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Dec 24, 201208:00 AM
The Lighter Side

Exploring the humor and peculiarities of the Big Easy

Elf on the Shelf's New Orleans Adventure

So most of us know about the newish "Christmas tradition" known as the "Elf on the Shelf." For those of you who don't know, he's (and I believe there are girl elves out there too) one of Santa's little helpers who magically appears on a shelf in December and hangs around throughout the Christmas season to be a "naughty or nice" big brother. He watches to make sure that kids are being good, minding their Ps and Qs, not hitting their siblings, not drawing on the walls or pooping on the carpet.

At night, he magically travels back to The North Pole to report his findings to Santa. If the news is good (and the carpets and walls spotless), then when the kids wake up in the morning, they'll find him hanging out in some new spot in the house, ready for a new day of blinkless, happy watching.

From what I gather, some parents love this and use it as a new way to one up each other in a Christmas version of "my first grader can beat up your first grader" in "my Elf on the Shelf is way more creative and hip than your Elf on the Shelf." Like, the other moms got NOTHING on my elf re-creation of Elrond's house in Rivendell using Legos and gingerbread cookies! All she did was stick the elf in the fridge! Haha, lame!

Other parents find it exhausting, piling yet another thing on top of a million other things you have to do in order to make your kids' Christmas PERFECT so as to not scar them for life because you got them the wrong color Easy Bake Oven (next year they'll be gender-neutral, folks!).

But me not being a parent (except for two ornery black cats), and thinking about maaaaybe one day hosting an Elf of my own (note to my family: DO NOT get excited, that's a big maybe), I thought I might ask The Elf what he thought about the holiday season.

And basically, while he loves his job, it's tiring sitting in the same spot for hours on end, keeping the same expression at all times. And while he loves children and listening to their wishes and hopes, he also gets tired of them trying to put him in Barbie's clothes because we all know that shit only looks good on her and not on "real" elves. So he really looks forward to Christmas Eve, or "the night before Christmas" when his duties are all over and he can go back to The North Pole to be with Santa Claus.

But what the legend doesn't tell you, is that on the way back to the "elves village" for 11 months out of the year, some of Santa's little helpers like to stop in New Orleans for a day or two to relax and have a few Marshmallow Po Boys and Maple Syrup Hurricanes. In fact, I hear that December 24th is their absolute favorite day: Elf's Vacay!

Here was this particular elf's merry Christmas Eve last year:

Elves are a sucker for a great photo op.

They like to start the day off right ... with a peanut butter burger from Yo Mama's and a big glass of Coca Cola.

Then it's time for a marshmallow po boy.

Dessert at Café Du Monde, of course. No elf can resist all that powdered sugar.

Next up is a tasting of the two sweetest drinks in town! A hurricane ...

... and a hand grenade.

Things start getting a little crazy after that hand grenade ...

Little known fact:  Elves love jazz music. His favorite is Elfa Fitzgerald ... 

... and Jelly Roll Morton (or anyone named after a dessert).

At this point in the night, things get a little hazy ... he poses for a pic in front of a lame Bourbon St. t-shirt and the angry store-owner yells at him. Like he'd steal the idea and tell Santa to start making "I Got Bourbon Faced on Shit Street" shirts for little boys and girls. As if!

All of a sudden he finds himself at the casino, but all he has is elf currency (chocolate coins).

He takes a walk along the river and remembers a time long ago when he was just a wee elf and wanted to be a riverboat captain when he grew up. He thinks maybe he had one too many hand grenades.

He falls asleep on a streetcar (elves sleep with their eyes open) ...

And wakes up on Christmas morning pondering man's existential dilemma and the meaning of it all.

Elves! They're just like us!

Merry Christmas everyone!

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The Lighter Side

Exploring the humor and peculiarities of the Big Easy

about

Annie Drummond is a graphic designer and artist from Columbus, Ohio. She has a degree from the Columbus College of Art & Design. Two years ago she made the move from the Midwest to New Orleans' Bywater neighborhood and fell deeply in love as she discovered the rhythms and traditions of her new city. In addition to The Lighter Side, she writes about food, art and design (and other stuff) at www.AnniedelaDolce.com.

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