Brittany Mease thought she’d found the perfect way to give herself a break from Elf on the Shelf arrangements — until it backfired in a big way.

As the busy single mom wrote on Facebook, she’s not a fan of the Elf on the Shelf. But her children love it so much that she puts up with it for their sake.

This year, their family elf, named Elfis, arrived with a “broken leg” from tripping over toys that hadn’t been put away. A note explained that Doc McStuffins had put on a cast and that he was on bed rest for 14 days. Mease congratulated herself for coming up with an excuse not to move Elfis for two weeks.

But when those two weeks were up, she found herself in a fix. She wrote:

The other day the kids noticed that it had been longer than 14 days and he hadn’t moved so when they weren’t looking I grabbed him off the kitchen counter and quickly tossed him in the oven until I could move him later and not raise any suspicion.

And then life went on in its crazy way, and Mease forgot she had hidden the elf in the oven.

That might not have been a problem if her son Gray hadn’t been eager to have baked pasta for lunch — and if she hadn’t been so grateful that he was interested in eating something that she jumped on the chance to make it:

I preheated the oven and started cleaning the kitchen. About four minutes later I started to smell something REALLY funky and that’s when all hell broke loose and I broke my son’s heart.

Mease was in the middle of a conversation with a friend when she realized what she was smelling and yelled, “THE ELF! THE F**KING ELF IS IN THE OVEN!”

As Mease ran to rescue her scorched elf, her yelling got the attention of her son, who thought that Elfis had finally reappeared:

Gray came in the kitchen with excitement (literally the happiest I think I’ve seen him since he got out of the hospital) thinking our elf was back but his world fell apart as we were using kitchen utensils to get our burnt and melting elf out of the damn oven.

Any hope Mease might have had that her young son would laugh off the mishap was crushed when he was obviously heartbroken at Elfis’ injury. However, Mease’s daughter did laugh and explained she was glad the elf had gone “because now he can’t tell on her.”

Of course, seeing her son’s disappointment meant Mease had to spring into damage-control mode. She wrote:

I’m having to scramble and find the other elf we have and then I have to call Santa (in front of the kids) and ask him if he will please pick Elfis up tonight. Ya know, since he is unable to make it to the North Pole to get fixed because his head literally popped off from being too hot once we pulled him out of the oven and his feet are completely melted off.

Fortunately, Mease was prepared, having encountered other elf-related problems before. She wrote on Facebook that she located her emergency backup elf and only needed to decide if Elfis was going to be restored by Santa’s magic.

Best of all, once the resurrected Elfis returned to their home, her son decided it would be safest for Elfis if he came back to the same spot every night and avoided the possibility of being cooked again. As Mease wrote, the Elfis tragedy ended up being a mom win:

“My kids really think for the safety of the elf that he should return to his assigned seating every day?! Why didn’t I think of that!?!?”

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