Category Archives: For the Kids

Mischief Makers Day 17: Meowy Christmas!

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Figgy and Pixie waited nervously outside Santa’s office. The results were in and the report was written. 

The door opened and Nim peeked out. “Santa’s ready for you.” 

Nim’s face gave nothing away and Lil would barely look at them when they sailed in the room. Not a good sign. 

“Figgy. Pixie,” Santa started. “Mr. Grimly has submitted his report to the DFFF.”


Santa’s eyes twinkled. “And I’m happy to say that he found nothing negative to note!”

Figgy and Pixie slumped to the floor, relieved that they were not in trouble. 

“Oh thank goodness!” Pixie sighed.

“Take that Birthday Beagle!”

“Actually,” said Lil. “It was the Tooth Fairy who made the complaint.”

“Whaaat?!” Figgy was appalled. “But we helped her when Jake lost his tooth!”

Nim narrowed his eyes at Figgy and Pixie. “Yes, if by helped you mean decorated the tooth pillow with ribbons and bows and left a glitter-covered dollar in addition to the 50 cents she normally leaves.”

“Too much?” Pixie asked.

Nim and Lil just shook their heads, but couldn’t hide relieved smiles. Disaster had been averted…at least for now.

* * *

“Thank you SOOOO much!” Joe’s smile was huge and his eyes sparkled. “I don’t know how you did it, but Mom and Dad were very happy when they saw the Lego blocks all picked up and neatly organized.”

Figgy and Pixie were happy to hear Operation Clean-up had been a success. 

“And don’t worry. We didn’t take credit for it. I told them that you guys must have done it while we were sleeping.”

“Does that mean you are still in trouble?”

Joe shrugged. “They still aren’t too happy with us, but the cleaned up Lego room definitely softened them up.”

“Are we ready to play with kittens?” Pixie clapped her hands.

“Yep!” Joe pulled out tiny cat ears and masks. “I made these for you yesterday.”

“Oh Joe, they are adorable!”

“Jake helped with the whiskers and the—.”

Joe’s eyes widened as they heard noises coming from the dark hallway. Someone was up.

It’s Jake!” whispered Joe. “I better go!” 

He dropped the cat costumes and raced to the hallway. Figgy and Pixie heard him murmuring to Jake. 

“What are you doing Joe?”

“Nothing, just getting a drink of water. Go back to bed.” 

Joe turned back to Pixie and Figgy. ‘Go ahead without me,’ he mouthed.

“Whew. That was a close one,” said Pixie.

“Too close,” Figgy agreed. “Again.”

They didn’t say it, but they weren’t sure how much longer they could keep this up. Jake was getting closer and closer to discovering the truth about the Mischief Makers.

Shaking her head, Pixie zipped to the garage door. “C’mon, Figgy. Let’s get those cats dressed up!”

Figgy followed her into the garage. “Here kitty, kitty.”




An orange, white and gray tornado descended on the elves. Rough, sandpaper tongues licked their faces and loud, in-stereo purrs filled the garage. 

“Ok, ok!” Figgy laughed. 

Pixie scratched Rusty behind the ears while Dusty batted at Figgy’s hat. 

It took them awhile, but they managed to get elf hats and ears on the two kittens.


Echo, the old gray girl, sat in the corner, glowering at the group. Poor Rusty trotted over, trying to rub noses and got a hiss and nose bat for his trouble. 

“Oh Echo, if only you would play with them,” said Pixie.


Figgy shook his head and approached Echo slowly, knowing this was going to be the hardest part. “Here kitty, kitty.”


Echo thumped Figgy on the head, knocking him across the garage and raced to the corner where she continued to hiss and growl quietly.

Pixie couldn’t help but laugh. “Well, we knew that was a longshot.”

“Now who’s going to be Santa?”

“We’ll just have to make do without a Santa Claws.” Pixie adjusted her headband and applied her whiskers. 

Figgy noticed a bag on the freezer. “Oooo! Cookies!”

Pixie wandered over. “Joe must have left them for us. A midnight snack.”

“Temptations…sounds delicious!”

Mischief Makers Day 16: Lego Villages

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“Still no word?” Figgy and Pixie met Nim and Lil outside Santa’s office at the North Pole. It had been two whole days since the audit, and they hadn’t heard a peep from the DFFF.

“‘Fraid not,” said Nim.

“It’s not unusual though,” said Lil. “Paperwork gets backed up, especially around the holidays.”

Pixie sighed and crossed her arms. “Well, that doesn’t make me feel any better.”  

Lil patted her friend on the back and Nim gave Figgy an encouraging smile. 

“Don’t worry,” said Glitter. “I’m sure The Grump didn’t find a thing.”

Although Glitter meant well, they all knew that the likelihood of that was slim. Audits at the North Pole were not random. They normally meant a suspicion of…something. They just didn’t know what, why or who initiated it. 

“We’d better get back,” said Figgy, breaking the silence.

* * *

When the duo got back to the boys’ house, they found a note from Joe on the table, hidden under the salt shaker. 

Hi guys,

So…Jake and I got into REALLY big trouble today. 

We…er…had a fight with Lego blocks. ALL the Lego blocks. 

Anyway, we had to go to bed and have to get up early to clean it all up. Just wanted to let you know so you don’t do something super messy since Mom and Dad are already mad. 

We’ll do that thing with the cats tomorrow. 


“Oh man,” said Figgy. “I was really looking forward to tonight’s plan.”

“I know, but it will just have to wait another night. Joe would be really upset if we did it without him.”

Knowing she was right, Figgy flew to the counter where Joe, or someone, had left a stack of sugar cubes shaped like a tiny chair. “I wonder if he made this for us.”

Pixie picked up a cube and took a bite. “I don’t know, but it’s the perfect thinking snack.”

“What should we do, Pixie?”

“We can’t do the cat thing and we can’t make a big mess, so a glitter war is out.”

Figgy frowned. “Was a glitter war ever in?”

Pixie pondered over their predicament for a few minutes, taking another sugar cube from the chair. 

“Don’t eat all of it,” Figgy said. “Someone worked hard building it.”

Pixie suddenly smiled and sailed down toward the stairs, knocking the sugar cube chair all over the counter. “I know!”

“Hey!” Figgy yelled after her. “Look what you did!”

“C’mon Figgy! We’ve got work to do!”

Figgy followed after Pixie, looking mournfully over the mess she’d just made. “What are we doing?” he asked when he landed next to her amid the Lego destruction. 

“Well…let’s clean up this mess and have a contest!”

Figgy looked around at the wreckage. Lego blocks littered the floor. The couch cushions were lined up like a wall and it looked as though the boys had a battle.

“Whoa,” Figgy said.

“I know,” Pixie added. “We’ve got work to do. But, think how happy Joe and Jake will be tomorrow when they find all the work done?”

“Riiight,” said Figgy. “But, they made the mess.”

“You’re right, but if Joe’s letter is any indication, they’ve learned their lesson and won’t do it again, so it wouldn’t hurt to help. Just this once.”

“Hmm. I suppose you’re right, but–”.

“And then…I challenge you to a Christmas Village build-off!

Mischief Makers Day 15: Snowmen at Night

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Mr. Grimly had wandered around the house, making notes and tut-tutting until the sun started to peek over the horizon. 

By the time he left, the elve’s nerves were frayed and they barely had time to finish the cereal display. 

“Well,” asked Joe. “Did he find anything?”

They had told Joe that it was routine for the DFFF to send in an auditor and that it was nothing to worry about. But they knew he didn’t quite believe them. 

Pixie forced a big smile. “We won’t know for a few days.” 

Figgy flew to the table with a bag of carrots and a box grater. “Nim and Lil will find out first, so let’s just focus on the plan.”

Figgy was taking the audit especially hard. He’d been in a foul mood ever since Mr. Grimly asked him what he did before becoming a Mischief Maker.

“Mr. Frost, what was your position at the North Pole prior to joining the Mischief Makers?”

“Uh, well…”. Figgy glanced back at his friends.


Eyes downcast, he whispered, “I worked in…Reindeer Relations.”

Mr. Grimly tapped his toe. “And what, exactly, did you do for that department?”

“I, er, removed…waste.”

“And your title?”

Figgy harrumphed. “I was the Premiere Pooper Scooper, ok? Are you happy? I scooped poop!”

Figgy had been mortified. Thankfully, no one had laughed. Although, Pixie did hide a smile. But that may have been nerves. At least, that is what he told himself. 

“Figgy, what is that for?” Pixie pointed at the box grater. 

“You’ll see,” he said with a smirk.

“Yes, you’ll see.” Joe giggled and smiled secretively at Figgy. 

Pixie arched her brow. “What are you two up to now?”

“Why don’t you two go build the snowman in the living room and I’ll set up the craft.” Figgy winked. 

* * *

When Pixie and Joe came back to the kitchen after building the biggest blanket Snowman the world had ever seen, Figgy had finished setting up his big surprise. 

He sat atop the box grater with marshmallows, candy canes, chocolate chips and licorice ropes all around him. A small sign next to him read “Snowman Nose Rejection Department” and a carrot was processed halfway through the grater. 

“Oh Figgy!” Pixie laughed. 

Joe clutched his stomach, giggling uncontrollably and Figgy’s smile lit up the room. 

It was just the cheer-up they all needed. 

Mischief Makers Day 13: Rub-a-dub-dub Four Elves in a Tub

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“I’m telling you right now, Chairman, I will not allow anyone to interfere in the mischief making.” 

Santa had never sounded so upset. His voice shook and not with merriment. Cherry cheeks beet-red, he glared hard at the short creature standing before him. 

Nim, Lil, Glitter, Figgy and Pixie stood outside the door to Santa’s office. They were stopping by to report on the night and share how hilarious Joe’s parents thought it was. They also wanted to warn Santa that Jake was starting to have doubts. But now was definitely not the time.

They tiptoed slowly away from the door and flew off into the night, heading for the house. 

“What do you think that was about?” Figgy flew faster to catch up with Nim and Lil. 

“Who was that?” asked Pixie. “He didn’t look like an elf.”

Lil slowed her speed and glanced at Nim. “That’s because he wasn’t. He was a gnome from the DFFF…Department of Festive Fun and Frivolity.”

Nim nodded. “And not just any gnome. His name is Mr. Grimly, but they call him “The Grump”. He’s the head of the auditing team.”

Pixie and Figgy glanced nervously at each other, not sure what exactly that meant for the Mischief Makers, but it sounded ominous. 

Lil answered their unspoken question. “I’m afraid the Mischief Maker program is being audited.”

The group landed hard on the kitchen counter, too shocked to speak. Why would they, the Mischief Makers, need to be audited? Pixie and Figgy were still not sure how an audit would affect them.

“So…what exactly does that mean?” Figgy asked.

“Well,” began Nim. “It means that the Birthday Beagle and Easter Bunny may just get their way. If the audit team finds that the Mischief Program is getting too much funding, we may have to make some cuts.”

Pixie gulped. “Cuts?”

Lil nodded. “Yes, and I worry that the first cut they will make will be to split up…the teams.”

Figgy’s eyes filled with dread. “You mean…”.

“Figgy and I might-might be…separated?”

Nim and Lil did not have to answer. The looks on their faces said it all. 

“Hey guys,” Joe bounced to the counter. “Wait until you see the surprise I have for–hey, why so glum?”

False smiles burst onto the elves’ faces and forced laughter filled the room. 

“Nothing!” squeaked Pixie. 

“We’re fine!” said Figgy.

“No problems here!” chanted Nim and Lil.

Joe was not convinced. He looked at each of them in turn, wondering what could be putting that frown on their faces. 

“Okaaay,” he said finally. “If you’re sure…”.

“Yep!” they chorused. 


“So…what is it you wanted to tell us?” asked Pixie.

Joe shook his head and bounced on his toes, remembering the surprise he had planned. “Wait until you see what I’ve done in the bathroom!”

“Uh, I’m not sure we really need to see what you’ve done in the–”.

“Oh it’s not that!” Joe’s face turned red. “It’s a surprise in the bathtub!”

Joe turned and raced to the bathroom, the elves following close behind. When they saw the surprise Joe had worked so hard on, they smiled in delight. He had filled the bathtub and created a small swimming pool for them. 

“I figured you guys have been working so hard, you could use a little break from the activity. So…pool party!”

“Joe, this is just so thoughtful!” Lil clapped. 

Joe smiled. “Only thing is, you have to keep the splashing down. So you don’t wake my parents up. They’d be mad enough to write Santa and tell him to reassign you two.”

The elves looked uneasily at each other.  He had no idea how right he was.

Mischief Makers Day 12: Foiled Foolishness

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“Why does Glitter have to stay behind again?” Figgy asked.

“That’s just it, Figgy,” said Pixie. “We don’t know.”

Lil floated down from the window sill. “Nim and I don’t even know. Santa came rushing into the barn shouting for Glitter. He pulled her into one of the empty stalls and all we could hear were murmurs and exclamations.”

Nim scratched his head. “Whatever it was, when they both left, they did not look jolly.”


Streams of tinfoil ran down the hallway from Joe’s room to the kitchen. Joe came barreling after the roll with a huge smile on his face. 

“Whoa!” Figgy jumped out of the way as the roll came sliding toward him. 

“Yikes!” Nim and Lil shot to the ceiling to avoid the tin foil tornado.

“Eek!” Pixie somersaulted in the air to avoid being wrapped in a tin foil blanket.

Joe slid to a stop in front of the group and promptly slipped on the carpet of foil. “Where’s Glitter?”

Nim, Lil, Pixie, and Figgy silently agreed. Joe did not need to know that there was a problem at the North Pole. After all, they didn’t know much beyond the Beagle and Bunny’s complaint.

“She had a…tiny reindeer issue to deal with. Nothing major,” said Lil. 

“Oh. Well…I guess we won’t be able to wrap her up in tin foil. Who wants to go first?”

“What do you mean?” Pixie asked. 

“Tin foil mummies!”

“Come again?” Lil said.

“Mummies! I’m going to wrap you all up to look like tin foil mummies.” Joe smiled.

“No,” said Figgy.

“Absolutely not,” added Nim.

Pixie and Lil nodded in agreement.

Joe frowned. “Why not? It will be fun.”

“We hung from a tall mountain all day and now you want us to stay wrapped up in-in tin foil!” Lil put her hands on her hips.

Nim narrowed his eyes. “How about we wrap you in tin foil Mister!” 

Joe crossed his arms and stuck out his bottom lip. “I bet Glitter would have done it.”

The elves guffawed and slapped their knees.

“Nice try,” said Nim. “But we all know there is no way Glitter would have agreed to this madness.”

“Oh fine,” Joe turned and started rolling up the tin foil. 

“Wait,” said Pixie. “We can still use the tin foil for tonight’s trick.”

Joe turned back, hope in his eyes. 

“Yes,” said Figgy, flying to the shoe rack. 

“Ah,” said Nim. “I think I know what you are thinking.”

“Tin foil shoes!” said Lil.

“Tin foil wine!” shouted Pixie.

“Tin foil cats!” added Figgy.

The others turned to Figgy with raised eyebrows. 

“Er, too far?”

Nim shook his head. “Let’s just do the shoes, Figgy. Just the shoes.”

Mischief Makers Day 11: A Sticky Situation

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“Apparently,” began Nim. “Joe was able to convince Jake that it was all a dream.”

“And,” added Pixie. “He assured him that the reason for the dream was that he is just so excited we’re back.”

Glitter frowned, not convinced. Jake was wide awake when she went to the bedroom to look for ribbon. In her mind, there was no way he would believe it was all just a dream. 

Figgy clapped his hands together. “Ok, what are we doing tonight.”

Joe came running into the kitchen with rings of painters tape climbing up his arms. “Hi guys! I thought tonight we could do some climbing.”

Nim eyed the painters tape uncomfortably. Heights were definitely not his favorite.

Lil saw Nim’s face and laughed. “Oh for Cupid’s sake Nim. You fly. Every night. Up in the sky!”

I know that,” Nim said defensively. “But when I fly, I have all the control. I’m not dangling from the sky, trapped in painters tape.”

Everyone chuckled. 

Joe smiled. “It’s ok Nim. You can be at the bottom of the mountain.

“Mountain?” Pixie raised an eyebrow.

“Yep! I’ve built you a mountain out of paper mache!”

Joe led them into the living room where next to a tree was a tall, jagged mountain.

Joe clapped his hands together. “See? It’s not too tall. Tiny really.”

Lil gaped. “Tiny? Tiny?? Maybe for you, but we are tiny ourselves and that is GIGANTIC!”

Figgy gulped. “And jagged.”

Pixie, wide-eyed, stared up at the mountain and then at Joe, who towered above them all. “Uh, Joe? How in the world are we going to stay attached?”

Joe looked at the mountain, at the painters tape on his wrists, and then back at the elves. 

“Hmmm. I guess your right. This painters tape probably won’t hold you up for very long with all those crevices.”

Nim sighed, relieved. 

“How about thumbtacks?”

All the elves gasped in horror. “Thumbtacks!!??”

“Oops!” he exclaimed, shamefaced. “I forgot, your hands and feet are really hands and feet.”

The elves sighed in relief. That was a close one.

“I know!” Joe ran to the kitchen and rummaged in the junk drawer. “Here!”

In his hands, he held a giant package of sticky strips. “This way you won’t fall down when you stop moving.”

Figgy eyed the strips, skeptical of the plan. “Are you sure, Joe? It seems kind of…risky.”

“Oh don’t worry. We put Barrel up on the ceiling with these  in June. He stayed stuck until October!”

Mischief Makers Day 10: Ornaments

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You know presents and stockings and glitter, confetti
Bright lights and flashers and elven spaghetti
But do you recall…the best darn present of all…
Ornaments, hand-made, hot-glued
Fingers burnt, glue in your hair
Glitter around the table
Paper crinkled here and there
Craft sticks and lots of stickers
Shiny paper, tin foil crowns
Everyone loves the craft day
It’s the best darn day around!

Pixie and Figgy finished the second round of the jingle they wrote while laying the supplies for handmade ornaments out for the boys. Joe stumbled into the kitchen, rubbing sleepy eyes.

“Sorry I’m late guys,” he yawned. “Who’s turn is it?”

Pixie and Figgy had noticed that Joe seemed more tired than usual. They figured he was staying up too late each night and were trying to encourage him to sleep more. 

“We’ve got it tonight, Joe. You can go back to bed.” Figgy set the box of googly eyes on the counter.

“No, I want to help. I ju–u-u–uhhh–st need to….”. 

Pixie’s eyes twinkled. “Why don’t you get some sleep tonight while we get the ornament supplies set up.”

Figgy nodded in agreement. “You’ll be full of fresh ideas for tomorrow night. We’ve got this covered.”

Joe nodded sleepily and trudged back to his room. “Okay. If you’re surrrrr.”

As soon as Joe left, Pixie let out a high-pitched whistle. Glitter, Nim, Lil, Barrel and Leonard burst out of drawers and cabinets. “All right team, time to get busy!” 

“Let’s see…”. Pixie consulted her clipboard. “Red and green Dixie cups?”

“Check!” said Figgy.

“Buttons, assorted sizes and colors?”

“Check!” called Nim.


“Check!” squeaked Lil.

“Foam sticky stars?”

“RUFF!” barked Barrel. 

“Red and white ribbon?”

Glitter shuffled.

“Glitter?” Pixie prompted. 

Glitter pawed the ground. 

Pixie stared at her pointedly. 

“I–I forgot it.”

Nim and Lil gasped. Glitter was the most organized reindeer in the North Pole. Not to mention a stickler for details. 

“Uh,” said Figgy. “You did what now?”

“Yes, I forgot. I was…busy.”

“You were busy?” Pixie said incredulously. “Glitter, you were in charge of the ribbon. How are we going to hang the ornaments from the light fixture?”

“There’s kitchen twine in the drawer under the microwave.” Glitter scuffed a hoof on the table.

“That’s hardly festive, Glitter!” 


Pixie could not believe her little elven ears. “Rustic? With bright Christmas colors and neon green dixie cups??”

“Ohh-kay,” broke in Figgy. “I think the boys have some ribbon in their room. I’ll just sneak in and see if I can find—.”

“No, I’ll do it.” Glitter headed toward the bedroom. 

The elves waited until Glitter was out of earshot before expressing their surprise at Glitter’s behavior. 

“Glitter never forgets anything,” said Pixie.

Nim chuckled. “I know. She’ll never let us live down the time we threw glitter all over the house.”

Lil smiled. “Or the time you knocked the Christmas tree over.” 

“Or the time Pixie and I set the garage on fire.”

Pixie raised her eyebrows. “Uh, we never did that, Figgy.”

“We didn’t?”

Pixie shook her head.

“Huh. That must have been at my last job.”

“Anyway,” interrupted Nim. “We’ll have a talk with her back at the North Pole. She might be feeling a little stressed with everything going on with Santa.”

Suddenly, the sound of galloping hooves filled the room. Glitter came barrelling down the hallway, a look of horror on her face. 

“Glitter, what’s wrong?” Pixie asked with concern.

“It’s Jake. I think he saw.”

A knot of cold dread dropped like a stone in Pixie’s stomach.

“Saw what?” asked Figgy, though he already knew the answer.

“Saw me…moving.

Mischief Makers Day 8: Sprinkle, Sprinkle Little Star

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“Lil couldn’t make it tonight,” said Nim. “There was a…mishap in Santa’s workshop. She has to do damage control.”

“Oh no!” said Pixie. 

“What happened? And what about Glitter?” asked Figgy. Glitter was also MIM–Missing in Mischief.

Nim made circles on the floor with the tip of his toe. “Let’s just say that one of the newer recruits had an unfortunate mishap with the ribbon cutter. A very unfortunate mishap.”

Pixie and Figgy’s imaginations went running wild at this news. 

“Did he wrap himself in ribbons and bows?” asked Pixie with a giggle.


“Was it pretty paper?”

“Pretty ribbons?”

“Were they…blue?”

Pixie and Figgy burst into a stormy fit of giggles.

Nim eyed them with concern. “Uh, are you two ok?”

Pixie cleared her throat while Figgy rolled on the floor clutching his stomach.

“Sorry, Nim. We’re just a little tired from last night’s celebration.”

Suddenly, Glitter burst through the window startling the three elves. 

“Nim, come quickly. There’s been a new development and we need all elves on deck.”

Nim’s face drained of color as he flew towards the window. “Sorry guys, I have to get back to Santa’s Workshop.”

“We’ll come too!” Pixie said.

“No, no,” said Glitter. “All active Mischief Makers need to stay in the field. We need to keep to the schedule as much as we can.” And with that, Nim and Glitter raced through the window and into the night leaving Pixie and Figgy wondering what in the world was going on at the North Pole. 

“Well,” said Figgy. “That was certainly odd.”

Pixie had her own thoughts on what was going on. She’d overheard a conversation in the Elfettes bathroom, but she didn’t want to tell Figgy what she suspected…especially if she was wrong. 

“I’m sure they’ve got whatever it is under control. We should get busy making the dough and baking the cookies. We’ve got a long night ahead.”

Figgy nodded, but couldn’t help but wonder at the forced cheer in Pixie’s voice.

Mischief Makers Day 7: Bathroom Full of Bows

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“Do you think they’ll come, Glitter?” Figgy asked.

Glitter huffed. “Like I told you the last time you asked…and the time before that…and the zillionth time before that, I don’t know.” 

“Calm down, Figgy,” said Pixie. “I’m sure they will be here. Let’s just get the big surprise ready.”

* * *

“I don’t think we should go, Lil,” Nim said as he slowly put away the ribbons and bows from the wrap-a-thon.

“Everyone was a little…stressed last night, Nim. And they invited us to come tonight, remember?”

Yes, but they sent Glitter to ask us.”

Lil sat next to Nim on the toy shelf and put her arm around him. “You know, we may have been a little over the top when we visited.”


“And we did steal the ball pit Joe made for them.”

“Yes, but still…”.

“AND, did we really need to laugh at the “Gaspetti” incident?”

Nim grunted. “I guess you have a point. But…well, they get to play with Joe! And it’s just not…”.

“Fair?” Lil asked with a small smile. 

“Yes! We were Joe and Jake’s elves for so long and now Figgy and Pixie get to play with him, plan with him and prank with him!”

Lil nodded.

“So when Joe made the ball pit for us–them, I just wanted to join in.”

“I know, Nim. But now it’s their turn and we should feel lucky that they want to invite us to be part of tonight’s mischief.”

Nim floated up, dragging his feet on the ground. “Ok, Lil. Let’s go.”

* * *

“Did you hear that?” Pixie whispered.

“I think it’s the—SURPISE!!! 

Everybody knows
that Christmastime is best
Tinsel, ribbons, bows

Zeal and zip and zest!
Oh! Climbing walls
What a ball!
Colors everywhere!
Green and red and white and blue
They’re even in your hair! Hey!

Mischief Makers Day 5: Cooking with Pixie

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“Twenty-six bags!” Santa fumed. “Twenty-six bags of popcorn spilled all over the living room, in the couch cushions…even the TV remote had popcorn stuck in it!” 

Pixie and Figgy stood with their heads bowed in Santa’s office. Nim and Lil hovered in the background, watching sympathetically. 

“W-well,” began Figgy. “We can make it up to them tonight.”

“Yeah,” added Pixie. “W-we thought we’d make cookies. We have all the sprinkles and red–”.

“COOKIES?!” Santa roared. “Sprinkles? Red-hots? Sugar all over the kitchen??? I THINK NOT!”

Never, ever, in the history of Christmas, had Nim and Lil seen Santa this agitated. They had a sneaking suspicion that there was more going on than anyone knew. Something was bothering Santa. Something big.

The big guy took a deep, calming breath and closed his eyes. He counted to ten. “Okay. I am sorry for my outburst, but you both must understand the gravity of this situation. Since this program started, the mischief has become more and more elaborate and intense. Parents are becoming increasingly…unhappy with the North Pole.”

This was news to Nim and Lil. Sure, they knew that the mischief making became more complex each year and there were always a few complaints, but that was just a few parents. Wasn’t it?

“Well,” peeped Pixie. “We were going to follow-up with a hot chocolate river tonight, but I suppose we could do something else instead.”

Santa’s eyes narrowed and tight lines formed around his usually cherubic mouth. “Please do.”

* * *

The flight back to Joe’s house was silent. Uneasy thoughts raced through Pixie and Figgy’s minds.

“I’ve never, ever seen Santa so mad,” Figgy sighed.

“Me neither. Something else must be going on. He didn’t get this mad at Nim and Lil when they shaving creamed the whole bathroom.”

“Or, when Nim knocked over the Christmas tree.” 

Pixie landed with a thud on the kitchen table and looked around. “Where do you think Joe is?”

“We are later than usual. Maybe he fell asleep?”

Pixie’s eyes lit up. “If he’s asleep…we can make a meal for the whole family!”

Figgy nodded. “But what should we make?”

“Hmmm.” Pixie tapped her foot, thinking. She flew to the pantry and rummaged around, throwing ingredients out.

“Careful, Pixie! Remember, we don’t want to make a big mess.”


She continued to sift through the ingredients until she found what she was looking for. She hefted a box to the counter and turned triumphantly to Figgy. 

“For breakfast?” Figgy asked.

“Oh Figgy, Elf Gaspetti is good anytime!”

Figgy grinned. “Ok, I’ll get the sprinkles and maple syrup!”

“And I’ll find the chocolate sauce and marinara!”

This was going to be the perfect apology for the “Popcorn Incident”.