I’ve been seeing a lot of posts about Elf On The Shelf again—that mischievous “game” in which parents torment their kids with “deeds” the demented-looking elf commits while the kids are sleeping. Though Elf On The Shelf wasn’t a thing when I was a kid, my dad did plenty to torment me with things my stuffed animals did while I slept (or while I was away from my room). They would often put things out of order, stack things precariously—anything to elevate my nerves!
Though I suppose it can be annoying, the game reinforces the magic of this time of year—the idea that anything can happen, that magic still exists in the world. And this can be taken in both the religious and secular sense—whether you believe in miracles or a little bit of elf luck.
I was feeling overworked lately. I begrudgingly put up the tree this weekend (we leave the lights on our artificial tree, so it’s always lit!), but I didn’t have the energy to put up the ornaments. Putting up ornaments doesn’t seem like something that should feel like a chore; it should be fun. But the holiday magic was lost, and the tree sat in the living room, half “fluffed” from its year in storage but not decorated at all. I weighed the time required for decorating the tree with more “productive” endeavors such as working out, vacuuming, or writing.
Bah humbug, I know.
Enter the boxes from online shopping (Scrooge doesn’t like shopping around actual people!). One of the boxes, from the amazing ThinkGeek.com, contained two geeky gifts that shall not be mentioned (lest my husband be reading this); however, the box was also supposed to contain a Doctor Who mini figure, which I added on to the order for free with a coupon/reward points account—a little gift for myself. When the box arrived last night, my husband mentioned that it was damaged (he emailed me right away about it, lest I think he did it himself, to peek inside!), but I thought nothing of it, being tired from the extremely cold rain and grumpy at myself for not being happier that it wasn’t snow.
But this morning, I remembered that my Doctor Who figure was supposed to be inside, so I ran down like a kid at Christmas. The figure is a “blind box,” meaning the mini figure could be one of any number of characters from the show. Who would I receive? Amy Pond? The Doctor himself? Or one of the more nefarious villains? When I got to the dining room, where the box had been stashed, I saw that indeed, the box had been damaged. There was a large gash in the side, allowing one of the flaps to open wide. I thought nothing of it except to check that the merchandise inside was undamaged.
The two items for my husband were there, and intact.
The Doctor Who figure for me was—missing!
But even before my brain had time to become sad, I smiled. I remembered the mysterious crack that The Doctor discovered in Amy Pond’s bedroom, the one that plagues the universe and erases you from existence if it touches you. It looks like this:
It was eerily similar to the tear in my ThinkGeek box:
Here is a comparison. Notice how the shape of the tear is about the same as the shape of the crack:
So I thought: it probably wasn’t a disgruntled, overworked shipping company that tore open the box through neglect, allowing the mini figure to slip away into oblivion. No! It had to have been that the mysterious crack followed The Doctor even through his comfy little shipping box (not quite a TARDIS, but almost). When the crack appeared, The Doctor had nowhere to go but…erased from existence.
Well, since it’s a blind box, hopefully it wasn’t The Doctor that got erased. Hopefully it was one of the bad guys. Like those horrible weeping angels. Indeed, I have a statue in my bathroom that I had to turn so it would face the mirror, always looking at its reflection, protection lest it wake up and try to get me. Those nasty weeping angels. The world could do without them.
So maybe the good folks at the shipping company that handled by box were actually doing the world a favor, ridding us of one small evil.
That, itself, would be magic enough.
Speaking of magic, my elves (er, my husband?) built me a new store at www.ValMuller.com/store. It’s cleaner and easier to use. AND it allows me to give you coupon codes! So, while supplies last, you will receive a free download code for an e-book copy of The Scarred Letter when you make any purchase at www.ValMuller.com. Just use this code: SCRDLETDWNLD The code will be shipped to you with your order. Happy Shopping!