Literature and Language

Christmas Lies & My S-Elf Induced Stress, Brought to You by “Snowflake”

November 27, 2017

Snowflake the elf is back.

Shall we let the holiday lies commence?

Snowflake has been back two days, and my kids are already asking me to leave the room so that they can ask the elf to bring them things.

It causes me great stress and anxiety.  Self-induced stress and performance anxiety.

“Mommy. Where do you think the elf is going to hide tonight?!”

“I don’t know where I-ahem, where Snowflake will hide tonight.”

We came home from Thanksgiving and Snowflake had toilet-papered the living room. Not only that, but he spilled hot chocolate and Cheerios on the table and ate the last of the monster mix.

Elf Teepee

Oddly, those are several of my husband’s favorite things.  And, he arrived home the day before us.

But, if you are under the age of ten, those correlations don’t mean anything.  After all, correlation does not mean causation!

Elf-induced stress.  Or, as I shall call it:  S-elf induced stress.

Do you think a physician will prescribe medication for S-elf-induced stress?  I should ask my doctor friends.

After all, I am no longer responsible for the twinkle in my children’s eyes just the morning of Christmas, but also the thirty or so mornings before Christmas.  And, it all hinges upon my creativity and my ability to manipulate the uncooperative body of an elf doll.  (Which I do kind of enjoy).

But why on EARTH did they not put wire in those creatures??

Clearly I don’t drink enough. Perhaps some liquor would lighten the nightly load and spring forward some creativity?

And, to make matters worse, now my kids see Snowflake as a personal messenger to Santa Clause – not to report their shortcomings and mistakes, but to tell Santa all of their wishes and dreams.  As if brunch with Santa isn’t enough.

Yesterday it took us an extra five minutes to leave the house because my youngest kept asking me to walk out of the door first so he could tell Snowflake something. “Mommy, I want him to brinnnnng me something.” He slyly explained.

I didn’t want to exit before him because how else am I supposed to hear for the elf?!  I am the elf!  I am the elf in the five foot ten inch body of a woman!  Irony.

He finally gave up, but goodness only knows if he whispered in Snowflake’s hear while I was slinging dinner together.  Oy vey.

You know who is happy about all of this elf business and is taking a nightly bath in molten gold?  The mom and daughter team Carol Aebersold and Chanda Bell.  The authors of The Elf on the Shelf.  A kingdom built on the backs of lifeless, yet somehow mischievous tiny, red dolls.  Dolls!

God love them.  They are brilliant.  I am jealous.

And because of them, and succumbing to the peer pressure of the six and seven year-old peers of my kids, I (and millions of others) are left holding the bag.

Last year, my son came home from school fondly sharing stories of his friends’ elves.

Peer pressure. Although, I am pretty sure I encourage my children not to succumb to peer pressure?

So much for that.

Why did I not just say to him, “Oh, Sophie’s Elfkinwinkledot is just for fun. The elf doesn’t really talk to Santa Claus.”

Why? Why? Why?!

Isn’t the song lyric, “He sees you when you’re sleeping” creepy enough for us all?

Now here I am, in the eye of the storm, creeping around my house with an elf doll in my clutches, frozen with fear that one of my children is going to sneak out of bed and catch me in the middle of my tangled web.

Then, what would I say?

I am about as prepared for that as I am for when one of them asks me how babies are made. I know there is a slew of resources for both scenarios.  Explanations justifying the lies and explanations outlining the truth, but I am not good thinking on my feet and my memory is poor!

For me, the magic of Christmas has always been the twinkling lights dancing on the ceiling and reflecting in Christmas balls and tinsel.  Homemade Christmas ornaments.  Treasured relatives visiting on Christmas Eve.  Staying up as late as possible on Christmas Eve and being consciously aware of my fight against the last blink before a deep sleep. And now, decorating the house with my children and feeling their excitement for the season.

I must say, the excitement surrounding the elf and the glimmer in my children’s eyes when they see him in the morning is dulled by my guilt. The lie surrounding little Snowflake lessens the dance of their smiles in my heart.

But now, here I sit on the sofa.  Pressure.  Snowflake is comfortably (and quietly) resting in his toilet paper hammock, which he recycled from the toilet paper he used to make a teepee out of the ceiling fan in the living room.

Elf hammockAnd I am wondering what in the world I am going to do with him tonight.

Christmas magic.

I wonder what the magic will be when my children have kids?  I hope I can figure that out, so that one day I can draw my bath of molten gold! 😉

Enjoy the season!  XO, Melissa


Why the Elves?

Santa’s elves were introduced by Louisa May Alcott in, Christmas Elves in 1856.  The idea of elves in Santa’s workshop was popularized by the magazine Godey’s Lady’s Book in the 1860’s, which depicted Santa making preparations for Christmas surrounded by his elves.  It should be noted however, that Clement Moore describes Santa as “a right jolly old elf” in ‘Twas the Night Before Christmas, which was published in 1823.  Perhaps that is where it all began!

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