Mom Opens Up About Viral Elf On The Shelf Photo

Parenting win!

Elf on the Shelf is a time-honored Christmas tradition when parents place an elf doll on a shelf near the Christmas tree and tell their children that the elf reports to Santa if they were good or bad. The problem is that some children grab the elf and play with it like a toy.

One mother from Stephenville, Texas just put a new spin on this holiday custom. Courtney Boles took a photo of her elf, Buddy, with his leg in a yellow cast. She told her children that Buddy fell, broke his leg and couldn't move for two weeks.

She posted a photo of her "parenting win" on Facebook:

Her husband, Justin, joined in the fun by leaving a note from Buddy. The note said that he fell off the star of tree, broke his leg and Santa won't allow him to move.

"He also gave me STRICT orders not to move for two weeks to let my leg heal," the note said, according to TODAY. "In the meantime, Santa will be coming here to get his nightly report. That means you must go to bed when your parents say so you don't chance Santa seeing you."

Her daughters, Hannah and Emma, liked the note and wrote get-well cards to Buddy. Case, her 4-year-old son, also enjoyed it.

Some people on Facebook didn’t agree with this mother’s Christmas tactic.

The viral photo had over 31,000 shares and some criticism. "What's the fun in that?" and "Why even get one then?" were some of the comments that Boles received on Facebook.

That’s when this mother finally spoke out and revealed why she did it.

"My 4-year-old son has autism and has a hard time following the rule about kids touching him, as clearly stated in the book, so I am limited on my options on where he can move," Boles said to TODAY. "Also, we were headed out of town for my daughter's soccer tournament and my younger daughter and son were staying with grandparents. Instead of trying to come up with an excuse why Buddy wasn't coming, we decided he should break his leg!"

Boles also earned praised on Facebook, as people called her "brilliant" and "genius" in the comments.