Brett Buckner is an award-winning freelance newspaper/magazine writer who was raised in Albany.
We’ve named the elf Dio.
Well, to be honest, I named the elf Dio, believing the other names that were batted around were terribly boring.
Jellybean suggested “Dora,” “Boots,” “CaCa,” and something that sounded suspiciously like “Slovenly.” My Lovely Wife suggested “Scout,” which I thought sounded too much like a dog’s name.
For those unfamiliar with the mythology of Elf on a Shelf, Dio will play the role of informer to the Big Man of the North Pole. He spies on Jellybean, keeping track of whether she’s naughty or nice (allowing the rest of the family to relax a bit) and then flies off every night to report his findings to Santa Claus.
The next morning, Jellybean is to wander through the house to see where Dio is hiding, and the whole fun cycle starts over again.
So why name a Christmas elf Dio?
The late Ronnie James Dio was only the greatest singer in the history of heavy metal. In addition to fronting his own solo band, Dio was also the lead singer of Black Sabbath, post-Ozzy — which, come to think of it, wouldn’t have been a bad name either — but was also in Rainbow with Ritchie Blackmore. But most importantly, Dio’s first band was called … wait for it … Elf.
Oh, and he was roughly the same height as a long-haired Lilliputian with a propensity for writing songs of dragons, demons, witches and magic … no Christmas carols that I’m aware of, but “Holy Diver” comes close.
And besides, it’s best not to over-think these things. After all, I’m the guy who’s forever saddled his children with the nicknames Jellybean and The Diva, which are sure to land both of ‘em on a shrink’s couch in the near future.
But I digress.
What’s really cool about Dio is that Jellybean’s supposed to tell him what she wants for Christmas. And that’s way more reliable than our other method, which involved constantly watching episodes of Dinosaur Train and taking notes during the commercials when Jellybean pointed at the TV saying, “maybe I could do that,” or “maybe ‘Ho Ho’ could bring me that.”
The list got a mite long, running from Paw Palz and Barbie Ballerina to the Hot Wheels Color Shifters Stunt ‘N’ Dunk Action Set and the 2012 Dodge Caravan that uses Dora the Explorer in its sales pitch.
All this from the child whose current favorite plaything is a bunch of rubber bands in a Christmas-themed jar she carries around in an Easter basket.
Before Dio pranced into our lives, Jellybean was asked what she wanted for Christmas numerous times. At first, she’d just shrug and grin as if overwhelmed by the idea. But when pressed, she finally answered, “A pineapple … yeah, I’d like a pineapple, please.”
Balance that against The Diva pleading for an iPod Touch, and we just might break even this Christmas.
‘Course now we’ve also got a scapegoat. Not that Jellybean will be disappointed in anything, as long as it comes wrapped in shiny paper with a bow on top, but just in case she gets a little pouty, we can always say that Dio didn’t do a very good job relaying all her Christmas wishes to Santa.
Wonder if it’s too late to get The Diva a Dio of her own, only this one will report back to Santa that she’s been nothing but naughty and should only receive affordable gifts this year.
And it wouldn’t be our fault. We’d blame it on Dio.
Contact Brett Buckner at firstname.lastname@example.org