Monday, December 25, 2006
The Christmas Elf
Christmas memories are tricky. They are so tied up in wishful thinking, pop-culture and the collective unconscious that they really can’t be trusted. Joel Achenbach falsely remembered a childhood of watching Christmas specials with his mom. His mom refused to collaborate this fantasy. I’d get a new mom.
I have a rather vivid memory from my early elementary school days, back when kids quit believing in Santa Claus but want to keep the game going. I had been an elf in a school Christmas pageant. I saved the elf costume and hid it at a neighbor’s house. Early Christmas morning I woke up before everybody else like I always do and went to the neighbor’s and changed my pajamas for the elf suit.
I then returned home and woke everybody else up insisting that I was one of Santa’s helpers left behind to help with the presents. Everybody played along but kept trying to trick me into admitting I wasn’t an elf. At first they wouldn’t let me open ‘my’ presents, because some elf-imposter shouldn’t be opening someone else’s gifts. Eventually they relented and accepted my convoluted reasoning. I had a great time playing along and helping keep the Christmas magic going.
I have no evidence this ever happened. I have never seen pictures of me in the elf costume and my parents never bring it up as one of their fond memories. They prefer to remember the year I woke everybody up at 12:30 am thinking it was 6:00 because the clock hands were straight up and down. Still, that memory of Christmas morning as an elf is as real to me as Santa Claus and his flying reindeer.
Thanks to the good folks at Office Depot, I can recreate that magical morning on the internet. Click here or on the elf for my special Christmas production exclusively for readers of this blog. Or go here and make one of your own.
Blatant Christmas Cheer Spreading™: Share a memory from your childhood or link to your own Christmas story.