Now is the time of year when people start to become overwhelmed by a feeling of joy and compassion for their fellow man and the notion that people are able to come together (in-between trips to the mall) and spend time with their loved ones. No one understood this better than Elf’s main character, Buddy (Will Ferrell), a human who was raised at the North Pole after accidentally hitching a ride in Santa’s bag of presents. When Buddy decides to return to New York City to find his father (James Caan) and reconnect with the family he never knew, he does so while effortlessly brimming with holiday cheer. While his smiling, celebratory nature comes off as off-putting at first, his attitude proves to be so infectious that it ends up saving Christmas itself. Should you need some help with your holiday cheer, let these Buddy the Elf lines help give you a little Christmas spirit.
“Let’s recite the code of the elves.” – Elf teacher
First off, the easiest way to kick your Christmas spirit into high gear is by reciting the mantra that the elves of the North Pole use for their own perpetual holiday cheer. Sure, treating every day like Christmas isn’t a bad start (though it may be overkill for some people), but the idea that there’s room for everyone on the nice list speaks to the holiday’s true spirit — one that’s filled goodwill and optimism. And, as the movie later proves, singing Christmas carols for all to hear is practically infectious, not to mention one of the most effective ways to really get the ball rolling.
“It’s just nice to meet another human that shares my affinity for elf culture!” – Buddy
When Buddy first meets Jovie (Zooey Deschanel), he sees right past her polyester elf costume and vague sense of unhappiness and instead recognizes her skills in Christmas tree decoration in the hope that he’s found himself a kindred spirit in the big city. Once you’ve got the elf code down pat and you’re ready to start embracing Christmas head-on, it’s important that you keep a look out for like-minded people in your day-to-day life. After all, Christmas spirit has been known to grow exponentially, and anyone who has the same kind of affinity for holiday decor and joyous gift-giving is someone you’ll definitely want on your side.
“This place reminds me of Santa’s workshop. Except it smells like mushrooms and everyone looks like they want to hurt me.” – Buddy
It’s easy to find Christmas spirit if you’re surrounded by red and green decorations as far as the eye can see, but it takes real determination to find it just about anywhere else. When Buddy’s given a job in the mailroom of his dad’s company, he proves this by not only politely assessing the situation during his first day on the job, but by bonding with his coworker over a bottle of “syrup,” which helps him fuel a huge outburst of Christmastime cheer in the least-likely of places. Don’t be afraid to be the kind of person who looks for joy in the mundane, though you’ll want to keep in mind that in some of these dimly lit, mushroom-smelling rooms, some of those people really might want to hurt you, so, you know, maybe work up to a big song-and-dance routine and bring more than syrup along with you.
“Christmas spirit is about believing, not seeing.” – Santa
With Santa’s (Ed Asner) sleigh in desperate need of repairs, Buddy comes up with what seems like an all-too-easy solution to help him fly again, which prompts Santa to get real about what having Christmas spirit really means. While strapping Santa’s custom rocket to the bottom of his sleigh and parading around in front of the crowd by Central Park seems like an easy solution, Santa’s wisdom says otherwise. Sure, he could dazzle the crowd with a cheap air show, but Santa knows he has to rely on the true spirit of Christmas to shine through for it to really matter. Anyone can string up a row of lights across their gutters, buy a big tree, or inflate some Christmas-y lawn ornaments, but the real spirit of Christmas has to come from within, otherwise it’s nothing but a cheap display with some blinking lights.
“I thought maybe we could make gingerbread houses, and eat cookie dough, and go ice skating, and maybe even hold hands.” – Buddy
Celebrating the holiday isn’t limited to decorating a tree or hanging some old socks over by the mantle, and when Buddy finally works up the nerve to ask out Jovie on a date, his proposed to-do list barely scratches the surface of all the fun things that are out there to take part in. Sure, the more Christmases you get under your belt, the easier it becomes to write off the whole thing as just another holiday that’s overstuffed with repetition and routine, but you’ve got to avoid that kind of thinking and you’ve got to push the limits of what this holiday can entail. After all, it’s Christmas, and you shouldn’t let the warnings about eating raw cookie dough get in the way of that.
“Son of a nutcracker!” – Buddy
When you start to really embrace the holiday spirit, suddenly you’ll find that it’s taken over your entire life. Even when you do something like stub your toe, or maybe get ambushed in the park by some kids trying to start a snowball fight. The upside here is that, if done right, all that Christmas cheer might really come in handy during battle when it translates to pure energy.
“We’ve had another very successful year. So, after all that hard work, it’s time to start preparations for next Christmas!” – Santa
In closing, we turn once again to the great and benevolent Santa Claus, a man who knows that Christmas spirit isn’t a seasonal thing, but something that takes a year-long effort to cultivate. While no one’s advocating for department stores to start blasting Christmas music any earlier than they do now, the idea of keeping a spirit of inclusiveness, goodwill, and a penchant for singing (alone or in front of people) alive and well for the other 11 months out of the year doesn’t sound like such a bad idea, does it?