Monday, September 19, 2011

Parlor Game: The Christmas Elf

      For this entertainment two people are needed, and there must be a loose and very gorgeous jacket with large sleeves. This may be made from turkey-red covered with gilt spangles, or from some bright chintz. The one who is to do the speaking dresses his arms to represent legs, and puts his hands into a pair of high shoes, though patent-leather boots are much better. A cap or hat with many plumes finishes the costume. Behind him stands the acting player, who thrusts his arms under the make-believe legs of the speaker, and fits them into the sleeves of the jacket. Then the speaker puts his hands on the table, and a third person draws and pins the curtain, so that no one can see the performers. The elf looks amiably about, and then begins a speech. He may be an Christmas or Fairytale Elf, but must use a good many phrases from whatever language is his own. In the mean time, the actor uses his arms in making extraordinary gestures. Then the elf dances his holiday dance, somebody playing the music for him, and the hands do what they please ; the whole being so real, that every child will insist that it is truly an elf.

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