Sunday, I was up in the attic handing tubs full of Christmas decorations down to my helper, The Girl. Last month, she officially made me the father of a teenager.
TG: “Which one of those tubs are the elves in?”
Me: “Elves? Uhh… What elves?”
TG: “The elves you put out every year around Thanksgiving, duh.”
Me: “Sweetie, those elves come from the north pole, they don’t live here in the attic.” I could hear her eyes roll.
TG: “Dad, that story’s for The Boy. I know you keep them up there.”
Me: “No, no, sweetie. It would be cruel to keep those poor things up here, they’d suffocate in the summer heat.” I was grateful she couldn’t see me as I frantically moved the elves from their tub to an empty suitcase for retrieval at a more propitious time.
TG: “Whatever, Dad, I know they’re up there.”
Me: “I just finished looking through all the tubs. Nope, no elves here! Thanks for your help, sweetie.”
Later, while taking a beer break between leaf-raking sessions, I noticed all of the tubs had been thoroughly ransacked, as if someone had gone through them looking for something. I wonder what that was about?
I hear y’all wondering aloud, “What elves?” These elves:
I think we need a little more light.
From left to right, meet Jolly, Jinx, and Jingle. This trio of cuties is older than I am. They belonged to my Great Aunt Marie, a jolly, mischievous sweetheart with a permanent grin and eternal twinkle in her eye, who would set them on her mantelpiece every year and remind me & my three younger siblings that they were keeping an eye on us for Santa.
When Aunt Marie died in 2008, she left me & The Boss a little bit of money, a few articles of clothing & bedding, and the elves. Ever since, they’ve made their appearance sometime between Thanksgiving and the second week of December. Sometimes they arrive with notes for the kids. They are perfect little rascals and love to move around when the kids are sleeping or no one is home and are forever popping up in the unlikeliest of places like the living room chandelier, which is 10 feet off the ground; inside cereal boxes; nestled under the covers to be discovered at bedtime; or caught red-handed trying to get at the treats in stockings or the presents under the tree.
Jingle made his appearance this morning, and The Boy was the first to discover him.
There are 4 photos on the piano. Three are of The Boy. Anyone care to guess who the handsome towhead in the crazy 70s leisure suit is?
TB: “Hey everyone, Jingles is here! Dad, dad, come see him!”
Me, elbow deep in dish water: “Hold on, son, let me finish these breakfast dishes. I wonder where Jolly & Jinx are?”
TB, from a series of rooms: “Not in my room. Not in The Girl’s room. Not on the living room bookshelf. Not on the hallway bookshelf. Not on your bedroom bookshelf. They’re not in anyone’s bed.”
Me, drying my hands: “Okay, bud, show me where he is.”
TB: “He’s on the piano lamp. He wasn’t there this morning when I got out of bed!”
Me: “Huh, well I’ll be. I guess we need to be on the lookout for Jinx & Jingle.”
TB: “I bet they’ll be snuggled up in our beds waiting to cuddle with us when we get home!”
And I bet the kiddos will be surprised this year, when for the first time ever the elves will make their appearance outside the home.
That’s The Boy’s Minecraft backpack.
Hello, Jolly! And The Girl’s violin case.
Jinx is by far the most mischievous of the bunch. I wonder if The Girl, who obviously has figured it out by now, will get in on the fun of moving them around?
The Boss found some super cool (and expensive) Advent calendars this year. The Boy gets a new Lego Star Wars figure every night.
The Girl, who has recently become more concerned with personal hygiene and beauty, will get a different skin, hair, or body care product from a place called The Body Shop. She was very excited and impressed by this gift. Great job, Mom!
And finally, The Boy got to spend a few minutes with this jolly old elf while we were doing the weekly shopping trip at Wal-Mart last weekend:
What’s a sappy, sentimental, crybaby old Dad gonna do when these adorable rascals fly the coop? The Girl will most likely leave the nest in (sniff, sniff) just 5 and a half years. Oh man, excuse me while I grab some tissue!
Do y’all have any cherished Christmas traditions you care to share? My Comments section awaits your gifts, so please be generous!