A Georgia judge hilariously imposed a ban on the beloved Christmas tradition Elf on the Shelf as a “gift to tired parents”.

Cobb County Superior Court Chief Judge Robert Leonard issued his mock order via Twitter last week banishing the elves – who hide in homes in the weeks before Christmas to surveil children and report back to Santa on who has been naughty or nice.

“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. My gift to tired parents,” the judge tweeted.

In his order, Judge Leonard emphasised the pressure parents face to move their elves to a new location each night, and the trauma children experience if a change is missed.

“The Court finds ‘The Elf on the Shelf,’ hereinafter ‘Elves’ represent a distraction to school students and a risk to the emotional health and wellbeing of Cobb’s young children,” the order states.

“Inexplicably, Elves sometimes move and don’t move overnight. When these Elves do not move, it leaves our children of tender years in states of extreme emotional distress.”

Sharing his personal interest in the issue, the judge wrote: “The undersigned recalls a horrific interest in his own home where three children were sent to school in tears, with one child being labelled an ‘Elf Murderer’ and accused of making the elf ‘lose his magic.’

“The Court has no doubt that day of education was lost to everyone.”

The order concluded: “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’s mockery sparked uproar on Twitter – with some users seemingly missing the sarcasm.

“This has got to be a joke!” one critic declared.  “‘Emotional distress’ over an Elf that requires governmental intervention?  Yet these same Cobb County parents high fiving this ruling were probably also the ones protesting masks in schools during Covid?????”

Others questioned whether the judge should be using his time for more pertinent matters.

“Really, this is what our government has come to?” another critic asked. “@JudgeLeonard, do you really not have any more pressing matters to bide your time? If not, we can find a judge that will seek justice in bigger issues such as robbery, drugs, battery, etc.”

The critics’ replies were overshadowed by positive reactions from parents who thanked the judge for brightening their days.

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