Panicked Little Girl Calls 911 After Touching Elf on the Shelf


This whole Elf on the Shelf craze is starting to get out of hand. First of all, it isn’t even a proper Christmas tradition—it was invented in 2004 as a clever children’s book tie-in. Second, it’s totally creepy. Writing for The Atlantic, Kate Tuttle called it lambasted the toy as a cheap and ultimately ineffective way of teaching morality, warning: “Raising morally aware children requires we go several steps beyond the concept of a naughty/nice dichotomy.”

Others find the toy harmless, and have even adopted it into the long list of hallowed Christmastime traditions. One thing, however, is clear: some kids take this stuff pretty seriously. It’s an intimating proposition to lose all of your Christmas toys due to some bad behavior. That’s apparently what this seven year old girl was thinking after she accidentally disturbed her family’s elf.

The girl, who lives with her family in New Jersey, called 911 after she touched her family’s designated Santa informant. Police say Isabelle LaPeruta was worried because, according to children’s book that spawned this whole crazy thing, the “magic of Christmas goes away if the elf is touched.”

Above: Harmless toy, or the face of holiday dystopia?
Above: Harmless toy, or the face of holiday dystopia?

According to WNBC-TV, the girl actually meant to call her dad, and told the 911 operator not to send police to her house. In the state of New Jersey, however, police are required to check on 911 callers and confirm their safety. The officer who showed up found Isabella in tears. Lynanne, her mother, woke up from a nap and found her daughter “trying to shoo an officer out of the house.” She says Isabella panicked after she threw a ball and knocked the elf fell to the floor.

The officer reportedly radioed headquarters with a cheeky summation of the scene: “Isabella apologized. She touched the Elf on a Shelf. She won’t call 911 again.”


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Timothy Bertrand
Writer and journalist living in the Houston, Texas area. Follow me for breaking news, editorials, pictures of cats doing human activities, and other such content from around the web.

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