Traditions. They’re meant to usher us into a season of comfort and joy, peace and goodwill, but often leave us feeling more harried than merry. Take, for instance, the daily ritual of an Elf-on-the-Shelf’s soaking in marshmallow bubble baths, T.P.-ing the tree and plunging down zip lines over the breakfast table. For such tiny creatures, these sly imps demand an inordinately large amount of my time and sanity, commodities already in short supply over the holidays. Trying to conjure up a Norman Rockwell Christmas is not only exhausting, it’s a series of “Pinterest-fails” waiting to happen.