Life as an Elf

Life as an ElfI just wanted to say thanks to all the folks who sent me email after last week’s column. I had no idea how much interest there is in elf life. Our little discussion about elves in your home really brought forward a ton of questions.

You are very kind in your comments and you ask lots of good questions.

Well, most questions are good.

But there is one question I am struggling to answer because it seems kind of dumb to me. But it keeps getting sent in over and over and over. These are the ones I’ve been told to address.

What do elves eat?

This is a head scratcher to me. There is no magic diet when you are an elf. And who else gets asked that question?

Excuse me, Mr. Policeman – what do YOU eat? And you Mrs. School Teacher, what about you? What do you cram in your mouth?

Who does this?

Your curiosity about our eating habits is a curiosity to me.

Okay, okay, okay – before you start sending me nasty emails let me attempt to answer my own question. Like all things, I look first to Santa to unravel a good culinary mystery.

We all know some of the things Santa likes to eat. He loves cookies, for example.

What other person on God’s green earth gets cookies made for him by nearly every person in the world all on the same night?

You all keep asking how Santa gets around the world in one night but I tell you this is the better mystery.

That’s some serious dietary power right there, kids.

But you know what?

I see Santa most of the rest of the year and rarely do I catch him with a cookie in his mouth.

Maybe he gets sick of them at Christmas or maybe he just likes other things more. Santa is a hearty eater. But it’s not all cookies and eggnog.

But Santa is an elf. In fact, he is the ultimate elf. If anyone could demonstrate how elves eat it is The Big Guy, right?

So I asked Mrs. Claus, his personal dietician and chef, to tell me what he eats. She emailed me back right away.

According to Mrs. Claus Santa eats Brussel sprouts, kale, and beets. He devours onions, garlic and potatoes. He feasts on quinoa, cut oats, string beans, radishes, apples, papaya (which is really hard to get at the North Pole) and broccoli.

I think Mrs. Claus is either pulling my leg or this is her secret wish list for Santa.

I’ve seen Santa eat a lot of that stuff but I’ve seen him enjoy other things more. Pumpkin bread, fudge, hot chocolate, candy canes, and spiced strudel are more Santa’s speed. Santa did not get to be the Big Guy by being shy around food, folks.

And let’s be honest. He doesn’t skimp on the ribs, burgers and fries.

In other words, he’s normal. Like most elves.

No, if there’s one thing to know about elves and food it isn’t about eating it that makes us different. It’s about playing with it that makes elves weird.

In about a month we’re going to have one of the biggest party events of the year here at the North Pole. It’s called Halloween. And like most the rest of the world we’ll dress up in silly costumes and have a good time for a few hours that evening.

Then we do something really bizarre.

You all know about it. We tell you every year when it happens. It is as traditional as Christmas trees, stars and stockings.

It is an event I dread more than any other. It is messy, wasteful, and sometimes causes pain. It is the annual North Pole food fight.

This is the ONE thing that elves do weird with food. The only thing and, frankly, I can’t stand it.

Mrs. Claus prepares for this event like the coming of a Biblical disaster. It is, for her, the apocalypse. She buys tons and tons of plastic sheeting. She gets fire hoses ready. She buys cleanser by the pallet.

Because she knows the food fight is going to happen. Every year.

Some of you think it is funny to read about this odd Halloween tradition at the North Pole. Some of you will send in emails before it happens reminding us to TELL you about it.

Well let me tell you about it right now.

First of all, it hurts.

You ever been drilled in the back of the head by a flying Twinkie? Oh, they may look great splattering in a head of hair but it smarts pretty good.

Kool aid dripping in your ear isn’t fun other. Neither is a good snow cone to the eye.

And try to run out of there when the floor is literally covered in syrup, butter and jam. It’s like skating on snot.

So elves and food can get complicated – except when it comes to eating it.

In that department we’re as dull as unsalted crackers. We put food in our mouths, we chew it and we swallow it.

And that’s all there really is to say about what elves eat.