I’m not the same person I was a week ago. I’m all twitchy, and nervous. I’m biting my nails and looking over my shoulder and mumbling incoherently to myself as I walk aimlessly through the house. This happens to me every year at the same time. Same exact day as a matter of fact. The day after Thanksgiving. The dreaded Friday. The day that the Elf on the Shelf is supposed to magically return to our house.
That little elf is ruining my life.
Whose idea was this? A magical doll that mysteriously moves to a new location in the house each night…THAT seemed like a good idea? Really? Every night for a MONTH I’m supposed to remember to move this thing? You’re talking to someone who can’t even remember what I went in the next room for. Is it not enough that between Thanksgiving and Christmas my life is basically just a mish-mashed whirlwind of shopping and wrapping and hiding and baking and visiting and crafting and decorating and smiling and singing? And now elf repositioning? Am I really supposed to perform all this holiday ballyhoo while carrying on my normal everyday routine as if nothing at all is amiss? As if I’m not the mover of the elf…
It’s not a matter of just simply moving him to a new location in the house, either. I mean, you can do it that way if you want. But do you really want to be the lamest elf-mover on the block? I didn’t think so. The elf has to do something cool and creative in his new placement. The other night after everyone was asleep I moved the elf to the table with the kids’ school pictures. I then photographed the elf, uploaded the picture to my computer, printed out a nice 4×6 photo, framed it, and put it next to the other pictures on the table. Seriously. I did that. I was pretty proud of myself actually. I plan to be proud of myself again tonight when I move the elf to the counter in the kitchen and use flour and a cookie tray to make it look like the elf made a “snow angel” in the flour. This is how it has to be. And don’t get me started on the time that my husband moved the elf without telling me. Yes, maybe he was trying to be helpful…but at 4:00 in the morning while I’m rummaging through the garage looking for fishing line and tape so that I can engineer the gravity-defying illusion that our elf is being magically suspended in the air, the last thing I need is to not be able to find the star of the show. It was an unauthorized movement of the elf. I didn’t speak to him for days.
The good news is I hear that when the oldest child in the house doesn’t believe any more you can give him the job of moving the elf each night. So at least there’s that. But I don’t know what my oldest believes right now. He won’t admit it. I’m pretty sure that he knows what is what… but short of writing a note and tucking it into his school lunch bag there is no way to know for sure.
He and I are stuck in a weird “Christmas Magic” staring contest and neither of us is about to blink first.
And still, much as I do hate that creepy little elf, I can’t help but get sad when it is time to pack him up and store him away again. I always vow that next year I will enjoy it more. Next year I will relish in the joy of the magic that the elf represents. Next year I will have a better attitude. Next year. But not this year. No, this year I will keep up my bitter stance about that little bastard. This year I will still grumble and curse as I move the elf to his next (brilliant) position in the house. This year I just can’t help but continue on in my hatred of that damn little elf.