Christine Flowers: This creepy little pixie isn’t celebrating my vacation
Lately I have started seeing all the usual Christmas decorations, books, gift suggestions, articles, food and complaints about all the usual Christmas decorations, books, gift suggestions, items and Food.
Some say it’s too exaggerated, some say it’s too early, and some say it’s not enough. I know it all, including the promises of “A Charlie Brown Christmas” with its haunting score by Vince Guaraldi, the proliferation of memories of Dickens, and the magical, glowing beauty of late fall, early winter. . It really is the most beautiful time of the year.
But the only thing I can’t snuggle up to is that elf on the shelf. As a kid of the 1960s and 1970s, I had no idea this was actually a ‘thing’, until I started seeing this smiling little imp popping up in all of my Facebook feeds.
What bothered me the most was that this elf looked “conscious”. He had an expression that reminded me of the doll in that episode of “Twilight Zone” with Telly Zavalas, the one where she takes revenge by “accidentally” showing up on the stairs and sending him rushing to his death.
I did a little research and found it all came from a book that was published in 2004, written by a mother-daughter team. Apparently this elf is meant to be Santa’s eyes. He moves around the house at Christmas, reminding little children that they must be kind, otherwise Santa’s secret Stasi doll will take names and pass them on to central authorities.
I know you could say, well, what about that song “Santa Claus is Coming to Town” where the scariest part is “He sees you when you sleep / He knows when you’re awake / He knows if you’ve been bad or good / So be good for god’s sake. “
The difference is that in the song, it’s Santa Claus watching, not a little henchman with a pointed end. Santa is benign, and he’s the one who makes the toys and delivers the presents, so you kind of understand why he would want to make sure he’s not overly generous to the kids.
Growing up during the Cold War and spending the first 30 years of my life in the shadow of the Iron Curtain to only one continent (especially since we had parents in Italy who were literally next door to Yugoslavia which was the more western countries of the bloc but still a communist state), I understood the whole principle of surveillance. It was a reality, and it was long before the Patriot Act became a home reality.
But we have not allowed these things in our homes. Santa, if he was engaged in a covert operation, could be forgiven because he was a caring boy who would probably still give you toys even if you (like me) fucked your younger siblings because they really deserved it.
This elf is different. This elf does not bring you any toys. This elf is not someone you could have a lifelong relationship with. This elf is a poorly dressed miniature spy who has come in from the cold and is returning there, with all the information he has gathered about you biting the plastic heads of the green plastic army men of yours. brethren (not that I know anyone who actually did this, notice).
In short, this elf has no place in any household where children are seen as beloved creatures and not as comrades living under the yoke of parental oppression. Christmas is a time to rejoice, not a time to watch, and I’m personally offended that this thing is now seen as a beloved tradition by generations who didn’t think Charlie Brown, Rudolph, or even that slushy snowman were. enough.
Guess you could call me a bitter old lady who doesn’t understand that times are changing and that the Grinch of my youth was heresy to my parents and grandparents, who had their own simpler traditions. But I really think something has broken a little bit with this elf, this hostile little creature that exists to enforce conformity. It’s “you better be careful, you better not cry, you better not sulk or we’ll send you to the gulag, that’s why.”
Then again, I may have seen too many episodes of “The Twilight Zone”.
Christine Flowers is a lawyer and columnist for the Delaware County Daily Times, and can be contacted at [email protected]