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The elf on top of the Christmas tree
We finally put up a tree. A tree as simple as can be. While everyone seems to be hiding his tree under a ton of tinsel, ribbons and balls, I decided that ours, this year, will have nothing but lights.
And no star on top either. Not even an angel. We thought a Santa hat would be perfect, we couldn’t find one, so we settled for an elf hat.
It’s more fitting, I think. And the tragedy of not finding a Santa hat seems to be one of those incidents where the saying “When a window closes, a door opens” applies. Because… come to think of it. The elves work all year to make the gifts for the “good children” while Santa spends one night giving them away.
And yet, Santa takes all the credit. It’s Santa who’s remembered. And revered. And feared at the same time. The elves are always a footnote in Santa tales.
Who has ever asked if the elves were well fed and well paid?
Who has ever asked if they were free to come and go, and if they have the freedom to choose to stop working for Santa?
Have you ever wondered? I didn’t until an hour or so ago. After everyone had gone to bed, I checked the kitchen and dining room. I put away leftovers and dumped dirty bowls and dishes in the sink. Speedy would put them away in the dishwasher in the morning.
I sat on the new couch, lit a cigarette and started at the Christmas tree. You couldn’t see the lights when they were off. The thick branches of the tree hid them. But the elf hat stood tall.
And I sat staring at it and wondering if fate had always intended it to be there. To make me think and to make me write what I thought.
Dear Santa’s elves:
You are the real heroes in every Santa story. You who toil without expecting fame. I hope you all eat well this Christmas. With your families. I hope you have the right to choose to spend Christmas with your families.
And, just between you and me, from now on, I will never put up any Santa Christmas decor. If there has to be any decor at all, let them be elf hats. You’re more deserving of the the remembrance.