Ladies and gentlemen of the jury,
My distinguished colleague painted a harsh picture of my client as a Christmas villain worse than Scrooge and the Grinch combined, a lunatic who would kill someone for giving her a Christmas present she didn’t like.
What my colleague failed to mention was the nature of that unwanted Christmas present.
The gift (if one can call it that) that the deceased gave my client was one of these, an Elf on the Shelf.
The present alone would have been harmless. My client could have given the Elf away in the white elephant gift exchange at her work, except the victim did something that crossed the line of decency and violated my client’s right of consent.
The deceased told my client’s children about the Elf on the Shelf.
He not only willfully bought an item that he knew my client did not want, but he then gave her children grand expectations about the exciting mischief that they could expect from the Elf on the Shelf every day until Christmas. Every. Day. Until. Christmas.
Now, my client loves Christmas. She decorates a tree. She bakes cookies. She sends Christmas cards. She goes overboard on gifts. She even braves the mall to give her children each a moment on Santa’s lap. However, she drew the line at the Elf on the Shelf.
My client is a working mom. Her husband works also. They barely have time to keep everyone in clean laundry much less come up with an outrageous elf tableau every night only to have to clean it up the next day.
Between work and chores this woman gets little time to herself. She hasn’t been to the gym in six months. She hasn’t read a book in a year. Those bags under her eyes are not from the stresses of this trial. Those are constant reminders of her many obligations.
So how would you have expected this woman, this stressed out wife, this exhausted mother, to react to being forced into the tradition of the Elf on the Shelf? To the thought of taking on yet another daily task for almost a month? Particularly during such an already busy month? To the pressure of knowing how much it would disappoint her children if she screwed it up? It was just too, too much.
Ladies and gentlemen, this was not a cold-blooded murder. This was self-defense.
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