A seven-year-old girl was so distraught she accidentally touched an Elf on the Shelf, she called 911. As the tale goes, the elf must not be touched or Santa may never appear because their magic has disappeared.
The elves watch the children and report back to Santa all they have seen and heard in their homes.
Police officers say Isabell LaPeruta, of Old Bridge, New Jersey, panicked and called 911 after she accidentally knocked the elf off the mantle with her ball, as reported by the New York ABC affiliate. Her mom was sleeping at the time.
Officers went to check on the girl to make sure she was okay. When they arrived, she was in tears.
Her mother, Lyanne LaPeruta woke from her nap and was reported to say, “She was hysterical crying, she was panicking.”
The little girl said later, “I didn’t want to get in trouble.”
Isabell told the New York television station, she now knows that she must not call 911 unless there is a real emergency. Speaking about Santa, she also said, “He knows that I’m not going to do that again.”
An officer called the headquarters and said, “Isabella apologized. She touched the Elf on a Shelf. She won’t call 911 again.”
Old Bridge Police Lt. Joseph Mandola told the New York station, “To her, it was an emergency when she touched the elf, and she’s going to ruin Christmas. So that was her emergency.” He added, “In her mind, she did right, and it was fine with us.”
Around for about a decade, the children’s book has not been without its critics for its technique in controlling the behavior of children.
Kate Tuttle writing for The Atlantic said, “It’s a marketing juggernaut dressed up as a ‘tradition.’” Tuttle explains her criticism of the story saying, “By far the worst thing about the Elf, though, is its message, its story, its raison d’etre: to spy on kids. ‘I watch and report on all that you do!’ he warns in the book, later adding that ‘the word will get out if you broke a rule.’”
Tuttle concludes her article titled “You’re a Creepy One, Elf on the Shelf” saying, “Do not use him to bully your child into thinking that good behavior equals gifts—if Christmas means anything religious to you at all, isn’t it that goodness is its own gift?”
The Washington Post wrote of the movie that it “deserves a special look, if for no other reason than to study its ability to magnify (and commodify) a Langley-like application of unwarranted surveillance techniques during Christmastime.”
Lana Shadwick is a writer and legal analyst for Breitbart Texas. She has served as an associate judge and prosecutor. Follow her on Twitter @LanaShadwick2