Mischief Makers: Christmas Crazy Pt. 1

When the boys got up the next morning and saw wrapping paper and empty boxes all over the floor under the tree, they went a little…Christmas Crazy.

Lil stared helplessly as they playfully wrestled and then–CRASHed right into the Christmas tree.

She watched in horror as Nim tumbled to the ground, unable to use magic to save himself.

It was the longest day of her young life, and when the house was finally asleep, she flew straight to Nim.

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“Nim! Nim!” she cried. “Can you hear me? Are you ok?”

“Mmmfffppttt,” he said.

“What? I can’t understand you! You must have hit your head in the fall!”

“MMMMFFFFPPPPTTTT!”

“Nim! I don’t know what you are saying!” said a sobbing Lil.

“Ahem,” said Glitter. “Maybe if you’d…stop suffocating him?”

Lil looked down and blushed.

“Ooops,” she said as she let go. “Sorry about that.”

“That’s ok,” said Nim with a wince. “At least you didn’t twist my other ankle.”

“Oh no!” said Lil. “Do you think you can still fly?”

Nim tried hovering but only fell in a heap.

“I guess I’ll go and give the report alone tonight,” said Lil looking sadly at the ground.

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“I could go,” said Glitter.

“Really? Are you sure?” said Lil.

“Yes,” said Glitter with a brisk nod. “I have a small errand I need to run at the North Pole anyway. You can stay and make sure Nim is comfortable and then get started with the…”.

“Graham Cracker Houses,” Lil finished.

“Right,” said Glitter.

“I guess that would work,” said Lil.

“And Glitter?” said Nim. “Would you please ask the Medic-elves for some of that special Medicinal Maple Syrup?”

Glitter raised an eye as she looked at Nim.

“For healing purposes only, of course,” he said with a grin.

“Of course,” said Glitter.

After Glitter left, Lil set a sleeve of graham crackers, a tub of icing and a sack of red and green M&Ms out on the table. While she wrote instructions, Nim tried ‘helping’.

“Nim, why don’t you just rest,” said Lil after his fifth time falling face first into green icing and scattering M&Ms everywhere.

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Lil finished setting up and Glitter was still not back.

“You don’t think she got lost do you?” said Lil.

But Nim was fast asleep in a box of graham crackers and didn’t hear her.

Lil climbed up into the cupboard, hoping that Glitter would find her way home soon.

Mischief Makers: Barking Dogs

“Alright Glitter, what did you do with him?” asked Lil, standing under the Christmas tree.

“Who?” asked Glitter with wide eyes.

Nim laughed uncontrollably at the look of innocence on Glitter’s face.

Lil put her hands on her hips. She was starting to worry about the absent pup.

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“Oh don’t laugh Nim,” she said, eyeing Glitter nervously. “What if she sent him to the cave?”

Nim suddenly sobered.

“Do you really think she could have done that?” asked Nim under his breath.

“I just don’t know, Nim,” said Lil. “I just don’t know.”

Everyone at the North Pole knew who lived in “The Cave”. Rudolph and his dentist narrowly escaped being eaten by the creature just a few years ago.

“Maybe we should check in with Rudolph tonight,” said Nim. “He may know how to–”.

“Ruff! Ruff!”

Nim and Lil both looked at the Christmas tree. A low whine came from one of the gifts. They quickly flew to the tree and waited to hear it again.

“Ruff! Ruff!”

“I think it’s that one!” said Lil, flying over to a present wrapped blue paper.

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“Ruff! Ruff! Rrrrufff!”

“No,” said Nim, zooming in the opposite direction. “It’s this one over here!”

All of the sudden, the air filled with the whining and barking of what sounded like dozens of dogs. Glitter stood on top of the end table with her hooves on a remote control.

She shook with laughter.

“Glitter,” said Nim, looking at her in awe. “Did you do this?”

Glitter just nodded and her collar bounced and jingled.

Nim and Lil looked at each other and giggled with glee. They fell over on the floor while Glitter continued to stomp on the remote and wrapped boxes continued to bark and whine.

Once they’d gotten their mirth under control, Nim and Lil started opening presents in search of the real Barrel. When they found him, he burst from the box and tackled them both, panting and turning in circles.

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“I think he liked that game, Glitter,” said Lil.

“Yep, you’ll have to try harder to provoke this fun-loving puppy,” said Nim scratching Barrel behind the ears.

“Oh, I will,” said Glitter with an unsettling grin.

Mischief Makers: The Return

Three shadows flew through the night sky and landed with a soft thump on the window sill.

“This will be the true test,” said Nim with a sniffle.

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“I almost don’t want to take him in with us,” said Lil, sneezing. “Glitter is just recovering from her…ordeal.”

“She has to face him sometime,” said Nim patting Barrel on the head and then coughing into his elbow.

“Should we warn her first?” asked Lil with watery eyes.

“Yes, I think that would be a good–Barrel!”  

Barrel, seeing Glitter cleaning up art supplies on the kitchen table, bounded through the window and tackled her, licking her face and barking happily.

“Oh dear,” said Lil as she watched markers, pencils and crayons fly in every direction.

Nim and Lil quickly zoomed into the house to remove Barrel from Glitter’s back. Glitter’s eyes were blank and her body stiff.

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Once Barrel was happily eating crushed candy canes with powdered sugar and chocolate syrup, Nim and Lil turned to Glitter.

She hasn’t moved,” said Lil.

She has that funny look on her face,” said Nim.

The elves waited for the inevitable freak-out until…Glitter smiled.

Then she chuckled.

Then she laughed with a full-on belly laugh Santa would be hard put to top.

“Um…Glitter,” said Lil. “I’m sorry we didn’t warn you that Barrel was coming back tonight.”

“Yes, it was a last minute ‘surprise’ from Santa,” said Nim.

Glitter wiped the tears of mirth from her eyes. “Oh, that’s ok,” she said.

“It-it is?” asked Lil.

“Oh yes,” said Glitter. “I have a few tricks of my own planned to deal with that pup.”

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Glitter trotted over to Barrel and gave him an affectionate pat on the head and then started picking up the art supplies and putting them away again.

“What do you think she’ll do?” asked Nim.

“I’m afraid to ask,” said Lil.

They flew to the table and helped Glitter pick up the last of the supplies. 

“ACHOO!”

“Bless you Ni–Kercheep!”

“Bless you Li–“.

“Stop right there,” said Glitter, putting her hoof up. “You two stay back.”

“But we need to get the ingredients for the Christmas Candy Bark out,” said Nim.

“And get everyone sick?” said Glitter. “I don’t think so.”

“But–,” said Lil.

“I will take care of it. You two go rest,” said Glitter. “And blow your nose.”

Nim and Lil blinked in surprise as Glitter started setting up the kitchen while Barrel ran in circles around her.

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As she finished, Glitter sang a song to the tune of It’s Beginning to Look A Lot Like Christmas.

It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas
Barrel soon will see
That I’m a new reindeer now
No longer will I be cowed
By hi-jinks from a puppy such as he

It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas
Barrel just you wait
Now I have a few tricks of my own
When I get you all alone…
I will retaliate!

Nim and Lil looked at each other in alarm. Just what was Glitter planning?

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Mischief Makers: Marshmallow Madness

Glitter eyed the bags of marshmallows warily.

“Tell me again what the plan is for tonight?” she asked.

“We are going to build a fort out of these,” said Nim.

“Or should we build a Christmas village?” asked Lil.

“Or we could build Santa’s workshop,” said Nim.

“We are definitely going to need more marshmallows,” said Lil as she headed for the window.

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“Stop!” said Glitter. “I don’t think this is such a good idea.”

Both elves turned to Glitter with matching mischievous frowns.

“We promise we won’t make too big of a mess,” said Lil.

“Just a few marshmallow houses and a small workshop for Santa,” said Nim.

“It’s only marshmallows, Glitter,” said Lil with a wink. “It’s not like we are throwing flour and glitter all over the floor.”

Glitter sighed and nodded her head. She had not completely forgiven herself for all the havoc she’d created over the past week. How could she begrudge Nim and Lil a little fun?

“Woo hoo!” cried Nim. “Let’s get started.

At first, Nim and Lil stayed true to their promise. They started building their village while Glitter sorted the marshmallows by color and size.

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But then, things started to get sticky.

Nim accidentally lobbed a marshmallow at Lil’s head.

Lil, of course, had to retaliate.

Glitter tried to stop them, but she only got pelted with multi-colored marshmallows. She ended up ducking behind a snow globe to avoid more hits.

By the time the battle ended, marshmallows of every size and color littered the table.

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“Oops,” said Nim.

“Sorry Glitter,” said Lil as Glitter slowly stepped out from behind the snow globes.

Nim and Lil exchanged worried glances. Would this put Glitter right back over the edge?

Oh Christmas tree, oh Christmas tree
You’re covered with marshmallows
Oh Christmas tree, oh Christmas tree
They’re pink and green and yellow
A “snowball” fight, it happened here
With messy, sticky Christmas cheer
Oh Christmas tree, oh Christmas tree
You’re covered with marshmallows

“Oh no,” said Lil.

“We’ve ruined all her progress,” said Nim.

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“You two had better help me clean this up,” said Glitter. “We can’t have you getting into trouble with Santa too.”

Then she smiled and used her nose to move all the stray marshmallows into a pile.

Nim and Lil looked at each other and sighed with relief.

The old Glitter would have reprimanded them.

The old Glitter would have jotted off an Elf Behavior Report (EBR) to Santa.

The old Glitter would have been angry that they’d made such a mess.

This was a new Glitter. She’d gone from one extreme and back again, but rather than returning to her old, prim and proper self, she’d…well, she’d loosened up a bit.

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“I sure hope this new and improved Glitter will stick around,” said Nim, helping clean up the mess.

“Oh, I think she will,” said Lil with a smile.

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Mischief Makers: Clone Wars

Nim, Lil and Glitter had just made it back from the North Pole in time to sit on top of the window and wait for the boys to wake up.

“Poor Glitter,” said Lil.

Both elves watched Glitter. She was sitting a little apart from the them with her head down.

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“Yes,” said Nim. “Santa was very upset with her.”

“He didn’t say ‘Ho, ho, ho’ once,” said Lil.

“He only sang one round of Jingle Bells,” said Nim.

And he only had 5 Maple Syrup Shake-ups,” added Lil.

Santa was already in his office when the three had landed in the wee hours of the morning. He had started with his usual cheer and let Nim and Lil give their report.

But when he turned to Glitter, the sparkle in his eye went down to a mere twinkle.

“Glitter,” he had said. “I’ve been watching you.”

And that was all it took. Glitter’s slumped to the floor and begged forgiveness.

Nim and Lil peered at Glitter from the corners of their eyes. They hoped that she would soon be back to her old self, even if she was a little too proper and strict.

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“We wanted her to loosen up…a little,” said Nim.

“Yes, but she went from strict rule-follower to crazed mischief-lover,” said Lil.

“And that’s our job!” said Nim with a small smile.

The sound of the boys waking filled the air and the elves quickly froze with not-so-big smiles. It was going to be a long day.

***

“Wow! The boys sure did a great job coloring those elves,” said Lil.

Nim nodded in agreement as he stared down at the boys’ hard work.

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“Are you thinking what I’m thinking?” asked Nim with a gleam in his eye.

That depends,” said a grinning Lil. “Are you thinking we make copies of all those merry elves they colored today and post them around the house?”

“Well, no,” said Nim. “I was thinking we should eat that entire bag of mini marshmallow to get warmed up for tonight. Your idea is much better!”

“I’ll get the thumb tacks!” said Lil.

“Clones, clones everywhere!” said Nim with the biggest, goofiest grin on his face since they found out they could have an extra pound of sugar as their Christmas in July bonus.

“As long as you don’t make too big of a mess,” said a small voice from the corner. “And use tape. Thumb tacks leave holes.”

Nim and Lil whipped around and smiled at Glitter. Her head was up and her posture almost as perfect as ever. She had a small, uncertain smile on her face. They knew she would be back to her old, rule-following self in no time.

“Ok,” said Lil. “Let’s get to work!”

The elves and the on-the-mend reindeer got to work.

They sneaked into the office and made dozens of copies of the elves the boys had colored and quickly cut them out and made puppets with moving arms and legs.

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Then, they plastered them all over the living room, down the hall and on every kitchen cabinet they could before slumping in a heap, exhausted from their hard work.

“That was so much fun!” said Nim.

“The boys are going to love it!” said Lil.

“And look how easy it will be to clean up!” said Glitter as she threw away the last of the paper scraps.

Nim and Lil laughed. Yes, the old Glitter was definitely coming back.

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Mischief Makers: Merry Elves

Around noon the following day, a postcard arrived. It seemed innocent enough. The family called it “junk mail”, but the elves knew by the red, green and white printing that it was from Santa.

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Nim and Lil could just make out the code from their spot in the window.

Bright and gorgeous lights! Today, Tuesday and every day! Bears! Cats! Kangaroos! Come on down to Santa’s Zoo and see for yourself! Now is the time!

“I can’t see it very well,” said Nim craning his neck. “What does it say Lil?”

“Scratch the letters into the snow while I read them,” said Lil. “Bri, n, g,”

“Bring!” said Nim.

“Ok, next it’s g, li, t, t, e, r...Glitter!” said Lil.

“Bring Glitter…what’s next?”

“Let’s see...b, a, c, k and then to Santa’s and now is all in bold,” said Lil.

Bring Glitter back to Santa’s now!” said Nim. “She’s going to lose it.”

The elves looked at each other without their usual twinkle of mischief.

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“Bring her back? Oh he must be so upset!” said Lil.

“Well she has been causing no end of trouble ever since Barrell left,” said Nim.

Lil nodded in agreement and they waited for the rest of the day until it was time to go give Santa their report.

“At least the boys have been on top behavior today,” said Nim as they eased their way inside.

“Yes, did you see Jake pick up when his mom told him to…without grumbling one time?” said Lil.

“Or how about when Joe brushed his teeth without being asked to?” said Nim.

Both elves smiled and then slowly approached a sleeping Glitter.

“How are we going to get her to go with us?” whispered Nim.

Lil smiled and whispered, “I have an idea. Follow my lead.”

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“Hey Glitter,” said Lil. “You should come with us to the North Pole tonight.”

Glitter raised her head and yawned.

“Yeah,” added Nim, unsure of where Lil was going.

“But, what about the boys?” asked Glitter. “Won’t they wonder where I am?”

Nim and Lil shared a look that said ‘Now she’s worried about the boys?’

“Nah, they’ll just think they misplaced you,” said Nim.

“Besides, I’m sure you don’t want to miss the Maple Syrup Shake-ups that the kitchen elves are making tonight as a treat for everyone,” said Lil.

It wasn’t really a fib, there were going to be Maple Syrup Shake-ups at the North Pole and the elves knew that it was one drink no reindeer could resist.

Glitter’s ears twitched and her tail moved a wee bit, a sure sign that she was excited and ready to go.

“You go ahead and stretch your legs outside Glitter, we’ll be right there,” said Nim.

“What’s up?” asked Lil as soon as Glitter left.

“We may not be back in time to do anything fun for the boys,” said Nim.

“Oh, right,” said Lil.

“Let’s just leave the coloring project we were going to do last night before we were so rudely locked out,” said Nim.

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Nim placed two Christmas Elf puppet pages on the table with a new box of crayons for each boy. Lil added a box of fasteners for the arms and legs and dashed off a quick note.

Merry elves for you
To color all day through
Nim and Lil

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Mischief Makers: Glitter Glitters

Nim and Lil stood on the window sill trying to get into the house.

“Let us in Glitter!” Nim yelled.

Glitter ignored him.

“You are already in trouble with Santa for the M&M mess…don’t make it worse,” said Lil.

Glitter turned her head to the side and sprayed some more snow-from-a-can on the window. Then she trotted back to the tree.

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“What do you think she’s doing?” said Lil.

“Not sure,” says Nim. “It looks like she’s…organizing lego blocks?”

“Well that’s a good sign, right?” asks Lil.

“I guess. I just don’t know why she locked us out,”

“Hey Glitter!” Lil said, rubbing the snow away from the glass. “What are you building?”

Glitter had started putting the legos together on top of the M&M tower. Lil and Nim watched as she added block after block.

“I can’t tell what it is,” said Nim.

“Neither can–oh no,” said Lil. “Look at that.”

Lil pointed to a small container inside Glitter’s creation.

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“What? What is it?” asked Nim.

“It’s glitter,” said Lil.

“I know it’s Glitter!” said Nim.

“No,” said Lil. “Not Glitter the Reindeer…glitter, the sparkly dusty stuff.”

Nim suddenly saw the container of shiny gold and white glitter.

“Oh no,” he said.

“Indeed,” said Lil.

Glitter stepped back from her Lego creation and slowly turned to Lil and Nim. Her eyes sparkled and she looked as though she was smiling…or grimacing. It’s hard to tell with a reindeer.

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“Oh Glitter! Don’t do it!” said Lil.

“Is that what I think it is?” asked Nim.

“Only if you think it is a catapult,” said Lil.

Nim and Lil watched in stunned dismay as Glitter loaded the catapult with the shiny glitter and, with one final look at the elves, launched it at the tree.

“I can’t watch,” said Lil, covering her eyes.

As Glitter flew through the air glitter rained down on the tree, floor and furniture.

 

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“We really should have told her that Santa wasn’t happy with her behavior,” said Nim.

“Yes,” said Lil staring out at the mayhem. “We really should have.”

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Mischief Makers: Secret Codes

Nim and Lil were huddled together with a group of fellow Mischief Makers getting ready to return to their assignments. Buddy, one of the newer, tinier recruits, was showing them a new tool he’d used to hide candy canes for his kids to find.

“How does it work?” Nim asked looking intently at a colorful decoder.

“It’s easy,” said Buddy. “Each picture represents a letter so you just spin to the matching picture and, voila!”

“Wow,” said Lil with a big smile. “That is so cool!”

“You can borrow it if you want to,” said Buddy. “I won’t need it back until Christmas Eve.”

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Nim and Lil couldn’t resist such an offer. They thanked their new friend and took off, eager to use it with the boys.

When they got back to the house, they found Glitter playing dominoes with Leonard and a polar bear. 

“Hi Glitter,” said Lil.

“We have a really cool secret decoder to use tonight,” said Nim. “You want to help us?”

Oh I’m playing a game with Leonard
Started just before you entered
Why don’t you do it on your own?
We’re in the zone, in the zone, in the zone

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“That’s an interesting version of Let it Snow,” said Lil as she and Nim went back to the kitchen.

The boys had followed the directions for the candy cane garden and left a note of their own.

Thank you for the garden Nim and Lil! 

“I’m so happy they liked it!” said Nim.

“They are going to like it even better tomorrow,” said Lil as she replaced the red hots with mini candy canes.

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Nim suddenly jumped in the air.

“Let’s hide the gardens!” he said.

“Hide them?” said Lil in confusion. “Why would we hide the garden?”

“We’ll hide them and then write a secret message telling the boys where to find them,” said Nim holding the decoder up.

Lil nodded with excitement. 

The elves decided to hide one Candy Cane Garden in the bathtub and one in the refrigerator. Then, they carefully wrote a message using the decoder. When it was finished, they stretched and put the decoder and message where the garden used to be.

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“They are going to love this,” said Nim.

Lil nodded in agreement.

Glitter added her approval to the tune of The Grinch.

It’s a good game, Nim and Lil
Solving clues oh what a thrill
They’ll decode each secret letter
They’ll get better and better
Nim and Li-ill
Nim and Lil!

“I kind of like this new side of Glitter,” said Nim as he hung by his legs from the light fixture.

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Lil smiled. “Me too.”

If the elves knew what was in store for them the next night, they would think differently about this “new” Glitter.

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Mischief Makers: Candy Cane Garden

“Did you remember the sprinkles?” asked Lil on their flight back from the North Pole.

“Yep!” said Nim.

“What about the red hots?” asked Lil.

“Lil, I have everything,” said Nim with a laugh. “Why are you so worried?”

“Why am I so worried?!” she asked. “Didn’t you hear a word Santa said?”

When Nim and Lil got to the North Pole that night to file their report, Santa had already heard about the M&M incident and he was not happy.

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“Ho, ho, ho,” he had said. “I hear Glitter has been causing quite the ruckus.”

He had then asked the elves to deliver a message to Glitter. She is not allowed to “help” for the next few nights until she learns to behave and stop making messes.

“I’d hate to see your team lose the Top Shelf Elf trophy,” Santa had warned.

“Yes, I remember,” said Nim, frowning at the thought of giving up the Top Shelf Elf status.

“Then you know how disappointed poor Glitter is going to be,” said Lil.

Lil was right. Glitter would be crushed knowing that she was in trouble with the Big Guy.

“And we have to be the ones to tell her,” said Nim with a heavy sigh.

“Exactly,” said Lil as they zipped through the window.

“Where is she?” asked Nim when they landed.

The two friends searched for Glitter and finally found her playing checkers with Leonard, the odd looking stuffed reindeer…or was he a giraffe? No one really knew. 

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“Hi Glitter,” said Nim. “Who’s your friend?”

Oh, Leonard the Reindeer
Was the strangest looking guy
With his red body and spotted head
And two wide and glossy eyes

Oh, Leonard the Reindeer
Doesn’t say that much at all
He just sits and stares out into space
But we’re having quite a ball

Nim and Lil looked at Glitter with concern.

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“Maybe we will tell her what Santa said later,” said a wide-eyed Nim.

“I really thought she’d snap out of it after the M&M tower,” said Lil.

“I say we just leave her here,” said Nim. “She seems pretty…er, occupied.”

Lil shook her head as she watched Glitter jump 4 of Leonard’s checkers while still humming her revised version of Frosty the Snowman.

“Ok,” said Lil. “I guess we can tell her what Santa said later.”

Nim and Lil raced to the kitchen to take inventory of their supplies.

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“Soil?” asked Lil.

“Check,” said Nim pouring a bag of snow from the North Pole into a “planter”.

Seeds?” asked Lil.

“Check,” said Nim pointing to a a bowl of red hots.

“Fertilizer?” asked Lil.

“Check!” said Nim shaking a jar of sprinkles.

“I can’t believe we’ve never done this before,” said Lil.

“I know,” said Nim. “It’s a perfect surprise for the boys. A garden in winter!”

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The elves were so excited about their surprise that they completely forgot to tell Glitter what Santa had said.

And by the time they remembered…it was much too late.

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Mischief Makers: Tumbling Tower

Nim and Lil returned from the North Pole to find Glitter fast asleep under the tree with cookie crumbs stuck to her fur.

“Maybe this is for the best,” said Lil.

“Yes,” agreed Nim. She needs a nice long rest after last night.”

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“I still can’t believe she made such a mess,” said Lil shaking her head.

“So…,” began Nim. “What do you want to do?”

Both elves were happily anticipating putting one of their many projects in action. So far, the season had been chaotic and all they’d been doing was cleaning up other people’s messes and running interference between Glitter, Barrel and Santa.

“Dye the milk green?” asks Lil.

“Nah, we did that last year,” said Nim. “We could hang streamers all over?”

“That’s too close to toilet papering the Christmas tree,” said Lil. “We promised Santa we wouldn’t do that again.”

“Oh yeah,” said Nim as he absently played with Legos.

“Hey!” said Lil. “Let’s build a big tower out of Legos and fill it with candy!”

Nim smiled and flew to the Lego table, pulling out armfuls of blocks to build their tower. Lil zoomed to the kitchen to search for candy.

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Lil was just pouring a bag of red and green M&Ms into the tower when Glitter woke up. She stretched and brayed.

“Hello Glitter!” said Nim. “Did you have a good nap?”

Glitter nodded sleepily.

“What are you doing?” she asked with a yawn.

“We built a tower of Legos and filled it to the top with M&Ms,” said Lil.

“Oh no!” said Nim pulling scraps of paper out of his pocket. “We forgot to hide the jokes!”

The two elves zipped off to hide Christmas jokes around the house.

As they were hiding the last joke, they heard Glitter singing.

Deck the floor with lots of candy
Fa la la la la, la la la la
Make a mess that’s fine and dandy
Fa la la la la, la la la la
M&Ms will roll and scatter
Fa la la, la la la, la la la
Making noise that sounds like chatter
Fa la la la la, la la la la

At the end of her tune, Nim and Lil heard the sound of hundreds of M&Ms scattering across the floor.

“Oh no!” Lil cried.

Both elves raced to the scene of the crime to find Glitter quietly munching on M&Ms as if she hadn’t just destroyed all their hard work.

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“Glitter, what did you do!?” Nim said.

Suddenly, all of the lights in the house came on. Nim and Lil quickly hid as the family came bounding down the stairs.

Glitter stood in the middle of the mess.

“At least we won’t get the blame,” said Lil.

“Yep, She’s been caught…red-hoofeded,” Nim snorted.

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