WYLIE, Texas (FOX 13) - Whether you love it or hate it, the Elf on the Shelf is a holiday tradition that's probably here to stay.
But the Elf's lesson about consequences isn't only for children, as one mom in Texas found out the hard way.
Brittany Mease admits she's not a fan of the Elf on the Shelf, but she plays along for "those precious smiles on [her] beautiful children's faces," she said in a Facebook post.
The Mease family has been through five Christmases with their elf, named Elfis.
In an effort to buy herself some time and sanity, Brittany devised a plan to put Elfis on the sideline for a few weeks.
"Elfis… arrived on December 1st with a broken leg and blamed it on the kids for leaving their toys out," Brittany wrote in a Facebook post. "[A] note told the kids that he was on strict bedrest orders and couldn't move for 14 days. I just got a free pass to not worry about moving that creepy guy for two weeks!"
But when the kids noticed the 14-day bedrest order should have come and gone, Brittany panicked and hid Elfis in the oven.
As the holiday hustle and bustle carried her thoughts elsewhere, Elfis remained in his hiding place until two fateful days later when the kids wanted leftover pasta for lunch.
"I preheated the oven and started cleaning the kitchen. About 4 minutes later I started to smell something really funky and that's when all [expletive] broke loose and I broke my son's heart," Brittany wrote.
Without thinking, Brittany said she yelled that Elfis was in the oven. She rushed to save him, but it was too late.
Elfis was melted and a little charred.
Thankfully, Santa was able to take a last-minute phone call, with the kids present, and he agreed to pick Elfis up that night. And thankfully for Brittany, she had a backup elf waiting in the wings.
Brittany says once Santa brought back Elfis, her son decided it was best their little friend return to the same spot every day "so he doesn't die again."
"He saved my sanity and has no idea!" Brittany told FOX 13 News.