December 22nd: Three days until Christmas
Wrapped in her favorite fleece blanket and sitting snug in the big brown chair by the roaring fireplace, Becca had her big blue eyes locked onto her father's every word. "It was the kind gesture of the children in the choir, as they sang and offered him a gift that brought a smile to the elf's face. After being such a sour puss for so many years, he finally felt the warmth of the holiday season he had missed for so long. With his heart full of joy once again, the elf stepped off of the porch and joined in with the choir to sing carols. From then on, the elf was bad no longer, wishing everyone he met a Merry Christmas. The end."
Once the story ended, Becca couldnt wait to cheer. She let her blanket fall down and threw up her arms. "Yay! He is good again. I don't like him being a bad elf."
Dylan, her little brother, kept bouncing on his knees saying, "Bad elf. Bad elf."
The small, white family dog, a Maltese named Fred, lifted his head to bark in cadence with the young boy's excited shouts.
After noticing the late hour, their mother announced, "Alright you two, time for bed!" She wiped her hands on her apron as she walked into the living room from the kitchen to lift up Dylan, who kept repeating, "Bad elf."
"Aww" Becca sighed, with a big frown as she slowly got up from the chair.
Seeing her sulk, her mother said, "If you're good and brush your teeth, we'll make cookies in the morning."
"Yay!" Becca cheered, as she trotted over to her father, leaning forward and falling into his arms for a good night hug. "Daddy, I don't ever want him to be bad again."
Wrapping his arms around her securely in a bear hug, her father replied, "He will always be good, just like you. I love you, Becca."
"I love you, daddy." Becca reached down and picked up her fuzzy blanket as she walked over to the stairs. One by one, she slowly proceeded to follow her mother up the stairs, while Dylan could still be heard saying, "Bad elf."
December 23rd: Two days until Christmas
With the sun shining off of newly fallen snow, Becca woke up and rubbed her eyes. She rolled out of bed, pulling her blanket along and headed for the stairs. As she approached the landing, the rest of the family was already downstairs. She watched them with curiosity as they moved about the house. Her mother was baking Christmas cookies and currently stirring batter in a large bowl. Her father had a Santa hat on and was tuning the radio to a station playing continuous Christmas favorites. As it had been last night, Dylan was bouncing around in his favorite, flannel pajamas and saying, "Bad elf. Bad elf."
With a determined look on her face, Becca hurried down the remaining stairs with blond curls bouncing. Once she reached the bottom, she jumped off the last step, landing in a petite thud. Dylan made his way around the kitchen table and she said, "There's no more bad elf, Dylan. He's a good elf now."
Dylan stopped, puzzled by the words. He looked up at his mother and she replied, "Yup, a good elf."
With a smile on his face, Dylan began bouncing around with his new phrase, "Good elf! Good elf!"
Receiving a satisfied look from her mother, Becca ventured to the living room to greet her father. Having found the right station of traditional Christmas songs, he stood back, as she grabbed a hold of his legs. With a big smile, he leaned over and picked her up, blanket and all. She looked up at him and placed her hands on his neatly trimmed beard. He smiled and greeted her, "Good morning, sweetheart."
"When can we open presents, daddy?" Becca asked.
"It's just a couple more days before Santa comes. Youll know because therell be even more presents under the tree."
"Then we can open presents?"
"We sure can," her father reassured. "Santa can put his presents next to the ones for auntie, grandpa and your cousins."
Becca twisted around, looking down. A puzzled look appeared on her face. "Where is Auntie's present? I don't see the pretty bow."
"Maybe it fell behind the other gifts," the mother suggested.
Just at that moment Dylan waddled into the room and starts chanting, "Bad elf! Bad elf!"
Their father offered a different answer. "Maybe the bad elf took it?"
"Bad elf! Bad elf!" Dylan jumped up and down in his green froggy slippers, exciting Fred, who started barking.
"Daddy, I thought there's no bad elf anymore?" Becca demanded.
"Your right," said her father. "He's good now."
"Bad elf?" Dylan questioned.
Becca forcefully countered, "No, good elf."
Dylan put up his arms and twirled around. "Good elf. Good elf."
With a satisfied look upon Becca's face, the mother withdrew a tray of freshly baked cookies, putting them on the counter and asked, "Anyone want cookies? You can have only one until after breakfast."
"Yay!" Becca shouted with glee. A few wiggles was enough of a sign for her father to set her down. She rushed over and grabbed a chair, placing it next to the counter. Instantly, she climbed up and snagged her first delicious treat.
Dylan saw her sisters ingenious idea and followed suit, attempting to bring his own chair over. With Dylans struggles to move the large chair, his father came to the rescue, giving a helping hand. Once the chair was in place, Dylan quickly climbed up, getting a partial view of the tasty prize. Barely able to see over the top of the counter, he reached as far as he could stretch. His arms were a little short, and he added a couple of grunts, hoping they would help. Good elf.
Becca turned, hearing his words. She picked out the biggest cookie on the plate and handed it to her brother and said, Yes. Youre a good elf.
Both parents smiled with joy, as the children consumed the treats, giggling as they ate. Little Fred placed both paws on the cupboard door, hoping for a big bite of a Christmas cookie, which Becca obliged and gave him, sharing the Christmas spirit.
December 24th: Christmas Eve
Another morning meant one day closer to opening presents. For Becca, it was all she could have dreamed about. After a quick rub of her eyes and swipe of her hand to move her curly hair away from her face, she wrapped herself in her blanket and rolled over. With a smile upon her face, she bolted from bed, making her way to the landing. Looking down, she saw her mother with a clothes basket, folding what had been dried. Her little brother was twirling in the kitchen, holding an object in his hands. Becca noticed her father was absent, but quickly heard shoveling outside. She descended the stairs, keeping an eye out the front window just in case she could see him at work.
Seeing Becca bounding down the stairs, her mother asked, Did you sleep okay?
I dreamed of presents, Becca announced proudly, jumping down from the last step.
Her mother smiled, If you dream of presents tonight, youll wake up, and Santa will have brought some gifts for you to open.
I made you a gift in school. Its above auntie and grandpas presents. Becca raced over to the tree and plucked an envelope from the branches it had been sitting on.
Her mother carried the basket that was full and placed it near the steps. Im sure I will love your beautiful gift. She leaned over, giving Becca a kiss on the forehead. Now place it back where you can find it, so you can give it to me on Christmas.
Okay, mommy. Becca walked back and placed the envelope where she had set it before. But as she turned around, she noticed that a present was not where it should be. Scouring the gifts under the tree, she stood up with a puzzled look. Mommy, I dont see grandpas present.
Are you sure?
Becca gave one more search, moving her head, side to side. Theres no present with snowmen on it.
Maybe its buried under the others.
I cant find it. Just as Becca began another search, she noticed her little brother playing in the kitchen. He was still having fun spinning around, waving his arm with something in his hand. She made a bee-line through the living room, on an intercept course to her brother.
Dylan was still uttering the words he had learned from the previous day while twirling about. Bad elf.
Becca stormed into the kitchen, swiping the paper away from him. You took the presents!
Dylan yelled, Gimme, Becca!
You are a bad elf! Becca exclaimed. You took the presents from the tree.
Mommy! Mommy! Gimme back! Dylans cries became louder, with tears streaming down his chubby cheeks.
Their mother spoke loudly, What happened? Becca, what did you take?
Becca walked over, showing the small piece of wrapping paper. Hes being the bad elf. He had this. He took the present.
He could have picked that up from the floor, the mother explained, taking the paper. There must have been a couple of pieces that you father didnt pick up, and Dylan found one.
As Dylan regained possession of the paper from his mother, he mumbled, Bad elf.
See, mommy? Becca pointed. He said hes being bad.
Her mother took her hand and escorted Becca away from the kitchen. Im sure he didnt take anything. You need to be a good girl yourself. Because tomorrow is Christmas, and you dont want Santa to not bring you anything.
I will be good, Becca replied.
Thats my girl. The mother kissed her cheek. Youre my good elf, right?
Becca nodded. Im a good elf.
Dylans voice could be heard saying, Bad elf. Bad elf.
No, were good elves. Becca walked back to see her little brother just standing still. She could only see his back, and had no idea what was going on until she got closer.
Dylan was looking down. He pulled open his diaper, waiting for a moment before asking, "Present?"
Intrigued, Becca walked over. But before she could get too close, a peculiar smell hit her nose. "Mommy, Dylan's got a dirty diaper!"
Dylan summed it up. "Bad elf."
December 25th: Christmas Day
Snow was falling gently outside Beccas bedroom window. It was Christmas morning, and she slowly began to open her eyes. With a big yawn, accompanied by an even larger stretch, she turned over. Before almost going back to sleep, she realized what day it was.
Hopping out of bed, with one foot of her pajamas flopping around, she scampered out of her room leaving her blanket behind. Barely through the door, she turned back and snatched her blanket, exiting the room once more. She could hear the Christmas music from the landing, as she made a methodical trek down the stairs, until noticing the most amazing sight of all. Santa had arrived in the night and left lots of gifts, wrapped in beautifully colored paper. She had big eyes before, but now they were almost the size of her head. Shaking off the wondrous shock, she made it down the last of the steps, jumping off the last one as always.
Her father was the first to greet her, Merry Christmas, Becca!
She raced over, attacking his legs with a big hug. Daddy, daddy, Santa came!
Yes he did, he replied. Did you give mommy a hug?
With a joyful smile, her mother said, Merry Christmas, sweetie!
Becca loosened her grip and skipped over to her mother, sitting on the couch. Merry Christmas, mommy! She spread her arms wide, jumped on her mothers lap and gave her a hug. Becca peeled back and asked, looking up with those big eyes, Can we open present?
Becca climbed down, with a huge smile on her face. Dylan was already hovering over the presents as their father straightened a few ornaments. Becca stood in front of the tree, marveling at all of the colorful gifts, accented with pretty bows and ribbons. She knew where she wanted to start, but couldnt find the present she was looking for. Pushing aside several wrapped boxes, she finally stopped with a confused look. Her father noticed and asked, Something wrong, Becca?
Becca responded, I cant find daddys gift.
Daddy has a couple of gifts, her mother stated.
My present is missing, Becca explained. I put it right in the front. Now its gone. It took me all class to make, just like mommys did, but mommys is here.
Her father moved his head and glanced at the mountain of packages. Maybe its at the bottom?
I looked, but its not there. Becca moved a few more gifts before giving up.
Bad elf. Dylan said with pep in his voice.
Where did you put it? Becca demanded.
Dylan replied once again, Bad elf.
Becca turned to her mother. Mommy, Dylan took daddys present!
Im sure he didnt, her mother said.
Hes being a bad elf. He took it!
Remember, theres no bad elf anymore, her father explained.
Your brother is just as good as you are, her mother stated. Lets get Fred dressed in his Christmas outfit so we can all sit down and open our presents from Santa.
Becca sighed, Okay, but I cant find the present. She leaned over and picked up the white puff ball of a dog and carried him to her mother, who pulled out an elf costume. They both placed it on him, even though they could tell he didnt like it.
Once they finished, the dog tried as he might to shake the uncomfortable costume away. With no luck, the dog walked around Becca and grabbed a small gift that was on the floor in front of the tree. He scurried away, heading for the kitchen. As everyone watched, Becca followed, peaking around the corner once her pajama feet touched the tile. Fred nudged a door open at the end of the counter and went inside. Cautiously, Becca kneeled down and began to open the door. Her big eyes grew wide, as she saw Fred pulling the red wrapping paper off the gift.
Mommy, I found the presents!
Everyone joined her to see Fred tugging and tearing at the last of the wrapping paper. Also hidden away was the other gifts, which all had their wrapping paper torn off. Both mother and father laughed, while Dylan pointed. Bad elf.
Becca realized the truth about her fathers story. Daddy, there is a bad elf! Fred did steal the presents!
Dylan hopped up and down. Bad elf! Bad elf!
As Becca pulled out the gifts one by one, her mother and father brought them into the living room. Dylan followed close behind as Becca brought the last one.
Bad elf, Dylan said once more.
Becca smiled, They always become good elves, Dylan.
I think we can make him a good elf, dont you think? her father asked.
Having set the last present near the tree, a thought popped into Beccas head as she moved her curly hair out of her face. She ran into the kitchen. They become good at the end of the story.
Her mother wondered, What are you doing?
Theres no more bad elves. We will make him good. Becca returned with a hand full of dog treats.
Freds eyes lit up, and he began to jump up. Becca put her hand out to signal Fred to sit. Once he obeyed, she gave him a treat. The dog quickly ate it and then stood on its back legs, wanting another.
See daddy, hes good now! Becca shouted.
Dylan responded, Good elf!
As Becca giggled and handed Fred another treat, both her mother and father gave each other a hug while Dylan spun around doing his own happy dance. The sound of laughter complimented the sounds of Christmas music and twinkling of lights from the tree. The story of bad elves was forever given a happy ending by a little girl with a heart as big as her eyes.