win! So freaking funny!!

    Your post inspired this eCard:
    Elf On The Shelf

    🙂 Jenny

  23. thank you Iris for a laugh at work when I really needed one. The accident scene is hilarious!!

  24. I just found this blog from my friend the Crib Keeper. I have to say I laughed my ass off. You are fucking funny. Think I might be a regular time waster… I mean reader.

  25. OMG — “Dobbie and Gracie playing Scat Scrabble” was too frickin’ funny!

    I don’t think I could trace how I found you, Iris, but I will forever be your humble follower & minion!

    Just Sign Me,
    Gotta run to the potty, you made me laugh so damn hard!

  26. That was the second best way to wake up ever!!!!
    Loved it.
    Tried to vote for you, but the link wouldn’t open 🙁 Will try again later.
    Glad I tripped across you blog. Now going to find you on Facebook and Twitter if you are there 🙂

    • Thanks! This post is my entry from last year and that contest is closed. But I do have a new entry this year and you can vote for me at Baby Rabies. I’m entry #61 “Dobbie Plays Scat Scrabble.” I would love your vote! Thanks again and glad you enjoyed the post. 🙂

  27. My kids are grown – 21, 23 and 26 – and I have thanked the heavens that we are past Elf on a Shelf. But now that I see the possibilities I am going out today to buy one. Daughter number 2 comes home tonight – she is going to have a wonderfully funny surprise!

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