Parents can rejoice and breathe a sigh of relief in Cobb County, Georgia after a judge has alleviated them of a stressful holiday tradition.

For years, Elf on the Shelf has been a Christmastime tradition for families. The concept is simple: The Elf "watches" the kids and reports their behavior back to Santa Claus, who then makes his decision if they've been naughty or nice.

Every morning when the kids wake up, the Elf has moved. Some parents got overzealous the first year and created cute and silly scenes each morning. Well, that gets to be a lot of work, and sometimes a mess since apparently it's acceptable for the Elf to misbehave, just not your kids.

However, Chief Judge Robert Leonard has written an order for Cobb County to ban the tradition from homes as a stress relieving opportunity for parents.

In the order, Judge Leonard wrote that in a school setting, the Elf on the Shelf is a distraction to students and a "risk to the emotional health and well being," especially when the Elves are in the same place in the morning as they were the night before.

"When these Elves do not move, it leaves our children of tender years in states of extreme emotional distress," the order reads.

"The undersigned recalls a horrific incident in his own home where 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," the order says. "The Court has no doubt that day of education was lost to everyone."

As the order draws to a close, it outlines even more reasons for the "ban":

"Given the risks posed to our most vulnerable children outlined above, coupled with COVID and supply chain issues, the Court has no choice but to BANISH all Elves on Shelves from Cobb County."

Judge Leonard shared the "judicial order" on his Twitter.

"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," Judge Robert Leonard wrote in his Tweet. "My gift to tired parents."

Obviously, he means all of this in good fun, and an easy out for parents who don't want to keep up with the tradition.

He seals the joke in his Tweet, writing "P.S. - If you love your elf, keep your elf. No contempts."


Have a laugh, and have a great Christmas season.

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