Where would Christmas be without elves? There is no way Santa could do all he does without them. Even non-North Pole elves are amazing. Why just look at the Keebler elves they’re uncommonly good. I do need to caution you – there are some rogue elves coming your way this holiday season. Elves that are up to no good and elves that are just plain annoying. Because I care, deeply care, about your holiday happiness I have complied a list of the elves you should try your very best to steer clear of from now until the beginning of the new year.
Re-Gifty: I have nothing against re-gifting in theory. But, several criteria must be met for a classy re-gifting experience. Sadly Re-Gifty the Elf (a serial re-gifter) doesn’t uphold any of the high re-gifting standards set forth by C.H.E.A.P the Committee to Help Ensure an Adequate Present. These standards include that the present still be in its original box, has never been used, was not part of set, (i.e. the make-up “gift with purchase” set broken up into several gifts, lipstick in one box, 1 oz. make-up remover in another etc.) still has a valid expiration date and is actually a gift that someone would remotely want or care to use sometime in the next millennium. Re-Gifty, I’m afraid looks upon the exchanging of gifts as a chance to clean out his or her closet or hordes crap all year to release it on unsuspecting family members during the holidays.
Achey: You need to practice evasive maneuvers to avoid any long-term (and by that I mean more than 5 minutes) conversational contact with Achey the Elf. You’ll be serenaded with tales of stomach ailments, hip replacement surgery, boils, hammer toes, moles gone bad and if you’re really lucky an in-depth analysis of Achey’s colonoscopy: “First, they inserted some kind of long straw type thing with a camera, if you can believe that, right up my ole poop factory.”
“Fascinating,” you respond as you fight to keep down your recently swallowed pumpkin pie. I find the best audience for Achy is another family member, coworker, neighbor who has an equally lengthy ailment inventory. Just supply the introductions and sit back and watch the medical fireworks as they compete to see who has seen the most specialists during the past 12 months.
Foodie: I enjoy good food and respect those out there with high culinary standards. What I don’t have patience for is the food snob. Keep an eye out for Foodie the Elf a gastronomic gas-bag who can turn any holiday meal into a Two Tums Spectacular. Last year, Foodie was in my kitchen asking if the marshmallows on top of the sweet potato casserole were homemade organic or store-bought? I’m thinking who in the hell makes homemade marshmallows and besides that they’re on top of a casserole that’s laden down with butter, brown sugar, and crushed ginger snaps – does it really need homemade, organic marshmallows? The casserole had me at brown sugar. Foodie continued inspecting my kitchen. Was the pie crust made with bio dynamic butter and were the fruit fillings dry farmed? (Huh – is that anything like dry humped? Really, I’m clueless.) Were the mashed potatoes first harvest (huh again)? You can imagine how the Franzia boxed wine went over. Foodie swooned and not in a good way.
I found the way to get this elf out of your kitchen is to ask him/her to do something like unload a dishwasher or set the table. Before you can say “Santa” Foodie magically turns into Hidey the Elf. Hidey is a master of disappearing when it’s time for any helpful cleaning tasks.
Cougary: Divorced relative that mistakenly thinks their hot. Unfortunately wearing Victoria Secret lingerie as a blouse and dabbing One Direction “perfume” on your wrinkled decolletage doesn’t turn back the hands of time. This, old enough to know better, Elf “flirts” with college aged friends of cousins. It’s like watching a train wreck in slow motion
Techie: If you wonder how the new 3 D Nintendo works or why Steve Jobs wore black turtlenecks then look no farther than Techie the Elf. Techie considers him/herself an expert on all things that require a computer chip or battery. Imagine your joy on Christmas day to receive an Ipad. Imagine that joy crushed by Techie on Christmas evening as he lectures you on why the Ipad Air with 9.7 retina display will be obsolete in four months or how based on your “patten of data usage” a new smart phone would have been the wiser consumer choice. Where’s warp speed when you really need it because Scotty needs to beam Techie right back to the North Pole.
A sibling to Techie is Screeny: This elf will spend the whole holiday with his/her head looking down. Addicted to their smart phone the only thing that moves on Screeny are thumbs. Don’t attempt to engage this elf in any kind of verbal interaction. Feel free though to text your thoughts or that dinner is now being served.
Instagramy: Hoist on your spanx, apply your serum and retinol, do full make up and get your hair professionally blow dried because Instagramy the Elf is going to make sure you turn up on Facebook, Linked-In, YouTube, or get e-mailed to 3,000 of his/her closest friends. It’s imperative that you remain on full alert around Instagramy. Do not under any circumstances turn your back on Instagramy and for the love of God, do not bend over the oven to remove the turkey. Your backside in all it’s glory will be internet bound before you can say, “You did not just take a picture of my ass?”
This Elf thinks they’re the family documentarian. Their specialty – the really bad photo or video and if you look like a hag with three chins or Jabba the Hut’s older, fatter sister – all the better. I’ve been known to hide Instagramy’s camera and cell phone. When that doesn’t work I use blackmail. What good is being related to someone if you can’t use tidbits from their teen years as ammo.
Healthy: This elf is kill joy. Do I really need to know the caloric, fat, carb, sugar and sodium breakdown of my once a year eggnog? I think not. Is doing a “death calculation calendar” a joyous game to play at Christmas? What, you’ve never played that game? Well, put up the new X Box and get out a pencil so you can find out based on your weight, age, genetics and personal habits when you will croak. Glad Tidings to be sure.
Smokey: Cough, gag and wheeze. This elf is the lone smoker in the family who thinks standing inside and placing their head at a 20 degree angle out a window is getting rid of all their toxic air. Too bad, Smokey is in a nicotine frenzy and unable to comprehend that all the smokey air is blowing right back in the house. Your best plan of action is to sic Healthy on Smokey.
Churchy: God bless this elf and get ready for lots and lots of face time with Churchy. This somber elf will invade your home and the very first thing he/she will do is take attendance on who attended a morning religious service and THEN came back and opened gifts. If you did the gift thing first – shame on you. If you didn’t go to church at all – Merry Christmas and prepare to burn in hell for eternity. Brace yourself for a lecture or two on the real meaning of Christmas and a couple of swipes at Santa. Whatever you do – Do Not let Churchy say grace. It will turn into a sermon and those yummy mashed potatoes will get cold.
Etiquettey: Possibly the most annoying elf on the list. I have a family member who is a graduate of the Protocol School of Washington D.C. Basically, that means she is Miss Manners to infinity and beyond. Every freaking family holiday dinner she’s spends it clearing her throat. The throat clear is her signal that someone is committing a faux pas at the dinner table. It makes me want to chew with my mouth open, use my salad fork on my dessert and throw my linen napkin in her general vicinity. Two years ago she hosted the holiday dinner and set her table so each guest has no less than five forks (oyster, fish, meat, dessert and fruit), four spoons and three knives. Factor in the glass ware on the table and it looked like a Williams Sonoma going out of business sale. We all set down and weren’t sure were to begin. Which, of course, was her goal. A whole Stump the Bumpkins game. Pardon me, but aren’t gracious manners supposed to make someone feel welcome in your house? Never fear I got her back. Last year, I did my research on formal etiquette. I’m talking like dining with the Queen of England manners and spent Christmas dinner clearing my throat and looking at her very pointedly. It freaked her out. “What’s wrong with you,” she said in a high pitch squeak.
I every so snarkily pointed out that she had placed her silverware more than one inch from the edge of the table and that (gasp!) her dessert fork tines were facing in the wrong direction. To plunge the butter knife in a little further I asked her, “What protocal school did you say you went to again?” This year, she has declined to host the Christmas Eve dinner at her home. Hip, hip, hooray!
Sure, I could on and on with my list. I left off Braggy, Surly, Drinky etc. But, I’m counting on the fact that you are probably already well acquainted with those elves. This list was to educate you on the newest troublemakers. Beware my friends and remember knowledge is power. Now go out there and have yourself a Happy Holiday, but watch your back. These elves are sneaky.
***For all things wonderfully Snarky go to www.snarkygear.com where you can find the new winter Snarky line of clothing and accessories. (Flannel Snarky P.J.’s anyone?) Plus, there’s my book - Snarky in the Suburbs Back to School. (Click here for purchase information.) Here’s a little ditty about it: The Spring Creek Elementary School PTA board (a coven of Mean Moms dressed in Uggs, yoga pants, and dermal filler) is up to no good. Wynn Butler (middle-aged, uncool, and not bringing sexy back) is determined to find out what’s going on. With help from her two kids, a Roomba vacuum turned mobile surveillance drone, and a few good friends, Wynn launches a covert investigation that leads to the “mother of all revenge capers” at the school’s annual Fall Festival. If you’ve ever fantasized about smoke bombing the idiot parent who has yet to master the fine art of the school drop-off lane, or standing up and shouting, “Liar, liar, Botox on fire” during a PTA meeting, then this delicious tale of payback is for you. To stay up-to-date on new posts and take part in my not so deep thoughts click on this Facebook link - http://is.gd/iEgnJ (That’s the abbreviated link to my FB page) or I twitter @snarkynsuburbs.