The Elf that Saved Christmas
Quite an old elf. The same one that I unearthed year after year when I was a child myself, his origins unknown, but his spreading joy an absolute each season. He has never been on a shelf though, most of his year hidden away in the crinkly tissue paper that filled up his cardboard box chateau. At one time, he had a friend but along the way, the friend had found greener pastures, his whereabouts a mystery to this very day.
This elf is quite happy, a big smile worn on his tiny face, and having no hands doesn’t seem to bother him. They were nibbled off by a little girl who always seemed to have a penchant for putting things in her mouth and so, the elf fell victim as well, but not unhappily. Unlike the newfangled elves dressed from head to toe in red, this elf is cloaked in green striped tights, high black boots, a green shirt, an ornate red collar and an old frayed hat. His magic? Well, it comes from his happy heart. He has seen his share of glee and tears too.
Yes, Christmas is not always marked by the Sugar Plum Fairy and some years have passed by memoryless, by the children and parents grappling with grief. Our elf lay in the tissue those years, his smiling face too much to encounter for the family of three who couldn’t choose joy quite just yet. That’s okay, he thought. I can wait and nestled in the dark rafters of the old attic, he dreamt that his future would be even more wonderful. One day it was.
His little girl mistress, now a mother of four children herself, had kept him on the tree each year and often wondered how to weave him cleverly into her own new memories. Her daughter, just seven years old, had always claimed him for her own and expressed disappointment that he remained frozen on the Christmas tree, year after year, despite a wistful heart reflected in her quite green eyes. One day, early on a Monday quite specifically, the mother took him gently from the tree, sat him upon a goose, and his magic began.
Elf, meet your family. Children, meet your Elf.
Mind you children, he is a bit slow with his many years and doesn’t move too much, preferring to spend his days from his tree house, quietly counting the instances of children choosing and sharing joy. When he does spring down in the night, you may find him cuddling baby Jesus in the manger or pretending to be a wiseman. Silly Elf, don’t you know there are only three wisemen? No, perhaps he does not. After all, his very self reminds us that sometimes wishes do come true.