Christa Pitts, understandably, is a little taken aback when I confess that I've dreamed she would just disappear. You can probably already tell this is not the kind of column suitable for little eyes, eyes that widen in wonder and delight at the sight of that demanding, loathsome little Elf.
Avert those eyes, please. Things are going to get ugly.
You may have heard rumblings about the Elf.
This is a creature whose celebrity ascent has been meteoric. Within seven years of his birth, the Elf has scored his own website, Twitter account, $16 million in sales for 2011, an annual growth rate of 149 percent and a movie deal. Plus, he conquered Manhattan as a gargantuan balloon in this year's Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade. TMZ has been chasing rumors that he's holed up at Chateau Marmont with Taylor Swift.
Christa, a former QVC host, is one of the Elf's creators.
"When we were growing up, there was an elf in our home. It was our Christmas tradition," she told me from the Elf offices in Marietta, Ga. "We are the Southern branch of the North Pole."
Not familiar with this "tradition," as the Elf's online CV calls it? (Or La Tradicion, in the espa?l version of his back story.) No, neither was I.
Nor had most of America heard about the December magic that Christa and her sister, Chanda Bell, two gorgeous Georgia peaches, had grown up with.
Their mother, Carol Aebersold, introduced a little elf into their lives the day after Thanksgiving. The Elf watched them all day long from a perch somewhere in their house. Like the monitoring cameras all over cities today, only cuter.
At night, he flew back to the North Pole to report on their behavior to Santa. When they woke up, he was in a different spot to spy on them.