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20 Elf on the Shelf Displays That Perfectly Sum Up 2020

From their creative takes on “elf”-quarantine to “elf”-care, it looks like our Scout Elves may have been watching over us longer than we had realized...
ByEmma Gallo
Digital Content Coordinator
Updated
December 15, 2020
christmas elf on the shelf sitting by greenery and wearing a mask
Image: Shutterstock

Ah, January 2020. A simpler time five years ago when the headlines were dominated by Harry and Meghan’s royal “Brexit”, the impeachment trials of the President of the United States, destructive wildfires that were ravaging Australia, and the untimely passing of NBA legend, Kobe Bryant and his daughter, Gianna. In retrospect, 2020 was inherently doomed from the start, but most of us had no idea how much worse the year was about to get when we posted our #dollypartonchallenge.

Fast-forward to March 2020 and life as we knew it had been flipped on its head. Overnight, our schools and offices had closed, professional sports and mass gatherings were cancelled, and the once unknown Dr. Anthony Fauci had ascended to celebrity status. 2020 might be best characterized as Groundhog Day meets The Hunger Games, with its own dystopian plot twist that had us synchronously banging pots and pans outside our windows as a symbol of appreciation and bartering sold-out kitchen items amongst our neighbors for a roll of paper towels.

What we didn’t know was that while our Scout Elves were completing their regularly scheduled quarantine in the North Pole, they were watching it all and keeping notes. Turns out, watching us live through COVID-19 provided them with quite a few new ideas for when they re-emerged this holiday season! Below, we’ve rounded up 20 Elf on the Shelf displays that tell the story of 2020.

    1. Statewide stay-at-home orders required preparation. Groceries for two weeks and enough toilet paper for the rest of the year should be all we need for now.
    1. Once our anxiety calmed down, we were cautiously optimistic. Maybe this “elf”-quarantine thing wouldn’t be so bad! Finally, some time to lay low and finish our book or start that home improvement project.
    1. Working from home began as a welcomed change. No commute and we can wear sweatpants to the office? Sounds great!
    1. Along came Tiger King to serve as the distraction we needed but didn’t know we were missing. It was almost like Netflix was saving this to release during a worldwide pandemic or something…
    1. We picked up a new hobby… for a couple of weeks.
    1. And when we realized how long we’d actually be in quarantine, we cleared out the animal shelters and picked up more houseplants than we had windows for.
    1. Then came the depression. When can we leave the house again? There’s only so many streets in my neighborhood to walk around… and what are we supposed to do with all this toilet paper!?!
    1. We started drinking to cope.
    1. Bloated and hungover, we collectively decided that next month we’d try baking bread to cope instead.
    1. And as hard as we tried, we ran out of ideas to keep the kids entertained (but we did find a way to repurpose the toilet paper…)
    1. Societal revolution was born out of global stillness. Quarantine set the stage for a long overdue racial wreckoning as the world mourned the life of George Floyd. People (and Elves!) of all colors took to the streets to demand that #blacklivesmatter in remembrance of Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Arbery and the countless lives needlessly lost to racial injustice.
    1. Alas, a breakthrough! Gathering outside while wearing a mask and observing a safe social distance are the most effective ways to stop the spread of coronavirus. We can begin to resume some aspects of our lives if we wear a mask and keep six-feet apart!
    1. So we found new ways to hang out with our friends and family outside.
    1. And when the cabin fever got really bad, we came up with creative ways to travel safely.
    1. Between Zoom meetings, homeschool, and overall attempting to maintain our sanity, we looked to squeeze in a few moments of “elf”-care.
    1. “Quarantine Babies” became the new Baby Boomers.
    1. Then when the colder months rolled around, we did our part and got a flu shot.
    1. And if we learned we came into contact with someone who was infected, we went back into “elf”-quarantine.
    1. Having made it through the longest year of our lives, it was finally Christmas again! Our Elves returned from the North Pole to bring a semblance of normalcy back to the holiday season (while potentially defying local quarantine measures…)
    1. And at the end of it all, we were more grateful than ever for our family, our health and our home, having made it through this year with renewed awareness of how precious it all is.

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