BATON ROUGE, LA (WAFB) - I dial the Elf Help number 225-773-4045. I hear a perky "Hello, I'm an elf and I am decorating a Christmas tree. I'm in Bocage." (That's a neighborhood in the Jefferson Highway area of Baton Rouge.)
"What other kinds of tasks are you doing?" I ask.
"I'm helping toy assembly," she adds she has plenty of experience. "I have four children of my own. I have a lot of experience in assembling gifts. My ex-husband was afraid of heights, so I do the ladder and exterior lights! So, I was on top of the roof, many years. I can do nail gun and staple gun. I haven't done personal shopping yet, but I can. I'm addressing Christmas cards. The Christmas To -Do list, I can do anything!"
She is bubbly and energetic as she talks.
"This what I tell my children, I tell my children that Santa's busy making toys and I'm that elf helps people get their homes ready for the holidays."
"Elf Help, LLC" is the brain-child of a veteran graphic designer who's been divorced and as a single mom of four is seeking a new career. After 15 years of working in the ranks of artists at print shops and graphic art firms, Elf Help (she'd rather not broadcast her name) is in school at BRCC full-time in chemical engineering.
"You google 'graphic art jobs' in Baton Rouge, you may get 12 jobs! You google 'chemical engineering,' you get a hundred. Baton Rouge area has giants in Dow, ExxonMobil, you see?"
She's a graphic artist, so she's creative. And she happened to spot a Christmas sweater at WalMart that could kind of be her uniform. Elf Help can create the adventures for your Elf on a Shelf. She can take pictures for your Instagram. She can decorate your entire tree with the ornaments you've always used, or you can send her to buy new ones.
She may not have a limit on what she's willing to do to get you ready for the holidays. Some tasks have surprised her, but when you think about it, it's perfectly natural.
"I have a couple of older ladies who don't have their husbands anymore. So I go in the attic, and I pull down the Christmas decorations. I dust them off, I can even help decorate the house."
With so much on her plate with school, kids and the responsibility for everyone's holiday happiness, I asked what her home looks like.
"My house is always vacuumed," Elf Help says proudly, "My children always have cloth napkins at the dinner table. I have a dry erase board where I post weekly scriptures that they learn. They don't have to memorize it, but they do have to say it to me all five weekdays. If they do, I buy them a toy treat at the Dollar Store on the weekend. I am not wealthy, but we get by on a budget."
Her youngest is four, her eldest is 11. Sometimes her four-year-old goes on Elf Help jobs. All two boys and two girls are asked to help their mom pull off her busy schedule. There's no chaos getting everyone off to school because each kid helps with breakfast.
"My eldest does the cooking and makes the scrambled eggs. The 7-year-old is on juice and toast, and my 5-year-old daughter puts napkins and silverware on the table. She's not necessarily lined up and neat yet, but she's getting there," Mom laughs.
So, when you find yourself stressing out, remember there's Elf Help by calling 225-773-4045. She's both a Christmas superhero but apparently a Super Mom, too.