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.
“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.
“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.
“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.
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.