Well, enough of cheery goodwill.
Back to the bitching about Christmas.
Today I will mostly be reserving my venomous wrath for the spectre at the feast that is ‘Elf on the Shelf’, or ‘Fecking Elf on the Fecking Bloody Shelf Bloody Arse,’ as I like to call him.
Until this year I had had the great good fortune not to have heard of this particular Christmas delight. It was/is big in the States. Now it has reached our shores, and nobody is safe.
For those of you who haven’t come across this particular item of yuletide desire I will elaborate.
You buy your Elf on the Shelf kit. It contains a story, and an elf doll.
The elf doll is particularly troubling. He kind of reminds me of a simpleton elf version of that doll Chucky, the one in the horror films. His cheap, garish, pink plastic face makes me cringe with revulsion every time I see it. As do his spindly Struwwelpeter arms and legs. Not only is he shoddy looking, but he is also eerie and wrong.
Rather like Jimmy Saville.
You read your children the story. It tells them about how Santa has sent a bunch of scout elves out into the world to be adopted. You are now the proud family of the adoptee. You must give him a special, festive name, and register him on the Elf on the Shelf adoption website.
Once this is done the elf can get to work.
His work is to spy on the children in your family in order to report back to Santa, telling him how naughty or nice you have been.
Every night when the children are sleeping, the elf flies back to Santa and gives his report. In the morning he will be back in your home, ready to do more surveillance. Eventually, when he has dobbed you in good and proper he goes back to the North Pole to regain his strength for next year’s spyathon.
He is like the magical version of Guy Burgess.
The cuteness factor is heightened by the number of kooky places the Elf on the Shelf panel of experts suggest you might like to leave him for the children to find. Do you leave him in the freezer, because he likes icy cold temperatures? Only if your children habitually pilfer fish fingers or spend their lives with their faces in the deep freeze, you fecking weirdos.
Do you let him climb your Christmas tree and use your shiny baubles to see even further than his beady elf eyes could normally reach?
Do you throw him down the waste disposal unit and accidentally lean on the on button, and hope that his mangled remains can manage to crawl their way back to the North Pole?
Do you chop off his tiny elf head and leave it in your daughter’s bed in the form of a mafia style warning for not pairing her socks properly in the last laundry purge?
you can even buy Elf Couture items from the website: skating skirts with robins on; bobble hats with Clare Rayner’s face on; gimp masks. That kind of thing.
The children are not allowed to touch the elf. Apparently this makes his magic disappear.
I think this is a fatal flaw in their plan here. Any child of cunning worth their salt would be hugging that doll like crazy as soon as it came out of the box. Thus disabling the Santa Big Brother device good and proper.
And who could blame them?