Art by Andrew Shaffer.
From the author: A short parody of "The Elf on the Shelf," originally published in my holiday collection "It's Beginning to Look a Lot Like F*ck This" (2018, 8th Circle Press).
Have you ever wondered how Santa Claus knows
if you’re naughty or nice every year when it snows?
Since olden days, it’s been a closely-kept secret.
I’ll tell you the truth, so long as you don’t leak it.
Every December, Santa sends me your way
to watch everything that you do and you say.
My orders come from the jolly fat man himself.
I’m his eyes and his ears, a little old elf.
When I arrive you must give me a name,
something like Fanny or Merkin or Zane.
Girl names and boy names, whatever you choose.
My gender is fluid—any name will do!
Every night when you’re tucked in and asleep,
I’ll fly to the North Pole with one magic leap.
While you’re snoring away at home in your bed,
I’ll tell Santa everything you’ve done and you’ve said.
If you’ve broken even one little rule
(like not washing your hands after using the stool),
on Santa’s naughty list your name shall be writ,
and this year for Christmas coal is all ye shall get.
I’ll be back in your house before the sun is risen,
and at first you may think that I’ve gone missin'.
That’s because I won’t be where I was yesterday,
I’m somewhere new in your home, hidden away…
I could be in the kitchen or bathroom or den,
or on an exercise bike watching CNN.
I could be in the fridge or the oven—who knows!
When it comes to hiding spaces, anything goes.
Oh look, you’ve found me—that was quick.
You’re a clever one, so full of tricks!
You have something to show me, you say?
You want me to get on my knees and pray?
I don’t understand, this isn’t much fun.
That thing in your hands…is that a gu—
This story originally appeared in It's Beginning to Look a Lot Like F*ck This.