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Jimmy Kimmel Explains Why Elf on the Shelf is a Mixed Bag for Parents

It isn't all fun and games.


On Monday night’s episode of Jimmy Kimmel Live!, the talk show host discussed a growing holiday trend: Elf on a Shelf. According to Kimmel, the game, which is meant to promote good behavior around Christmastime, is both a blessing and a curse for parents.

Kimmel first admits that the game works, describing how when the elf is in the room, his 4-year-old daughter Jane is on her best behavior, particularly with her brother Billy, 1. “Yesterday, she shared a toy with her brother for the first time in, I don’t know, their lives,” he explains. “Not only did she share it, she presented it to him. Like Vanna White on Wheel of Fortune.”

He goes on to say that he knows her random acts of kindness are related to the elf on the shelf because “she turned and winked at the elf.”

However, he also argues that as a parent, committing to the elf on a shelf is hard work as he and wife Molly have to find a new spot for it every night without the kids noticing. “I know we’re going to forget about it,” he laughs. “We can barely keep up with the Tooth Fairy!”

Fortunately, the 51-year-old dad of four has a proposed solution: “There needs to be a service that comes to your house and moves the elf around for you,” he says, adding, “We’re already out of ideas. Tonight I’m just going to duct tape the elf to a Roomba and let it move around itself.”