Elf-full Holiday

The holidays are a wonderful time to enjoy friends and family and to celebrate the good cheer, good times and good will. This past week, I ventured into the city to meet up with a group of friends for the yearly tradition of the annual Christmas walk and dinner. My friend Don is the one who religiously plans this yearly festival – he’s truly the spirit of Christmas. In fact, he’s the most into-Christmas person I know, so much so that he refers to himself as “Elf” during the holidays. This year, I wanted to step up the festivities, so I brought one of my elves to help celebrate the season and it got everyone’s attention. We called him “Elfie” and he was a big hit.

Don, along with his lovely wife Patty and fun-loving group of friends follow a precise schedule: We start at the Metropolitan Museum of Art to watch the timed lighting of the Baroque Christmas tree (decorated with antique Neopolitan ornaments of flying angels and a most intricate crèche scene; it’s a must-see). Then we bundle up, and walk down 5th Avenue to 57th to look at the store windows of Bergdorf’s and marvel at the huge Swarovski snowflake suspended over the intersection. At this point it’s time to warm up – inside and out – so we pop into Papillon for a cocktail, then it’s off to the amazing Christmas tree at Rockefeller Plaza. It’s so exciting to see all the crowds – and a little too crazy, really – but a photo in front of the tree is mandatory. Finally, we jump onto the subway a few short stops and emerge at Rolf’s Bavarian restaurant. Now what a great way to get into the holiday, right? Elfie was the perfect addition.

When we arrived at the restaurant, Rolf’s, on the East Side, known for their outlandish holiday decor, actually rumored to have more Christmas lights inside than are on the Rockefeller tree!  With its festive patrons, many in Santa hats and elf boots themselves, Mr. Elfie was proudly sitting on my shoulder. Everyone commented on how well-behaved he was and how wonderful it was that he joined us. As we were seated, Mr. Elfie was seated at the head of the table; truth be told I took it upon myself to engage, and yes pose, Elfie in a verity of clever positions.

At first, Mr. Elfie was merely delightful and funny but as the night went on his “poses” would reflect the amount of alcohol that was consumed by his peers. He made his way around the table for photos, and every pose was perfect, capturing the fun we were having. (To protect the innocent fellow diners I’m not showing them! You’ll have to use your imagination!)

As the night progressed, Elfie was photographed by tourists, sat at other people’s tables and was even asked to stay as part of the permanent decorations. But I would have a better plan for him – Elfie was meant to go home with Don, the head Elf himself. Elfie was the gift that kept giving as Don’s face lit up as big as the Rockefeller Center Christmas tree. “You made my Christmas, Mar!” It’s amazing how one little, stuffed Elf from HomeGoods could validate the season and bring so many smiles to so many people. This one idea offered joy, good will, and good cheer to all who witnessed the fun and laughter.

Elfie was fun, and offered a playful childlike experience that as an adult we lose touch with. Wonderful friends, cocktails and an amazing festive display made this night not just a memorable one but one that I could be proud to share. Whatever holiday you may celebrate doesn’t matter; what it’s all about are the experiences and the people we choose to spend them with. This gathering was filled with the spirit of love, good will to man, and fun times to remember.

This holiday season should not be about the holiday tasks and chores, but rather the fun and the spirit of “joy to the world.” Being creative and allowing the child in all of us to come out and play will always make for a better day. And if you should have an Elf by your side remember this wise note: No more cocktails after midnight.