Good evening folks, happy Post Christmas, House Looks Like Toys-R-Us Exploded Here Day! And to any of you who may be thinking “Geez Ashley, our house doesn’t look like anything exploded, because I am a functioning adult human who spent a whopping 10 minutes cleaning up,” to you I say FEH. And also? Stop being so functional and adult. It’s annoying and it makes people dislike you. Hashtag the more you know.
This afternoon I am sitting on the couch, wearing the same brand new Christmas Jammies that I have been wearing almost exclusively since Friday night (there was a walk, there were pants for the walk… there were baths, there was a shower, and a church service but…. Yeah. Besides that, Jammies.) I am sitting in my Christmas Jammies that now feel like maybe are a little gross and I shouldn’t have told you about, warming myself next to a Netflix Special movie of a fireplace and Christmas music.* Next to me is Wonder Woman sitting astride T-Rex. Because it’s Christmas, dang it.
I know what you’re thinking, but this weekend hasn’t all been luxurious self-indulgence and laziness. I have in fact, accomplished a great many things. For example, today I have already ready the first 100 pages of A Game of Thrones. And I fully intend to read more. And Saturday evening, I spent 3 hours watching youtube tutorials and learning how to master the Rubik’s Cube. So yeah, I’d say I’m pretty happy with how my life is turning out.
HOWEVER. My current state of comfort and joy is not the reason I am here today. I am here to talk with you about a close friend of yours that recently moved out of your house. A strange guest that showed up just after Thanksgiving, and who spent the month of December terrorizing your home while threating your children and refusing to be touched. You know the guy. Always smiling. Rosy cheeked in a way that makes you think he’s probably been hitting that egg nog a bit too hard. Poops Hershey’s Kisses.
I am, of course, talking about The Elf on the Shelf.
A few years back, this cheaply constructed little red smiling creep showed up at Target, and suddenly every 3rd family I knew was explaining to me how this Taiwanese made tiny stuffed weirdo had been “part of our family traditions for generations”.
So like, first off? Liars. All of you. You found it 3 minutes ago on a Target end cap display just like every other mother in America. Stop the cultural appropriation. This isn’t your elf. You didn’t build that. Stolen valor.
But second, and truly, the elf, in a roundabout way, actually has been a part of European Christmas culture. For generations, little blond haired children were terrified into good behavior by talk of Santa’s malevolent little helper. Everyone knows that Santa has a grasp on what to do for good kids. But the bad ones? That’s not really Santa’s domain. Santa outsourced that crap to someone, let’s say, more well suited. Austria called him Krampus. Germany named him Knecht Ruprecht*. My own great-grandparent country people had Zwarte Piet***. And modern day North America has The Elf on the Shelf.
You think I’m being sarcastic or crazy. You think I hate the Elf because I am a lazy human person who DOESN’T NEED ANOTHER TINY ENTITY TURNING MY HOUSE INTO AN EVERLOVING DISASTER EVERY GAL DANG DAY GEEZ IS IT NEVER ENOUGH. And I mean, obviously you’re right. I think it’s terrible. But it’s not just that. I am also like 100% right about the Zwarte Krampus on your Shelf.
We try to make them cute. What with their shiny faces and smiles and ridiculously curled toes, but Santa’s helpers have never been there for fun. They have never been nice. That’s what Santa’s for. He’s the nice guy. The helper is there to make you wish that your naughty little ars had never been born.
And I gotta say? Kids get it. This year at my mother’s house, my children were introduced for the first time to Santa’s favorite little mantle-riding Snitch. They thought it was cute, they named it Elfsa (because Frozen. Obvi.) They registered it on the internets so that, I don’t know, Santa can now track them via Wifi, and they read the story of the Elf. Then, when they learned that the little blighter was supposed to fly through the house at night, they all insisted their bedroom doors be shut tight until sunrise. Because seriously? That crap is terrifying. And when they saw that it was in a different spot the next morning, their little illogical brains all exploded****.
The first morning post-elf, my 3 year old had been caught lying. (That’s right, we start ‘em young here.) He was later found in the living room, crying and talking to Elfsa.
“I so sorry, das da first time I did dat! You got to tell Santa I am good!” Over. And over. And over again.
Which? Also a lie. That wasn’t the first time. That probably wasn’t even the twentieth time. That child is turning into an Elf-manipulating sociopath.
Last week at our church Christmas party, I got to play the elf. Which is why a little girl their started telling me about the elf that inhabits her own home.
“One day, we woke up and it was in the bathroom. I couldn’t go for 2
|I'm watching, Children! I'm waaaaaatching.|
Because who is going to poo in front of that thing? IT TELLS SANTA EVERYTHING. And also? Even a kid knows a total perv when she sees one.
So if your kids were having Christmas nightmares, don’t be surprised. We took away the horns, the black face, the chains, and the cloven hooves, but we still have the Demon. And he sees you. He. Sees. EVERYTHING.
Well that’s about it folks. Congratulations on surviving the holiday in whatever fashion you did so. And also? Congratulations on packing up the Creep on the Counter. And now till next December 1st, live it up! Because bro, no one is watching.
*It is called Fireplace and Melodies for the Holidays, and it does not disappoint.
**Wikipedia told me about it. It means Farmhand Rupert and is the dorkiest of all Christmas demons. Nice try, Rupert. Now go do my taxes.
***It means Black Pete. And yes, we are all super, duper sorry about it.
****Ockham’s Razor, kids. Get smarter.