Otherwise known as:
“Hey, great idea! I needed one more thing to remember every night in December!“
Every day it’s the first thing they do: search for the elf. They creep around the house, not at all afraid of usually terrifying darkened stairways or empty rooms, and they don’t stop until they find it. Then they rush back, stomping up the stairs, and shake me awake, “Mom!! Mom!! Guess where Holly was today?”
And I have to feign surprise, “Where? Really? Oh, that Holly, she sure is tricky!”
And the whole time I worry: what will happen when they discover this lie? Will their trust in me be broken, just a little bit? Will they think it a great trick, or a cruel joke? Will they feel foolish for ever having believed?
Every year, their questions grow in complexity. “How does she fly back to the North pole every night?” “Can you hear her talk?” “Do you think she’s friends with the other elves from our neighborhood?”
I think I’m safe, for this year. But soon… there will be a price to pay for this charade. I can feel it.