Stabbity Doll: (n) Creepy-ass antique doll that looks like it will come to life and kill you while you’re sleeping. If this thing is in the guest room where you’re supposed to sleep, you will *not* be able to fall asleep because you’re listening for the tappity tappity of tiny little shoes. Has those creepy eyes that open and shut; one of the eyes is inevitably wonky so it looks like it’s winking at you as if to say, “night-night!” Variation: Stabbity Nana Doll; same thing but with human hair from your dead Nana. Bonus points if said doll has actual human teeth as well.
That stabbity doll I saw on stark. raving. mad. mommy. is the creepiest thing I have seen in the whole history of ever.
Um, ok, you’re thinking, why is she talking about stabbity dolls? Has she finally lost it? No, I assure you that I know a hawk from a handsaw. The reason I am teaching you all about stabbity dolls is so that you won’t be quite so stunned when I show you this:
That? Is a Stabbity Elf. That elf looks like the kind of toy a wildly misguided old man with questionable intentions might use to lure children to his park bench. That elf might pluck individual hairs from the head of a pet. That elf might be the creature the Tooth Fairy enlists to loosen teeth when she business needs to pick up.
That elf is evil.
Which is why I am so shocked to find out that this elf is the main character in a “beloved family tradition” that sweeps the nation each Christmas. The premise is that this elf is Santa’s emissary in your home and he watches your kids. You can prove this by putting him in one place when your kids go to bed and move him during the night so your kids thinks he’s an autonomous being, moving about while they sleep. Because that’s not creepy at all. The elf then reports back to Santa on the kids’ behavior, presumably telling the Big Guy if your kids belong on the naughty or nice list. Or perhaps he’s reporting back to Vladmir Putin who will show up at your house shirtless and and pistol whip you like the double-agent who turned in Anna Chapman to the FBI.
Either way, the elf is a nasty snitch who is not your friend.
The basic stabbity appearance of this elf aside, I am totally put off by the whole Jailhouse Informant nature of the relationship he’s supposed to have with kids. In fact, I’m put off by the whole “naughty or nice” racket that Santa is supposedly up to. What’s wrong with letting kids just enjoy the lead-up to Christmas, secure in the knowledge that the day will be special and they’ll get to be part of it just by virtue of being part of a family that engages in celebration? Why does it have to be a quid pro quo where they spend December trying to rack up “good” so they can get rewarded for it?
Because, let’s face it, none of us are going to withhold Christmas from them. The threat of Santa’s sleigh skipping our house? Is an idle one.
The idea that kids will get gifts in exchange for something, i.e. good behavior, is so…capitalistic. And the holiday season is supposed to be about giving of yourself without expecting anything but goodwill in exchange. I don’t lead the toy drive for Children’s National Medical Center at my office every year because it looks good on my performance review: I do it because I want to make sure sick children have a special moment. In the same vein, I don’t want C to modify his behavior because he wants one gift or another and focus all of his energy on trying to earn a present: I want him to be part of the giving, the sharing, the decorating, the singing, and the general festivity of the season without wondering if he’s “good enough” to deserve it.
And I don’t want him scared that some stabbity elf is going to tell on him if he picks his nose or leaves his socks on the floor. Instead, I want him to enjoy something festive and happy in December and be good for goodness sake all year ’round.