Sunday, November 24, 2013

Because, elves

The other day, I was standing in the kitchen making dinner when my son uttered words which drove a dagger of fear into my heart. “Mom,” he said, “Avery has an elf that visits her every Christmas and lives on a shelf in her house. Do you think an elf might come live with us?”

I mumbled something noncommittal about elves being unpredictable and changed the subject, hoping he would show the same persistence with the elf idea that he applied to his spelling homework.

I had heard bits here and there about the whole elf-on-a-shelf thing, but chose to turn a deaf ear as (a) elves are once-removed from clowns in the creepy doll department, and (b) I already celebrate time-honored and non-pathological Christmas traditions, such as hanging stockings and burning sugar cookies and reading “Twas the Night Before Christmas” in front of the fire (like normal people).

But later that evening, he brought a cardboard box up from the basement. I looked at him quizzically and asked what he was up to. “I’m building a house for our elf,” he answered.

He cut a door and windows into the box. He then disappeared upstairs and came back with the lid to a shoebox (which became an elf bed), a soft cloth (elf mattress) and a button (elf wall clock). I felt my heart sink.

At this point I was consulting Facebook to find out more about this elf tradition. As it turns out, it was worse than I thought. This was not simply a doll that sat on a shelf and looked at you like it would kill you after dark. No, this elf was expected to do fun and elfish things during the night to delight the children in the morning. Things like leaving gifts or writing riddles or “baking” cookies and strewing flour all over the kitchen  floor (when I envisioned this last scenario, I inadvertently added the sound of a trigger being cocked).

I also discovered that there is a time-honored tradition of bloggers hating on elves, which, while it didn’t help me out of my predicament, did at least make me feel a sense of cosmic oneness with the invisible fabric of mankind through shared elf-contempt.

At this point, however, I resolved that no elf would cross the threshold of our home. Perhaps I could find him a stuffed reindeer to live in his house, or a Christmas cat, or (said in a whisper) buy him off with a new Lego. But no elf. Never an elf. Nope, I am strong.

I began researching alternative traditions which might make him forget the elf.


Yes. This.


So preoccupied was I in my elf-thwarting plans, that I didn’t notice my son was standing right next to me, holding a fabric remnant he had dug up from the depths of my closet. “Mom, I think the elf will need a blanket. You’re a good sewer. Can you sew him a blanket?”



I am weak.


Today he built the elf a table and attached a perfectly pitched roof to his house. I sighed inwardly, knowing I was beaten. I could find a cute elf, right? They do make elves that look like something other than Chuckie’s little green brother, right?

I googled “cute elf”. Nothing.

“When do you think the elf will come?” he asked. I told him that no self-respecting elf would show up to anyone’s house until after Thanksgiving, if he knew anything about tradition (which, obviously, he doesn’t).

It is four days until Thanksgiving. If you find me wandering the aisles of Wal-mart, muttering to myself and passive-aggressively nicking the sides of towering Christmas displays with my cart, you won’t even have to ask.

Because, elves.






19 comments:

  1. That elf will NOT be coming to my house. I'm staying strong. Youngest daughter told me about him last year, and I scoffed.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes, but did she BUILD HIM A HOUSE? You see? I am doomed. If he wasn't being so adorable about it, it would be easier to disappoint him. Alas...

      Delete
  2. I gave in to the mob last year and got one, book depository or amazon!! We actually had fun with it just moving him to a different spot every day. That was enough for my 2 but they were only 3 and nearly 2. I dare say I may have to be a little more creative this year. You know now he has a house you will have to get one!!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Maybe we could foster an elf, the way we foster cats? "We had fun with elf for a week, but it's time now for him to go find his forever home. Goodbye elf!"

      Delete
  3. You must buy that boy an elf. Book depository or amazon. Get on it! He built him a house!!!!

    ReplyDelete
  4. You must buy that boy an elf. Book depository or amazon. Get on it! He built him a house!!!!

    ReplyDelete
  5. Hallmark sells the elf on the shelf ... look there.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. We're not allowed to say the H word in this house.

      Delete
    2. You know, there is a 12-step program for that ...

      Delete
    3. My ex worked for Hallmark corporate his whole career. Trust me, there are not enough steps in the world...!

      Delete
  6. It seems to me the whole purpose of these elves is to create more work for the grown-ups (I'm amazed Santa Claus puts up with them). Given you have already running around doing stuff I'd argue that the elf is already with you. In spirit. Just waiting to manifest a physical form.

    Sorry. That's probably not lessening the creepiness, is it?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Um...no, Steve, it's not. **goes off to perform exorcism ritual**

      Delete
  7. According to the blurb below (from this link: http://www.elfontheshelf.com/content/about-us), he is not "supposed" to create more work for you but instead, via the "naughty and nice report" that he takes back to Santa every night, help promote better behaved children!! ;D

    You know, all part of that "better watch out" paranoia that comes out at this time of year, since he IS gonna report back to Santa and all!! Creeeepier and creeeeepier .... but at least he/she is supposed to be GONE from your house in the middle of night (reporting back to Santa on *your* day's adventures).

    Good call for the "after Thanksgiving" elf appearance .... apparently that is the recommended time.

    Just don't forget to move him before you go to bed .....
    ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    The Elf on the Shelf® is a special scout elf sent from the North Pole to help Santa Claus manage his naughty and nice lists. When a family adopts an elf and gives it a name, the elf receives its Christmas magic and can fly to the North Pole each night to tell Santa Claus about all of the day's adventures. Each morning, the elf returns to its family and perches in a different place to watch the fun. Children love to wake up and race around the house looking for their elf each morning.

    There are two simple rules that every child knows when it comes to having an elf. First, an elf cannot be touched; Christmas magic is very fragile and if an elf is touched it may lose that magic and be unable to fly back to the North Pole. Second, an elf cannot speak or move while anyone in the house is awake! An elf's job is to watch and listen.

    Elves typically appear in their families’ homes at the beginning of the holiday season (around Thanksgiving in the U.S.). On Christmas Eve, the elves return to the North Pole with Santa Claus--until next year!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes, I can see how this could work to my advantage. Elf can confiscate the iPod or remote if kids are being naughty!

      Delete
  8. I admit the ELF thing is kinda creepy. What ever happened to your CREEPY EX???? Did he finally get sent up the river to sing sing for a max sentence I hope?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. He was convicted in May and is currently in Leavenworth awaiting sentencing.

      Delete
  9. What is more scary (for me) is that, at least in my part of Australia, we haven't heard of this elf movement - I feel like the lead up to Christmas is so busy already, adding another element to it would be too much. I hope he stays in the northern hemisphere! Funny story though … thanks! Helen

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. See, yet another reason I belong in Australia. And yes, as if we all need one more thing to juggle during the lead up to the holidays!

      Delete

Mmmm, comments - nom, nom, nom, nom!

LinkWithin

Related Posts with Thumbnails