Wednesday, December 23, 2015

The Elf on the Shelf

(Bono voice) It's Christmastiiiime (sorry) and that means that houses around the nation are flooded with all these naughty little elf faces doing all these naughty little elf things while reporting back to Santa on whether you washed your hands after you peed or not. The elf knows. He was watching you while he left mint poops in the toilet. And now we all know because your mom posted a picture of it on Facebook.

Now if you know anything about me, you know that setting up tableaux of espionage and wicked tomfoolery to mimic something I saw on Pinterest and then posting it on the Instagram for status elevation is right up in my wheelhouse, and yet there is something about those cherry-cheeked little rats and their clandestine operations that sets my alarms to "Nope".

When my oldest child, or Wally as I like to refer to him on the web because it subconsciously plants the "Amy's like Donna Reed and totally has her life together!" seed in all your minds, well when Wally was around 2 years old, everyone kept asking me when I was going to hop on the Elf Express and invite one of these smiley spies into my home for the month of December. Intrigued, I did the natural thing and hit up my local Pinterest to check what these little rascals were about. Oh my eyes how they twinkled at all the glittery laughs and innocent fun!

"I'll do it!" I exclaimed to no one with a wink and one of those jaunty cross-body punches the kids do.

All that drunken Pinterest spirit fizzled, though when I saw that Target was selling those things for like $40 a pop. Forty dollars. For a stuffed elf. Plus those elves are kind of creepy looking. I don't need that thing going all Chucky on me and slicing my achilles tendon as I step out of bed one morning. I'm not spending $40 to invite a demon into my home when I'm fairly certain I can do that for free with some red paint and carefully placed candles. Plus I don't think that real demons can even hold knives so, cheaper AND safer.

Needless to say, the elf remained on the Target shelf and I lived vicariously through my Facebook friends and their ever increasing elf scenery that showed up on my tiny iphone screen.

Still, the need to over-do everything still nags at me to this very day and every year I wonder if I should either just break down and buy an elf, pose some dinosaurs in festive ways, OR just give in full stop and dress as the elf myself. The only problem with this plan is I'm out a photographer. My husband not only doesn't take photos but also stays far away from my grand schemes and nonsense so he's out. Then there's Wally who only takes selfies or really close up, arty shots of action figures doing strange things.

Source: my son

Sourec: my son
And that just leaves The Beav and he's 4. He'll just take my phone, walk away and start playing Bubble Witch with it.

Also, the manipulation of this elf stunt is a whole different matter in that Wally, while incredibly imaginative is also very scientifically biased; if he can't see, touch, hear, or smell it, it doesn't exist. For example, Wally informs me one Easter that "haha, the kids at school think the Easter Bunny is real, Mom! When it's clearly just a man in a suit that comes into our house. Hahah fools" and two years after that it was "Fairies don't exist! Mom, please. It's a man in a pink dress that comes in my room in the middle of the night and takes my tooth and leaves me money. Hahahah tooth fairies. Please." Because apparently a man in various costumes breaking into the house in the middle of the night isn't the weird part. I wonder if he thinks they're all the same guy.

So no matter how elaborate my lies about the elf menagerie become, he's still going to know they're not REALLY spying on him and his brother and reporting back to Santa and I don't really need my kid being THAT kid that spoils it for the rest of the 2nd grade.

He would appreciate a James Bond themed elf set-up.... hmm...still no.

The more I think about these elves, the more I feel like sad, lonely business man Michael Douglas who's just signed his life away by cashing in a gift certificate that my drifter brother Sean Penn gave me for a birthday gift but I don't know that anything's weird yet until the creepy clown (elf) I almost run over in my fancy, rich people driveway (Target) and decide to bring into the living room with me for some reason (Pinterest and Facebook likes) starts to talk through the tv and vandalize my house while Jefferson Airplane blasts in the background as depicted in David Fincher's  1997 film The Game that nobody wants to talk about with me anymore because "Amy, that movie is like 20 years old. We've seen it. Let it go." Totally rude.

Quite obviously, my desire to "The Game" everything is still in tact AND I'm creeped out by inanimate things smiling at me. Put your smug face away, elf and tell me what you think you know. And don't kill me please. Or tattle on me to Santa. Just you know what? I'm just going to watch you ratting out all the other families this year on Facebook from the comfy position of not wearing pants and slouching on my couch.

Happy Holidays.





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