Teachers and students arriving at Peebles Elementary School last Monday were greeted by a most unexpected, but welcome visitor. Perched atop the school’s sign, waving at the children as they arrived, was a Scout Elf from the North Pole.
For those of you who do not know, Scout Elves are sent by Santa Claus each morning to visit the homes of boys and girls. At night, when the children fall asleep they fly back to the North Pole to report on who has been naughty and who has been nice.
However, none of this is possible until the elves are given names, only then do they receive the Christmas magic that allows them to fly home each night.
The elf’s appearance at the school caused a lot of excitement inside as the children began searching for the perfect name. They considered Mistletoe, Holly, Jingle, and Snowflake, but in the end everyone decided his name should be Brian.
Normally, Christmas Elves are quite shy and prefer to remain indoors perched on mantles, or bed posts, or atop Christmas trees where they can see all that goes one around them. Scout Elves are the most private and secretive of all Santa’s Elves, so it was unclear to school officials why “Brian” had decided to reveal himself so publicly.
On Tuesday, Dec. 15, a reporter from The Defender approached the elf as he sat on a pillar outside the school. “Brian,” she asked, “everyone’s dying to know what you’re doing here, can I have an interview?”
Brian stood, and bowing deeply replied, “There’s only one rule that you have to follow, so I will come back and be here tomorrow: Please do not touch me, my magic might go, and Santa won’t hear all I’ve seen or I know.”
When asked why he had decided to go public, he explained, “As you can see I’ve broken my leg, and must walk around on a hard metal peg. It makes such a racket when I move about, I cannot slip quietly in or out. And, since quiet’s required in my vocation, Santa gave me a new location.”
On Wednesday, Dec. 16, Brian appeared on the roof of the school building, directly over the third grade classrooms. When asked why he had chosen that spot he replied that he wished he had not, “The roof is slippery all around, but Police Chief Music will help me get down.”
When asked what message he hoped to convey, the Christmas Elf replied, “The world needs all the joy we can send it, I’m just doing what little I can to amend it, by asking others to remember, the true meaning of Christmas each December.”
On Thursday morning, Dec. 17, when buses arrived at the school, Brian was nowhere to be found. “Perhaps, it’s the rain that’s kept him away,” a teacher suggested to a group of disappointed children who worried that someone had touched the elf causing him to disappear. However, when they entered the school they discovered Brian sleeping in the trophy case.
One little boy, his eyes full of wonder, looked up at his teacher and exclaimed, “He is real!”
News of the school’s Christmas visitor spread through the village. Most of the people thought it was a wonderful thing, that was happening, however there were those who were opposed.
One townsmen said, “It conditions kids to accept the surveillance state and communicates that it’s okay for other people to spy on you.” And, another remarked, “If you grow up thinking it’s cool for the elves to watch you and report back to Santa, well, then it’s cool for the NSA to watch you and report back to the government.” While yet another demanded, “How do we know he’s even a real elf, and do we really want our children believing that elves are real in the first place?”
Not believe in Elves? You might as well not believe in Santa Claus, as the Sun Times once told a little girl named Virginia, a very long time ago. You might as well not believe in fairies. You might get your papa to hire men to watch in all the chimneys on Christmas Eve to catch Santa Claus, but even if you did not see Santa Claus coming down, what would that prove? Nobody sees Santa Claus, but that is no sign that there is no Santa Claus. The most real things in the world are those that neither children nor adults can see. Did you ever see fairies dancing on the lawn? Of course not, but that’s no proof that they are not there. Nobody can conceive or imagine all the wonders there are unseen and unseeable in the world. Only faith, poetry, love, and romance can push aside that curtain and view the supernal beauty and glory beyond.
Is Brian the elf real? We, at the Defender conclude, that in all the world, there is nothing else more real and abiding than the elf on the shelf and the Christmas joy he brings to the children whose lives he touches.