I PREPARE for the holiday season by watching Elf with my family on Thanksgiving and then each night until Christmas. It's how I know the most wonderful time of year is approaching.
And this year, I took it one step further.
The iconic 2003 Christmas comedy stars Will Ferrell as Buddy, a human who was raised at the North Pole by Santa’s elves after sneaking into his bag of gifts as a baby in an orphanage.
Years later, Buddy realizes he’s not like the other elves in the North Pole, and his adoptive father, Papa Elf (played by comedy legend Bob Newhart), reveals his New York City origin story.
It turns out that Buddy’s biological father, Walter Hobbs (played by James Caan), never even knew he existed.
And as luck would have it, he is still alive and works in the Empire State Building – but he’s on the Naughty List
So Buddy travels all the way to The Big Apple to meet Walter and spread Christmas cheer.
And in the process, he gets to experience Christmas time in New York City as only an elf can.
Elf is famed for scenes that are filmed right here, in the heart of the biggest city in the world.
I took it upon myself to dress up as Buddy the Elf, hop around the city just like he does, reenact scenes, and have a chat with some locals and tourists.
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As a Christmas guru and Elf-fanatic, it truly made the Christmas season feel alive.
There were some people who loved interacting with me, and sadly, some who didn’t.
Those who didn’t must be on Santa’s Naughty List, just like Walter Hobbs.
Some didn’t even know what Elf was!
The reactions were priceless.
And as Buddy says: “The best way to spread Christmas cheer is singing loud for all to hear.”
So that's what I did. What Buddy does, I do.
I even reenacted a scene that was filmed elsewhere for extra measure.
In the movie, Buddy walks by a coffee shop that advertises itself as having the world’s best cup of coffee and becomes overjoyed.
In real life, the coffee shop was a fish restaurant in Vancouver, Canada.
But I still had to do it because Buddy does it.
So I improvised.
I ran into Dunkin Donuts and screamed, ‘CONGRATULATIONS! YOU DID IT! WORLD’S BEST CUP OF COFFEE. YEAH!’ – where Buddy goes, I go.
The employees were confused. But when they realized what was going on, they couldn’t help but burst out in laughter.
I also bought myself a little souvenir – a snow globe.
It wasn’t just your average snow globe, but a snow globe of the Empire State Building – just like the one that Papa Elf gave to Buddy right before he ventured off to New York to meet his dad.
And after Buddy introduces himself to Walter for the first time as his long-lost son, Walter takes Buddy to the doctor to complete a DNA test to be extra sure.
So I had my very own Walter take me to the doctor too.
But Buddy can’t help himself. He sees cotton balls on the table and has to see what they taste like. So I tried some out myself.
I even got to play Buddy’s magic trick after the grinchy Walter tells him to stop.
Speaking of eating, I of course took it upon myself to taste-test Buddy’s Breakfast!
Because Buddy was raised in the North Pole, he only eats sweet treats with plenty of maple syrup. So his breakfast is a little… unusual.
The recipe calls for:
- One serving of spaghetti
- Red and green M&M's
- Mini marshmallows
- Rainbow sprinkles
- Chocolate syrup
- Maple syrup
- One chocolate fudge Pop Tart
I had to play the part and couldn't let myself get out of character. But the dish was exactly what I expected it to be: SO GROSS!
Still, I have to say that overall, it was a 10/10 day.
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If you’re a Christmas guru and Elf-fanatic, just like me, I HIGHLY recommend trying this.
Just don’t forget to sing loud for all to hear!
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