When we were young, my grandparents had two Christmas trees. The one upstairs was a handsome “company” tree with gold balls and ribbons, long green needles and white flocking.
The tree downstairs was an inexpensive bottle-brush tree for the kids. It was packed with elves. Elves with red and white striped socks and green smocks. Elves with red smocks and green and white striped socks. Elves holding elves. Elves holding their knees tucked up in an elf-like position.
My grandmother called them pixies, but I called them elves. There were dozens of them on an artificial tree and they all had plastic heads. Most of them had exaggerated noses and red mouths wide open with false tongues and fake laughter on their faces.
And there were a couple of Evil Elves. They had bigger heads than the other elves. Scary heads, too, with bodies that were very bendable. They had ornament loops coming out of their Evil Elf Hats, but to be really demented they would bend their arms so they could hug the branches.
Many years ago, I was gifted the gold balls and the box marked “pixies”. The first year I put out the standard-issue elves and it was cute and a conversation piece because these vintage sprites were well into their twenties or early thirties at the time. We aged, these pixies never did. Ah, they were timeless. That first year I didn’t have room on the tree for all the little guys so I just unwrapped the ones on the top of the box. End of season, re-wrap them, return to the attic.
When decorating the following Christmas, I dug further into the box and found the Evilest of all the Evil Elves. The Giant Evil Elf himself. I distinctively remembered him. My grandmother always seemed to hang him at MY eye level. There was no escaping his glare.
I didn’t hang King and Ruler Evil Elf, but I showed my boys and they thought it was pretty funny that I was afraid of him. That year, my kids wreaked non-stop havoc by hiding Evil Elf in the least likely of places, including but not limited to:
* my morning coffee cup so that when I went to the cabinet his big ol’ head would be grinning at me
* the next full roll of toilet paper featured this vile Evil Elf Lord of All Unholy stuffed into the cardboard tube glaring out and daring me to make eye contact
* tucked nicely beneath my next available pair of unders so that when I pull my new pair out, that perverted imp has his arms wrapped around tomorrow’s pair all ready to hang on with gusto and sneak along for the free ride
* throw back the covers and there he is tucked in between the bed pillows, curled up and ready having a staring contest with me using his powerful Evil Elf eyes
So, the holiday season progresses and my kids are having the time of their lives with Evil Elf that year until suddenly he disappears, which is very odd when you consider he showed up twelve to fifteen times a day. At the same time, way too much of my “good” wrapping paper also vanishes along with way too many boxes and way, way too much Scotch Tape.
And, guess what does appear at this time. Yes, the most beautifully wrapped present that two pre-teen boys could manage. Sure enough, they let me open my present early and, after a series of expensively wrapped boxes containing additional expensively wrapped boxes, there he was … The Supreme Ruler of all things Horrific, the Evil Elf.
Now about this time, someone gave me a gift of Bath and Body Works Sugar Scrub Scrubbing Sugar or some type of slimy body-exfoliating slop that, in addition to cleansing your follicles would also make your shower extremely slippery.
All it took was one experience with this crap and I knew my body didn’t have the flexibility necessary to be exfoliated in this manner. While scrubbing one leg, the other leg slipped out from under me, and I slid from the tapered end of the bathtub to the faucet end of the bathtub so fast I exfoliated my entire back without even using my arms.
Once I could walk again, I dumped this goop down the garbage disposal and ran the cute jar that it came in through the dishwasher. Nice jar, I can find a use for it that so the entire gift wasn’t a complete waste.
And as I was unloading the dishwasher later that night, I reach in the cabinet to get a towel to dry out the water that stays in the top of the coffee cups which is really the bottom of the coffee cups unless it is in the dishwasher then it is the top of the coffee cups.
You also need to keep in mind that I damn near killed my exfoliated self in the shower moments after I unwrapped an elf that was buried in about $140 worth of foil wrap and matching ribbons and since I already wasn’t in the best of moods to begin with, there was that peckin’ Evil Elf in the drawer with the dishtowels. I had hit my limit, I picked up Evil Elf and popped him into the jar and hid him in the Beverage Region of my kitchen cabinets. Eventually my kids tired of looking for him and the poor little sucker hid behind the Swiss Miss for almost a year.
I don’t know who found him and set him free, I think it was Travis who would have been excited because he found my stash of hot chocolate mix.
He removed the Evil Elf and left the Jar From The Goop sit on the counter with the lid open so it looked like The Crowned Head of Hell, The Evil Elf himself had escaped.
Thus, our family began another non-traditional tradition. Once it becomes the holiday season, someone always springs Evil Elf from his glass prison and the festivities begin. And you would think I would get used to it.
No, I live in constant anxiety from now until late January. Sure, I might have greater anxiety than most people but then most people aren’t living with this level of stress for four months out of the year either, are they?