By Gwen Rockwood, newspaper columnist and mama of 3
Don’t take this the wrong way. You know I love you. But what I need right now is not new things. It’s help. And correct me if I’m wrong, but don’t you have a whole workshop of helpers up there at the North Pole?
So, what I’m asking you for this year is to give the following letter to your most helpful elf. You’ll understand why after you read it.
If anyone can understand what I and so many other mothers are feeling right now, it’s Santa’s busiest elf. What I need in these weeks leading up to Christmas is an extra pair of hands, even if they’re small elf-sized hands. I need someone who’s quick on his feet, even if there are bells on his shoes. I need someone who could win the Olympic gold medal in multi-tasking.
There’s a reason why so many moms say “ugh” instead of “yay” when someone mentions how few days are left before Christmas. In addition to being “the most wonderful time of the year,” it’s also the work-iest time of the year. There’s just so much to do, Elf. I’m barely keeping my head above the eggnog.
I started shopping for gifts in October, but I still have things left to find. And don’t get me started on the wrapping. You and I both know I’m about to spend hours wrapping gifts only to have all that work literally torn to pieces in mere minutes on Christmas. But I bet Santa’s elves are excellent wrappers, right? I bet you can curl ribbon like a champ. (Could you please bring Scotch tape when you come? I can’t find mine.)
I should warn you before you get here that things are a little… messy. The new windows we ordered for a remodeling project got backordered just like everything else in our knotted-up supply chain. There are currently two holes in my living room wall where windows should be. Everything else is covered in sheets of plastic. The contractor says it’ll all be done by Christmas, but I’m worried. (Elf, are you good with a skill saw? Please bring your toolbelt and safety goggles, just in case.)
Because the living room is torn up, I haven’t put up the Christmas tree yet. And because there’s no Christmas tree, there’s nowhere to put the gifts I haven’t wrapped. I got a head cold last weekend and haven’t even touched the laundry sorted into mountains of lights and darks outside the laundry room. (By the way, are elves good at folding fitted sheets? It would be so magical if you could straighten up that linen closet while you’re here.)
I know elves are fond of sweet treats, so if you could maybe pinch-hit for me on the holiday baking this year, that would be great. I know for sure we’ll need a dozen cookies on Christmas Eve because we need to leave a few by the fireplace for your boss. (You already know what his favorite kind of cookie is, right? Maybe bring your apron with you, too.)
While you’re doing all that, I’ll drive the kids where they need to go. (I’m not sure you’re tall enough to see over the steering wheel anyway.) I’ll go to all the holiday school events and the band concerts. I’ll take them to their doctor, dentist and dermatology appointments. I’ll pay the bills. I’ll work the job. I’ll clean up after the dogs when they shred a cardboard box. I’ll plan the celebrations for the two kids who insisted on having birthdays during the busiest month of the year. It’ll be fine because you’ll be here to help, right? Right?
While you’re here, I can promise you all the takeout pizza and candy canes you can eat. And compared to the weather at the North Pole, the temperatures here are downright balmy. You’ll love it! It’ll be like a beach vacation, minus the beach. What do you say? Can you be here by Monday?
With my eternal gratitude,