Hi! <Waves>

Funny and honest tales from a made-to-work Dad of three, wobbling, graying, and laughing his way through parenthood. Armed to the teeth with Nerf guns, full of pie, fighting a chocolate addiction, but genuinely honoured to be at least half of Team Parents (yay!).
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2 December 2015

Elf Wars: Shelf or Kind

Have you heard of 'Elf on a Shelf'?
Yes? Good. This is not that.

This is about the 'Kindness Elf' which came from this lovely page.
It is not the same as 'Elf on a Shelf’. It's, well, kinder and less George Orwell 1984 (Big Brother) about the whole Christmas thing.

I don’t want to get into a whole 'Shelf' Vs 'Kindness' pitch Elf battle, that rages on for years and the death toll is huge and the world never really recovers from.
Instead just accept that in our house the ‘Kindness Elf’ visits and sits wherever she damn well pleases, and there’s no reporting back, or brand name toy.

Can't we be visited by the Chocolate Elf instead? He'd go round the house leaving chocolate everywhere! He’d be awesome!
'You're thinking of Easter’
‘And no'
Beer Elf? (Notes that Belf is a great word)
'No'
Ooo a money Elf would be good...
'Yesssss... but no, our Elf is kindness'
<Shakes fist at me> 'KINDNESS'
A Lingerie Elf would be awesome
<Gets slapped> ‘Don’t be a twat, think it through…’
<Thinks>... hmmm might be a bit weird with the kids...
'You think?'
Sometimes

The ‘Kindness Elf’ rocks up at the start of December, probably the first, welcome letter in mitts and magically appears in your house.
Said ‘Kindness Elf’ is likely to be named something Christmasy. Like Holly or Mistletoe, Brandy, Crapgift, Work Pissup, Overindulgance, CostsAFortune.
Ours is called Mistletoe.

Mistletoe likes to hide and needs to be found each morning, often in a funny location, doing something funny. And maybe bringing a message of don't be annoying smeggers moral guidance over Christmas.
She was found, this morning, eating some of the house chocolate. Poor show, Miss. Elf, poor show. It feels cheeky to me. She just helped himself. Kind or not, she is walking a thin line.
Boy8 and Miss4 found Mistletoe head first into a bag of chocolate stars. 
I bloody love chocolate stars.

(The messy, chocolate stealing swine)

Of course, according to Clement Clarke Moore in a “A Visit from St. Nicholas”, FC himself is an Elf.
A super powerful special Elf that all the other Elves work for, but hey that’s cool, think ants. It’s still a lot better than the patriarchal figurehead Coca-Cola would love us to believe in.

So depending which side of the Elf wars you fall, 'Shelf' or 'Kind', your house Elf is either there to encourage you kindly with hugs and kisses, or it’s there taking notes and reporting everything back to FC about your moral fibre.
It feels like an easy choice to me.

Bizarrely, despite their enormous magical abilities, Elves do have some limitations.
They don’t move at all during the day, the lazy sods. If they did, it would be all over the news. No no. Elves only move during the night when everyone is asleep. Of course.
It's a common magical requirement.

To be honest Elf on a shelf is still a new one on me.
I don't remember any Elves visiting during my childhood. It could have been location, location, location. But I don't recall any mates mentioning a magical Elf that stole chocolate playful ran amok through their houses. However we did have three violent cats around that time.
So maybe they ate him. Har har!

I do tend to get a bit suspicious when new traditions appears out of the blue.
Some are obviously money making scams and luckily they tend to die very quickly. Good.
Others are money making scams, but come with free mince pies, and luckily seem to stay. Others are just fun and they stay too. There's probably a moral in here somewhere. Something about money and evil vs. fun and happiness and mince pies.
It's probably that mince pies are good for you, which is obvious really. The clue is in the name. Pie = good for you.

(A Christmas salad)

Boy8 and Miss 4 love Mistletoe.
For them Mistletoe is start of weird brilliant crap stuff happening daily as we gear up to the 25th. BabyBoy1 however does not care at all about Mistletoe.
To him it's a toy out of reach he cannot have, or one he cannot see as it's too high up.

Obviously, Mistletoe is a very real and magical Elf.
That visits us every year and for that we know we are lucky, as a quick Google or time on FaceBook will show. Because there are plenty of other Team Parents (yay!) out there that have to fake the whole Elf experience with a doll.
Poor, poor, probably knackered and brain dead from work but still having to be creative each night, them.
Apparently, if you are one of those parents afflicted by this problem, you can turn to Pinterest for support and sponsorship.

From making stuff up when bored extensive research I present a very short list of handy hints, ideas, and things not to do with an Elf that those poor afflicted parents talk about.

1. Don't get drunk and leave your Elf in a suggestive pose with a Barbie or Ken (or both). Explaining human biology and exotic positions when hungover, I hear, is horrible.

2. Before December starts sit down and discuss as Team Parents (yay!) whether or not the Elf will visit this year, before you commit both of you to a 24 day creative marathon. Lunch time on the 30th of November, some (not me) may consider too late to start 'thinking' about it.

3. Brain storm two or three backup Elf plans for those nights when you are knackered and can't be bothered to think magically...

I'm pooped... carry me to bed will ya?
'FOF No chance fat boy, you carry me'
Oh go on, I'd do it for you...
'Oh really?'
'a) you never have done, b) I doubt you're strong enough'
<Bit angry> WHAT! <Picks up Mrs. Amazing>
SEE! <Back hurts>
'Are you OK? Your face has gone bright red'
I'm... F... F... Fiiiiiiiii... Neeee.... built like an Ox!
<Pats self to demonstrate Oxness>
But now… it's your turn, you pick me up
'Won't I have to get down?'
No. Lift me here, and I’ll just keep on carrying you...
'Oh I see' <Picks me up, whilst I continue carrying Mrs. Amazing>
'Huh! You're surprisingly light!'
<Hides offence>
'.. but still too heavy... '
Here, I’ll carry you then... there <Picks up Mrs. Amazing, whilst Mrs. Amazing continues carrying me, and I continue carrying Mrs. Amazing>
'Isn't this one those classic surreal Goon Show jokes you bore tell me with about all the time?'
Yep, the very same
‘It’s quite nice...’
<Both make it finally to bed and lay down, ready to sleep>
'HOLLY XMAS BALLS!' <Sits up>  'ELF!'
<Pretends to be fast asleep> Zzz

See!
Go make a backup Elf plan… go on…I’ll wait.
<Does not wait>


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