Dang it, Elf, you forgot to move…again??

Written by: Amy Dalke

Dearest Elf,

Since there are still nine things on my to-do list, and I need to make at least five more grocery store runs before Christmas Eve, I will get right to the point.

What gives you the nerve to be lazy on Day 21 of your 25 day temp job? 

Your failure to persevere did nothing to improve the 8 year old Dalke’s already-rocky Santa-belief-system. Thanks for that, by the way. You know what I’m talking about…Saturday night?

Don’t even tell me you were too tired to move. I know that creative juices can wane towards the end, but really? Cut us some slack, and just move your lanky limbs twelve inches to the left. It doesn’t take acrobatics. Luke doesn’t even care if you’re cool enough to fit in with other toys.

He just WANTS YOU TO MOVE. Because when you don’t move, Mr. Elf…well…then we have problems.


Don’t give me a lame excuse like, “I was too tired.” Because let me tell you. Tired is not an option. You witnessed my mid-morning meltdown yesterday, right? That’s because my mind has a panic switch that gets tripped every year, right around this time. T-minus 3 or 4 days before Christmas…like clock work. I might make cooking look easy (Ha. I can’t even make that sound real…) – but I am not Betty Crocker, and I will never win a Celebrity Chef show. The most difficult task ever is to reconcile the recipe to the current resources – and then somehow come up with a list for the balance. Suffice it to say that it is not easy-peasy for me to make sure every item on every recipe is accounted for on the 2 page grocery list. It’s practically like an audit, and you know I don’t do details. Lest that seem too “Rookie” level for you, try making your menu with these “Don’t Forgets”:

  • Mom Dalke can’t eat mushrooms
  • Larry doesn’t do vegetables. (Oh, except corn.)
  • Lauren will say “anything” is fine…but she really prefers not to eat pork
  • Alex is lactose intolerant
  • Kathryn…well, who knows what her most recent weird food thing is.
  • Luke only eats foods with these basic ingredients: pizza, chicken nuggets, and cinnamon toast.

If it’s so hard, you ask, why bother? Well, Elf, I forget you have lived here for three short years. If I don’t plow through the menu stress, then we may have to eat H-E-B Pre-Cooked Christmas dinner, like that one time nine years ago. (Oh Jesus, you know I’m super thankful for food and all that…and I know some people have nothing to eat. But that was far from tasty. Far.)

Grocery Anxiety was not the only mountain I had to climb yesterday, Mr. Elf. While you stayed in ONE SPOT all day- I was getting dizzy in Hobby Lobby…mentally scrolling through Pinterest DIY feeds…trying to remember exactly what I needed to buy to make Cool Stocking Stuffer History. Meanwhile, I also searched high and low to find something worth $14 dollars, so that Child No. 3 has gifts of equivalent monetary value to Children Nos. 1, 2, and 4.

…AND, dear Elf, while you were sleeping with your freaky-never-blinking eyes, Luke and I made ornaments for all the grandparents; I reorganized the bookshelf that my OCD could not handle anymore; and made sure every restroom facility was stocked with toilet paper. I may have more grace for you if you had at least finished baking the sugar cookies for me – or if you had remembered to order the belt for Larry before the Christmas shipping deadline passed. (Oops, sorry Larry…no belt for you.)

After shopping. and honking at slow-drivers, and feeling my blood pressure rise to the tune of Carol of the Bells, I realized I forgot to buy a stocking for Lauren’s fiancé. Oh Joy to the World. Awesome. That realization came after I drove into the garage and ran over the new stand-up desk I bought for the office. The only thing that would have made me laugh at that point was if I had run over one of those cars dressed up like a reindeer. THAT would have been hilarious. (People-pleasing disclaimer: I am so sorry if you put antlers on your car, but I secretly hate them. And I cannot lie anymore and say they’re so cute.)

Alas, Mr. Elf, I felt somewhat like Alexander (you know, the one who had the very bad day.) So shoot me if I fell asleep and forgot to move you. Luke claims he’s too old and too smart to believe in Santa anymore, so I can’t really hold you responsible for shattering his innocence. He clearly busted me way before Saturday night:

Sunday morning conversation:

Luke: “Mom, did you know Skippy [the Elf] didn’t move today?”

Amy: “Oh, he didn’t?” (Get a grip, Mom, you need to be quicker than that...)

Luke: “Nope, he was still stuck in the lantern.”

Amy: “I think he might have gotten a little sick yesterday. Maybe he didn’t have enough energy to fly back to the North Pole last night.”

Luke” “I don’t think that’s it. I’m pretty sure you just fell asleep and forgot to move him.”

So, dear Elf, if you can no longer fulfill your elf-ly obligations in the Dalke household, perhaps you could be like a Gift Wrapping Fairy instead?



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