When I was a little kid, I had two favourite Christmas decorations — a red felt reindeer called Rudolph and an elf called Tommy. Tommy originally belonged to my grandparents, and they gave him to me one Christmas after I’d carried him around their house all day. Seeing Tommy every year was a thrill, but as the years passed, he began to get tatty from my attentions. Eventually, he ended up with no hat, moth-eaten clothes, and a bashed head. He now lives in a drawer in our buffet cabinet to prevent further damage.
Last year while in the US, I found an exact replica of Tommy in a little antique store in my home town. There were many models of these little knee-hugger elves imported from Japan in the 50s and 60s, and finding another just like Tommy was nothing short of a miracle.
I have resolved to take much better care of this one.