Cunningham: December is all about behavin’
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Cunningham: December is all about behavin’


I believe I am old enough now to admit this publicly. I always found the sing-song jingle, “He sees you when you’re sleeping; he knows when you’re awake. He knows if you’ve been bad or good”, to be just a bit creepy....even back in the day when we routinely insulted one another and immensely enjoyed those exchanges. That Santa knew if I was bad or good seemed to beg interpretation, however my parents would have none of that debate.

So gather around the fireplace, young children, and let me explain why my folks brought an old, overweight, bearded guy into my life to oversee my every action. Furthermore I promise, if asked, to explain how the red suited fella had somehow obtained police permission to scale our roof, slide down the chimney and rearrange the living room. We were gleeful about all of it.

And we wonder where the current generations of politicians learned how to fib?

Do not address me with “Scrooge-like” adjectives. Those spirits visited me long ago. I have since dedicated my life, among other noble pursuits, to focus on the true meaning of Christmas. That is, to keep the kids in line for at least one month a year outta fear of losing their constitutional right to presents under the tree.

December is all about behavin’.

I repeat, don’t do the “Scrooge” thing to me. After all, do you have an “elf on the shelf”?

That’s right, the new generation has rewritten the song. Oh, it’s the same message, just a different verse.

As I get it, the elf sits where he/she/it overlooks areas where Mom and Dad aren’t. Supposedly, this fail-proof monitoring system observes and reports any misdeeds which occur in the downstairs basement, up-and-down staircases and spaces previously declared off-limits.

I confess, I do not know what this elf looks like. Like you-know-who, does the elf have a bowl full of jelly? Red cheeks? What about a beard? Like cookies and milk?

I assume the elf has legs that are long enough to balance on a ledge. Can’t be too tall, or an unfortunate lean might result in a plunge to the floor. I assume upper body strength, for to be credible, the elf should be able, with equal exertion, to put an arm around a book stop or do a one-armed swing from an artificial plant.

Elf shoes? I don’t think that matters. That’s right, you heard it here first. Elf shoes are not a thing.

Glasses? Now there we have an issue. If observation is the goal, then should the elf wear bifocals? If so, then are we not suggesting that removal of those eyepieces would ruin the clarity so necessary when it comes to ratting the kids out?

“But Mom, the elf’s vision was impaired. No way I tossed the cat at sister. Didn’t happen. Fake news.”

Back then, it was St. Nick; today, it’s some relative to the Keebler elves. Probably makes the chimney slide easier.

Don Cunningham of Fremont is a freelance columnist.


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