The Elf Clause


TEXT: Reminder-Move elf!

My good friend and I have taken up sending each other late night texts as memos to move our darn Christmas elves.

It’s sort of a new wave tradition. I’m seeing these red flannel clad elves in many a home these days. He’s called, “The Elf on the Shelf.” He comes with a book and starting the day after Thanksgiving, you are supposed to get him out, read the book together and then each morning try to find his new location around the house. He is supposed to be the eyes and ears of Santa, reporting back to him at the North Pole each night, thus the new location every morning. Ours is named Ernie.

Trouble is, I can never remember to move him!

“Let’s see where Ernie is right now!” will giggle Kate with sleep still in her eyes as she splashes milk well outside the bowl in anticipation of the hunt.

Oh no. Ohnoohnoohnoohno! Not again.

You see, last year, I took the defense. I was forced to make up a whole litany of excuses as to why the elf didn’t move. Leg cramps, Arctic storms, something he ate…Oh, it was sad. But my friend, who says she was an art major, but I think would’ve made a good lawyer, informed me of the “do not touch” clause in the book. Yes, the elf’s book specifically states in finite language that the children are not to touch the elf, lest he lose his Christmas magic. That was what I needed.

Now I take the offense. Yesterday morning, same excitement, same spilled milk, same disappointment:

“Okay, who touched him. Someone must have touched him. Was it you? Look me in the eye now.”

“It wasn’t me! I didn’t do it!” they all chanted with the innocent pleading of true believers.

I have mixed feelings about this tradition.

So I quickly fabricated another clause of my own.

“The sun recharges his Christmas magic. If no one touches him today and the sun can shine on him, I’m sure he’ll make it north pole tonight.”

That is, if I don’t conk out before 10pm, or sleep in, or forget…

But the plus side is, I can strategically place Ernie right on top of our problem areas, literally. For example, the kids were picking candy off the gingerbread house with frequent, stealth precision. So I placed Ernie right on the roof of said house. Problem solved. Andy’s been taking a generous count of how many minutes he’s allowed to play computer games. Now Ernie’s sitting on top of the monitor, his all-watching plastic blue eyes taking copious notes. You get it.

My current plan is to place him on top of all the septic tanks this final week in my desperate campaign to “flush every time.”

Hey, it’s worth a shot.


5 responses »

  1. I am laughing at all your random rules. funny.
    I resorted to calendaring “MOVE!” at 10pm to repeat daily. I then set an alarm on the calendar item. Sounds anal, but it works!!! Finny is sitting in the christmas tree right now eating a candy cane. It was a long trip in the rain last night and he deserves a treat.

  2. Buddy the elf is the bane of my existence. I’ve been doing good this year, but last year I had some extremely distraught little kids. I’d blog about it, but my kids read my blog.

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