Happy middle-of-the-start-of-Ridiculous-Shopping-Season! Otherwise known as “Thanksgiving Day.”
For the holiday season this year, I thought I would introduce you to a little family tradition the girls and I started last year, called, “The Kids Want Something Very Bad that Mama Absolutely Hates.” Actually, this tradition started years ago, and it’s not even a tradition unique to our family. I’m sure your family has a similar tradition. What may vary from family to family is what awful thing it is that the kids want and how Mama decides to deal with it.
Last year, Princess and Pixie both wanted an “Elf on the Shelf.” I hate that thing. I hate the smarmy look on its face. I hate the effort some families go to make the Elf “come to life” (i.e. make a mess and tear up the house to convince the kids the elf is actually ALIVE). I hate that this frikkin’ elf seems to come with more outfits than Barbie these days. Have you SEEN the displays at Barnes & Noble? Really, the elf does not need clothes. Its clothing is sewed onto its body!!!!
But for whatever reason, millions of kids the world over want “The Elf on the Shelf,” including mine. When we went to Barnes & Noble last year and they asked for elves, I nearly choked to death on my Peppermint Mocha Latte.
“You’ve got to be kidding me!” I said, spewing hot, frothy, over-priced and over-flavored coffee everywhere.
“Please Mama?!” they begged, eyes getting big. “PLEEEEEEEEEEEEEASE?!!”
I looked at the EOTS. If you’ve ever taken a close look at these things, you realize it has the same gleeful, murderous look as the Chucky doll from those cruddy horror movies. Only Chucky has more personality.
“No,” I said, backing away in fear. “Nononononononononononononono!!!”
“You never get us anything we like,” my children whined as they sipped on their own Peppermint Mocha Lattes.
Anyway, the kids kept asking for an EOTS, and I kept saying no, and the whining kept getting worse. But then, then I got very lucky. I picked up a holiday crochet magazine and I found a pattern for ugly little monsters, designed by Jill Watt at www.dappertoad.com. The pattern is here – http://www.dappertoad.com/2012/12/shelf-free-crochet-pattern.html.
What’s so great about a pattern, you ask? Why is it any better – or less awful – than buying an actual EOTS?
It’s better because I realized I could take that pattern and make my own horrible little elves. And that’s exactly what I did.
I changed the colors, choosing the most yucky green yarn I could find. Red Heart Super Saver has a couple that I love to use for crocheting zombies, including a sage green and a tea leaf green that are just to DIE for. I used Red Heart’s variegated oatmeal color for the faces and picked a couple of dull grays for the trim. I had some pink “monster” safety eyes. And to all that I added this really awful hairy black yarn for the elves hair and beards.
Yes, beards. You see, these weren’t just going to be elves I was making. They were going to be KRAMPUSES!!! OF DOOOOOOOOOOOOOOM!! MWAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!
Or you know, Krampuses beneath the Lampuses.
So I spent a couple weeks putting these creatures together, following the directions in Jill Watt’s pattern but using my own colors and adding monster eyes and beards. And the result was truly god-awful. I wired up the limbs so that I could pose the critters, and very early on Christmas morning, I posed the little darlings beneath my favorite lamp in the living room, complete with notes about whom and what they were.
Their names, according to the notes, were Kankle and Krum, and they were Krampus dolls. When the girls came down on Christmas morning to open their presents, there was a lot of squealing and then some confusion and then some screaming.
“Oh my GOD! Mama! What are these horrible gross THINGS?!”
It was exactly reaction I was looking for.
The Krampuses, or Hairy Elves, as the girls decided to call them, have since become permanent fixtures in our home. On various occasions, they can be found hanging from the dining room chandelier (sometimes by the neck)…
Sometimes they can be found crawling around in the girls’ dirty laundry, or stealing toys and stuffing them into trashcans. They have tied up Pixie’s Doctor doll and tortured him with his own sonic screwdriver…
They have stolen letters sent to the girls by the Doctor (did I mention my kids get letters from the Doctor? Yeah, they’re future companions). And once, they laid eggs in the kids’ underwear drawers.
But they never, EVER make a mess of my kitchen, or destroy anything of mine. No, these hairy elves are too smart and too lazy for nonsense like that. Instead, I tell the kids that their elves are the kind of creatures that prefer to fart in their faces with the girls are asleep. And that seems to be naughty enough behavior for Princess and Pixie.
But still, they want the original “Elf on the Shelf.” And still, I refuse to get them one, or let anyone else get them one. So this year, I’m going back to Jill Watts pattern, and this year, I’m going to make another set of hairy elves. This year, the elves are going to be GIRLS, and GIRL hairy elves (complete with beards) are even worse than BOY hairy elves.
For starters, they eat normal, boring “Elves on the Shelves.” And I plan to stage evidence of that crime for Christmas this year. All I need is a stuffing, a few shreds of red and white felt, and two willing, horrible, awful HAIRY ELVES to help me do the murderous deed.
And maybe that will keep the girls from asking for things they know I hate 🙂