Yes, my dear, it is That Time of Year. The Time when we talk about the meaning of the holidays and the importance of elves.
You must, O Best Beloved, keep up with the different types of elves. Confuse your elves and you might easily end up wearing a chocolate chip cookie rather than eating it.
Mom’s Guide to Elves
In this corner, we have the Keebler elves. Mascot: Flaky crackers and chocolate chip cookies. Live in a tree and bake in a tree. Known for giggling.
In that corner, we have Santa’s elves. Mascot: Flying reindeer. Live at the North Pole and work in a toy factory. Known for making toys and singing cheerful Christmas songs.
In the far corner, we have the elves of other worlds. The ones that fight and sling swords and consort with Hobbits and other interesting creatures. Mascot: Something slyly vicious. Live in other worlds too numerous and fictional to mention. Known for all sorts of things usually involved in warfare.
In the near corner, we have the Elf on a Shelf (closely related to the Mensch on a Bench*). Mascot: Santa. Lives on a shelf. Known for spying on small children and reporting back to the head honcho, S. Claus himself.
And in my corner, we have…no elves. I’d like to have the Helpful Elves. You know, the ones that come out at night and make shoes for the cobbler or perhaps wash dishes that didn’t get done the night before. The ones who can successfully wage war (gently) with the Dust Dragons under the couch. The ones who have the time, energy, and ability to pick up dirty laundry and send it down the chute to the laundry room and then fold the clean laundry and put it away. Those are the elves I’d like.
I have no elves.
I keep asking for elves. I keep putting out little socks in the hopes that some of them will take up residence here. So far, no luck. I am elf-less.
In case you run into any homeless elves, please consider inviting them over for a while. Even a short stay would be lovely.
*The Mensch on a Bench is a real thing. The family who invented them lives here in Cincinnati and attends Temple Sholom. They are sold out for this year but promise to make enough for everyone next year.