the elves are watching: a tribute to imagination and magic
“The elves are watching,” my mom always said on Christmas eve. My dad worked on Christmas eve, and my mom spent it in the kitchen. She made pies and other things. I remember the pies.
There was a magical energy on Christmas eve vining around Jeff, my brother, and me. We played on Christmas eve, and we kept an eye on the yard in hopes of glimpsing the elves.
I saw one, once. I think once is all anyone can hope when it comes to seeing elves. They are magical and designed to hide. Actually, I saw the little pointy elf shoe sticking out from the tree trunk. There was a bit of an ear, too, and a slice of hat. It was silver striped with Christmas green, a color I had never seen before, nor have I seen since. There were sparkles, iridescent blings of light shining behind the tree trunk.
I was sure it was real. Jeffie had his reservations, but as I pointed out the elf and described what to look for, Jeff saw it, too.
We ran to tell Mom. She squinted out the kitchen window in time to see the elf dash away. “They are probably so excited to tell Santa how well you two are getting along,” Mom proclaimed.
Today is Christmas eve, and I wonder what my kids will remember. We always celebrate with Andy’s parents and sister and a slew of kids and more family. We make appetizers and put together giant puzzles. We laugh and eat sweets. We play pool. We play basketball. We sip drinks by the lights of the Christmas tree and watch the train go around and around. We are not rushed. We stay too late.
This year we are home, together, just five of us. We will wait to gather with Andy’s family to make sure no one gets sick. We asked the kids to plan the Christmas eve festivities.
“Remember, the elves are watching,” I say.
I can feel their energy shift. The vibe becomes magical. I hope their imaginations are as strong as their momma’s.
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