Yes, it's that time of year again. Christmas fairs are almost upon us (I go down to the Living North fair in Newcastle next week) and Santa's little helpers (The Elf Service) are thin on the ground.
I am very, very lucky in this respect. I managed to sneak out one morning when there was frost on the ground and the sky was still dark and glittering with stars. I looked under bushes, I looked in the branches of trees, I looked by the stream and I looked in the herbs. I didn't find one there. I found a little cottage and crept inside. Upstairs tucked up in a cozy little bed with dinosaur pictures all around I found one – an Elf!
My Elf is called Idgy and she pops up every year at this time to help her Mum get ready for the fairs. Wages for Elves vary of course. I am sure Santa is a very good payer. I have an special arrangement with my Elf. She spots something she really, really wants (a model stable set this time) and will gleefully beaver away making the required money to pay for it.
There are of course terms and conditions involved when you enter into employment with the Elf Service. Food for one. They must be kept well fed and watered with an assortment of goodies not usually found in the kitchen on an everyday basis. Cake, crisps and hot chocolate to name but a few. Unfortunately when catering to your Elf you may often find yourself in the dubious position of scoffing the food yourself – not good, a fat Elf Master is not a good Elf Master.
If kept in good conditions and well fed your Elf can work tirelessly for a good half hour before something exciting comes on the TV and they have to scamper off to see it. At this point you may well curse your lack of judgment in employing said Elf. You might be tempted to stop what you are doing (up to neck in stuffing robins as ever) and finish off the Elf's job for them. But no, wait just 30 minutes (CBBC programmes are pretty predictable) and your Elf will pop back up again (usually carrying yet more food) and get back to work as if nothing had happened.
At 5.30pm your Elf and you will be finished for the day. You will both smile at each other across the mess of fabric, thread, herbs and stuffing, you may even do a bit of a High Five to celebrate another job done, you will call it a day and head into the house for tea.
Another day at Dream Acres. Many thanks to my Elf who makes it all possible at Christmas time.