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Officers help restore boy’s Christmas spirit by helping mom with Elf on the Shelf

The mother confessed to officers that she had spoiled Elf on the Shelf for her son; to restore the boy’s spirit, the officers staged a traffic stop to “scold” her for moving the elf, thus allowing it to regain its powers

Elf on the Shelf

Elf on the Shelf figures are piled in a box at the company’s studio in Atlanta. (AP Photo/John Bazemore)

John Bazemore/AP

By Jackie Martin
The News Herald, Southgate, Mich.

SOUTHGATE, Mich. — After more than a decade of successful Elf on a Shelf shenanigans, this year registered the first epic fail for one Southgate family.

Amanda Turinsky of Southgate said she really blew it this year.

As tradition has it, the elf is placed on a shelf in various parts of the house each day leading up to Christmas with a little fun message to the children.

The rule in this family tradition is that no adult can touch the elf or it will strip him of his Christmas powers and ruin the holiday.

Recently, the elf was sitting inside the bedroom of her 10-year-old son, Knox.

She and her 16-year-old son, who has already gone through his years of the tradition, had been sharing the job of moving the elf in the Christmas countdown.

She thought he was asleep and just as Louise picked the elf up to relocate him for the next day, he woke up and caught her red handed.

There he sat in disbelief.

In his eyes, his mother had just ruined Christmas.

Turinsky said she was faced with a dilemma.

She could either use this as an opportunity to come clean about the whole elf and Christmas gift getting tradition, or try to fix the situation.

“My whole life purpose is to give them the best childhood possible,” Turinsky said.

Since she wasn’t quite ready to bring an end to the magical materialization of gifts on the holiday, Turinsky went into “fix it mode.”

“He was so mad at me,” the mom said. “I kept telling him that it would be fine, but he was heartbroken.”

She had broken a years-long family tradition and, initially, didn’t see a way out of it.

It was then she thought of a plan, but she would need some big help to pull it off.

“I was damned and determined to fix this,” she said.

She went to the Southgate Police Department and said she approached officers like a dog with its tail tucked between its legs.

She explained how she created a holiday mess with the elf situation and pitched an idea on how they could help her return her son’s Christmas joy.

Turinsky told the officer at the desk this was going to be the craziest request the department has ever received, and she proceeded to ask them to conduct a staged traffic stop and scold her for touching the elf.

She told them her son would be in the car and asked if they would take her to task for her behavior and then send her on a scavenger hunt around the city to help make up for her deed.

She said it would restore the elf’s magical powers.

Much to her surprise, they were all on board.

In fact, Lt. Brent Newsted agreed to coordinate the police involvement.

Turinsky set a time and place for Officers Steven Trombley and Devin Brown to play a starring role in the plot.

Armed with a letter from the North Pole, an unsuspecting Knox sat and watched as the officers went into character.

“Are you Amanda,” one of the officers said. “We are from the North Pole police. Everybody knows you’re not supposed to touch the elf.”

The officers told Knox his mother has created a huge problem for them and as the scolding went on, Turinsky was told if she does what she is told her elf, named Elmer, can get his powers back.

The scavenger hunt for various Christmas items, which she had all planned out, went over without a hitch.

“He was fully back on board,” Turinsky said. “The officers did such a good job. I wanted to give them some recognition for what they did. They deserve it.”

With Knox back in the holiday spirit, his mom told him it would be a good idea if they stopped by the police department and brought the two officers a holiday drink and snack as a thank you for helping get Elmer rejuvenated.

Elmer has been able to freely move about the house ever since and will be prepared to usher in at least one more Christmas holiday Monday.


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