Believe me, I wouldn’t read it either if I were you.
But just as that creepy little sprite is a holiday rite of passage for many a parent, so too is it many a bloggers’ prerogative to write about him. Or her. Or it. Whatever.
So, here I tell the tale – tapas-style – of how our Elf came to be. And seeing as this will be my last Friday Tapas of 2012, I’m going to go ahead and shake it up a bit. Starting with…
What She Says
Our elf came to us by way of Nonnie and Pop, who have always gone out of their way to keep the magic alive at Christmastime. To this day, they still won’t admit to me that Santa Claus isn’t real. If you believe in the spirit of Santa, says my mother, then he exists.
And so it was with this spirit of Christmas in mind that I read Lil’ Bit the story that accompanies Elf on the Shelf, all the while eyeing her for signs of excitement or awe. But her face remained oddly blank.
“So…,” I began when we finished the book, “What do you want to name your elf?”
“She’s a doll,” said Lil’ Bit flatly.
“She’s an elf,” I replied brightly.
“She’s a doll.”
“No, she’s not. She’s a magical elf!”
“She’s a DOLL!”
Taking a deep breath, I decided to switch gears. “Okay. Well, what would you like to name her?”
“You need to give her a name, just like you did for Joe the Elephant and all your baby dolls.”
Lil’ Bit gave the imp the stink eye and observed, “She’s red.“
“Is that what you want to name her?” I asked. “Red?”
“No,” Lil’ Bit replied decisively. “I want to name her… Green.”
Bless her little nonconformist heart.
“Okay, then – Green it is!”
And with that, Lil’ Bit seemed to embrace the notion of this magical little elf – sorry, doll – stalking her every move each day and then flying off to the North Pole at night to narc on her to Santa Claus.
“Can I touch her?” she would ask me daily.
“No,” I’d reply, dutifully reciting the passage in the book that explained why children are not allowed to touch their elves (gosh, that sounds dirty). “Her magic will disappear if you touch her.”
“But Lambie can touch her?” Lil’ Bit questioned one morning.
“Well… no,” I said, caught off guard. “Lambie’s not allowed to touch her, either.”
“But Lambie’s magic, too!”
Now how can you argue with that logic?
What I Say
I welcomed Green into our holiday routine with the best of intentions. I would remember to move her every night, I solemnly vowed. I even halfheartedly pinned some Elf ideas on Pinterest, telling myself that I would get creative with Green just as soon as I could keep my head above water in the wake of my pre-holiday obligations and stress.
My resolve lasted exactly three days before I woke up one morning in a panic over the fact that I had forgotten to move the [censored] elf. And that’s when Jim stepped in.
My husband – whose main holiday traditions include grudgingly stringing icicle lights across the top of the garage door, lugging our two trees up from storage, and shoving all my presents into one giant gift bag on Christmas Eve – seems to have found his true Christmastime calling with Elf on the Shelf.
Every night just before we both go to bed, I’ll catch him wandering the house, Green in hand, searching for the perfect spot to place her. And if I didn’t know better, I’d swear he was actually enjoying it.
“Check you out getting all creative,” I said one night as he positioned Green on the kitchen counter beside a glass of water in homage to one of Lil’ Bit’s favorite bedtime stalling tactics. “Show-off,” I teased.
“It’s only showing off if you take a picture and put it online,” he replied with unusual conviction. “This is just for her.”
Well, shut my mouth and slap your grandma, I do believe that man put me in my place. After all, he has a point. For though it may be but one more thing to add to our list of holiday chores, Elf on the Shelf is supposed to be a fun tradition, not a competition.
If you’ve seen one picture of Elf having an orgy with multiple Barbie dolls in a hot tub full of marshmallows, you’ve seen ‘em all.
What They Said
For some true elf hilarity, check out these posts:
• The Return of Dobbie, the Inappropriate Elf on the Shelf at The Bearded Iris
• Elf on the Shelf Rides Santa Cat – Because He Can at Sellabit Mum
Also, for those who find comfort and kinship via the words of others in times of tragedy, I found the following pieces about the Sandy Hook shooting to be especially eloquent:
• Grieving for Newtown, and Ways to Help at Nice Girl Notes
• My Small Words at Theta Mom
• This I Know at Things I Can’t Say
• Then Where Will We Find the Joy? at Two Connoli
And if you can bring yourself to read about the 20 children slain in the shooting (I know many can’t, and that’s okay), I urge you to read The Names of Newtown by Lisa Belkin at The Huffington Post. In this stunningly beautiful tribute that briefly touches on the life of each child, Lisa asks the age-old question, “What’s in a name?”
The answer? Everything.
As I mentioned before, this will be my last Friday Tapas of 2012. But assuming we survive the Mayan apocalypse, the tapas will return in 2013.
In the meantime, enjoy these last three days before Christmas. Just remember – don’t let holiday preparations cause you too much stress, play nice with family, no flipping of the bird in mall parking lots…
And don’t forget to move the Elf.
What’s on your mind?