A Real-Life Elf on the Shelf: This Man Might Have Accidentally Launched the Most Brilliant Holiday Side Hustle Ever

Elf On The Shelf
tubesox_family under Creative Commons

Could a Craigslist joke be the key to your next side hustle?

A Boston man “broke the Internet” last week when he posted an anonymous Craigslist ad, offering to pose as a real-life version of mysterious holiday helper “Elf on the Shelf.”

“For $100/hour I will come to your holiday party dressed as the Elf on the Shelf and sit in any location you assign me while I stare emptily at your guests for the duration of the event… ”

After days of mystery, the man revealed himself in a Huffington Post interview as 28-year-old Jesse Brower.

Brower is not in the accompanying photo. Instead, it’s a photo posted to Facebook in 2012 by a man named Jim Clark. Brower found the photo through a Google search when he created the ad.

But what started as a joke might have real earning potential!

“I was thinking about how funny it would be to hire a really creepy guy to sit around … to just weird everyone out,” Brower told Huffington Post.

Apparently, everyone agrees.

The ad spiked to the top of Reddit last week and caught heat on several news sites, including a satirical interview with BostInno under the pseudonym “Chris N. Kringle.”

The ad’s since been flagged for removal, and we’re taking Brower’s (and “Kringle’s”) claims of income with a grain of salt.

But we can’t deny the popularity of the idea.

If you need a little extra cash as the holidays close in, maybe the Elf on the Shelf is your ticket?

Santa and Mrs. Claus may be the classic characters invited to holiday parties, but the Elf on the Shelf has claimed a big piece of the holiday pie in recent years.

This may be a sign it’s time to turn in your fluffy white beard and black boots for red footie pajamas and rosy cheeks.

While you’re at it, get the whole family involved — it’ll at least make for some crazy-adorable holiday cards!

Your Turn: Would you dress as the Elf on the Shelf and hang out at holiday parties for $100 an hour?

Dana Sitar (@danasitar) is a staff writer at The Penny Hoarder. She’s written for Huffington Post, Entrepreneur.com, Writer’s Digest and more, and she is officially too old to understand what’s going on with these kids and their Elves on their Shelves.

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