02 December 2011

The Chritsmas Elf Returneth or There Will Be Blood Part II

I was afraid of this. I have been through this before, about three years ago, and had forgotten like the fool I am. Now I have to contend with my four year old daughter who has heard rumors. This post is from my first experience with the little bastard.

 When I was six years old, I still believed in Santa Clause. To insure that I continued to believe, my mother went to great lengths. That year, in our humble little second floor apartment, she somehow managed to put footprints in the snow on the roof outside the bedroom window I shared with my younger sister. There were even little hoof prints and what looked like sleigh tracks. My sister and I ran into the living room to tell her what we had seen, totally oblivious to the cast on her leg and the neighbors sitting there with her. To this day, I appreciate what she did. It was one of those magical moments that still lingers with me at this time of year.

We weren’t big on ‘traditions’ at Christmas. We would go to a mid-night service on Christmas Eve, we opened our presents on Christmas morning, (Unlike the barbaric practice that some participate in, where one to all gifts are opened on Christmas Eve. Pagans!) and on New Years, my mother would burn a Bayberry candle all day for good luck and prosperity in the coming year.

I don’t know exactly when I stopped ‘believing’ in Santa. I like to think it was around eight or nine. I don’t know. I have a ten year old step-son, now. He insists he believes in Santa. My wife struggles to keep it going. For the three years we have been married, it’s been a priority. One of the ways this is accomplished is by marking all but one or two gifts ‘From : Santa’. He spends half the day with her, then goes to his step-dad’s and finds even more gifts ‘From : Santa’. His parents discuss what they are getting him so they don’t screw up and get the same thing, because, as you well know, this would shatter the charade and the boy would know.

I play along. I have to. I don’t want to ruin Christmas for him. Yet, part of me wonders…suspects…that he may be "playing" along for the sake of all the adults at this point. That has been my belief for the past year. But I go along with it all. And all of the traditions my wife’s family has. That is, until this year. This year, I had to put my foot down. I had to put it down hard. I had to put it down on ‘Linda The Elf’.

My step-son came to me and told me, a week or so ago, that we needed some Cheerio’s.

“What for?” I innocently asked.

“Well, you need Cheerio’s and a glass of water.”

Knowing the boy as well as I do, I already don’t like where this is going. When he starts with food and types of that we need, the first thing that comes to mind is ‘bait’. But for what?

“Uh huh. For what, buddy?”

“The Christmas Elf.”

A plethora of colorful words runs through my mind. None of which I dare repeat in front of him.

“The what?”

“The Christmas Elf. See, if I put a cup of Cheerio’s and a cup of water on the window sill before I go to bed, in the morning, Santa will have left me my very own Christmas Elf.”
What I want to say is ‘And who is selling you this load of crap, buddy?’…but I can’t. You see, we are talking about Santa. I have to tread very lightly here.

“Where did you hear about this?”

He informs me he got this information from his two female cousins, who have ‘already’ acquired their elves. ‘The cousins!’ I think. I make a mental note to exchange their already purchased toys for socks.

Now, for three years with him and his Mother and extended family, I have never heard of this Christmas Elf. So, this is something new. This means, there must be another party involved. An outside party. Intruders!

“Buddy, I have never heard of this. Where did they hear about it?” I ask, because I know damn well this is not one his family’s traditions and I am pretty sure it says in the rulebook, that step-dad’s are not to be pounced upon with new ones from out of the blue, three years into the marriage. What doesn’t come out in the first year, remains an ‘uncelebrated tradition’. I just have to find the rulebook.

“They heard about it from a friend at school. Everyone is doing it.”

‘Friends at school’ have been a constant source of turmoil and downfalls for me. I wish these kids would stop making friends. Aren’t they supposed to doing algebra or something? Dissecting frogs or worms? Why are they even allowed to communicate with one another? Then, there is the dreaded ‘Everyone is doing it’. Obviously, the authority’s that are supposed to be in power at this school have lost all control. It has turned into total anarchy. Children making friends and then they all do the ‘same things’ to the degree that ‘everyone’ is doing it. I am tempted to ask him “If everyone was jumping off a bridge would you?” and the only reason I don’t is because my mouth would change it to ‘If everyone believed in Santa and the Easter Bunny, would you?” and it would just be all downhill from there.

Here is the deal, as I understand it.

Anytime after Thanksgiving (like you don’t have enough to do over the next four weeks…and you really don’t, ask my step-son) you equip the child with a cup of Cheerio’s (General Mils has now gone on MY list and I will be boycotting them. I am sure the heartless bastards in advertising had something to do with this. We have Coco Puffs, Lucky Charms, and every other sugar filled , fruit flavored, chocolate coated cereal in my house, but no freakin Cheerio’s. Of course, I realize now that this is because only Elves eat the fraggin things.) and a cup of water. (Like water grows on tree’s. I may have to put the water company in my list. They may be working hand in hand with the suits at General Mils.) The child then leaves these items on a window sill (My step-son it must be the kitchen window sill) for the Elf. During the night, Santa Clause will stop by (Apparently, he got his list and toys together over the summer) and leave the child a Christmas Elf. The Elf, in turn, will eat the Cheerio’s and water. (I’m not big on Cheerio’s… and as for the water….if it doesn’t have sugar and caffeine in it, my body goes into convulsions. I’m still trying to get my wife to leave cookies for Santa because I am not big on carrot sticks, but I digress.)

Now, here is where it get’s good. You see, the next morning, upon finding the cups empty, the child will begin his search for the Elf. Why? Because it exists, silly. It exists in the form of a ‘stuffed animal’ that is hidden around the house somewhere. I have been informed that it is only a small stuffed animal of no specific species or color. (I have now put ‘GUND’ on my list , since they make so many stuffed animals, and must be working with the devil-spawns and General Mills) Upon finding the ‘Elf’, the child then clings to it like I do to my morning coffee, which I would be needing a lot of because I was up all night eating Cheerio’s, drinking water, and hiding whatever stupid fiber filled rag o’muffin I had purchased to drive up GUND’s stock value.

For the na├»ve and innocent, don’t think that this is over with. You see, this is no ordinary little elf. This elf likes to play jokes and be mischievous. This elf will do things like stack all your child's toys in the middle of his room while he sleeps, or tie all his socks in knots while he sleeps, or unplug all his electronic toys while he sleeps, or any number of things (The list is limited only by the child's imagination and your physical prowess) all while he sleeps. Sometimes the child may wake and have to go hunting for his elf again and again and again, because they elf will have run off to hide while he sleeps. You, on the other hand, will get no sleep. You will get no sleep until New Years Eve, because Santa doesn’t come back to pick the little bugger up til then, which I am informed he has to, because he needs all the elves back at the North Pole to help get ready for next year.

Oh! And I know you wondering, so I will tell you. The Elves like to eat jelly beans. They need them to survive. (Boycott the jelly bean maker of your choice.)

After all this is explained to me, and I am standing on the back deck, chain smoking and staring at him, I realize I have to proceed carefully.

“That’s …uh..interesting, buddy. I have never heard of the Christmas Elf before. Uh…are you sure you got it all right?”

“Yeah. Everyone is doing it. Everyone knows about it.”

“Uh huh. You see, it’s just that, well, I never heard of it before.”

“If you don’t believe me, just ask.” He refers me to his cousins.

“Are you sure they aren’t just pulling your chain, buddy?” It wouldn’t be the first time, actually.

“No! Even their friends at school are doing it. You can even go over and see.” And he tells me how the youngest one had all her toys tossed into the middle of her room. That all I have to do is ask his aunt, who I would like to ask a few things at this point. He tells me the youngest cousin has named her elf. She has named it Linda. To myself, I think softly, that this Linda Elf must die.

By now, in the conversation, he is asking me when we can get some Cheerio’s and jelly beans. What do I say? I love him, but I don’t want to be up at two in the morning tying knots in his socks. Then I realize I have an out.

“Well, buddy..” I smile and tussle his hair, “You’ll have to ask your Mom about this one. It’s really out of my area of expertise. I am sure your Mom will know more about it than me.”

He agreed to this and it was dropped. That was over a week or so ago. Then, the wife brought it up last night, because his cousin had been over. We discussed it. We are both in agreement on how we feel about it. The only difference is, she is like my Mom. She’s willing to go out on a ledge. And, she informs me that when our daughter is born in January, I will understand this. (I hate when she does that.) I tell her that he probably doesn’t really…’really’ believe in Santa any more, and maybe we should let him finally grow up and not stifle him by reinforcing the whole thing. She considers this. Then I say, “Maybe we could just tell him he was too bad this year, and Santa has said ‘No’ to the elf”. This doesn’t go over well at all. I even offer to compose the rejection letter from Santa, but still no sell.

I realize, that this may actually happen. Unless, someone does something to stop it.

As I am writing this, I am staring at the huge two dollar rat trap I purchased at Lowe’s. It’s sitting next to the Cheerio’s and water. I have ensnared a little green, felt shirt in it I picked up in the doll section at AC Moore. I will scatter the Cheerios on the floor and spill the water when I am done writing this. Then, I will go to bed and sleep. The way I was intended to. In the morning, I will tell him the trap must have scared the elf off. When he asks why there was a trap there to begin with, I will tell him about the Christmas Goblin. The one who waits by the window to eat the Christmas Elf. I will tell him we can try again next year, but it may be difficult if we never catch the Christmas Goblin.

I hear that Christmas Goblin can be a real pain in the butt to catch, too.


  1. LOL!!! Another gem!!! Thank you for the laughter this early on a Saturday!!! ....I will give this blog link to my daughter. I think she will love it!!

  2. LOL!!! you crack me up - and I can just see you setting that trap, the glint in your eye and the little wheels turning in that oh so slightly warped mind of yours!

  3. unknown??? I signed up - I would hope that someone knows me -it's me - boopish!!