Everyone loves a superhero—Spiderman, Superman, Wonder Woman—and each year during the holidays, Chico gets a superhero of its very own: Superelf. The colorful elf (aka nurserywoman Rebecca Yarrow) appears each year at The Plant Barn garden center and gift shop (406 Entler Ave.) where she greets, assists and cheers up customers while dressed in a wild elf uniform that includes bells, lights, purple tights and a cape with a giant Superman-like “S” on the back. The elf is at The Plant Barn Fridays, 9 a.m.-4 p.m.; Saturdays, 10 a.m.-4 p.m.; and Sundays 11 a.m.-4 p.m.
How did you get your start here?
As an elf in the North Pole I was never very good at building toys, but I was great at making people smile and laugh. So five years ago, Santa talked with The Plant Barn’s owner, Denise Kelly, and sent me here to lift people’s spirits. I did such a good job that he kept assigning me here.
What are your super powers?
Filling people with joy, even if they feel down. One little girl came in here crying. She had an elf-like hat on and I pointed to it and said, “Look, you’re one of us!” Then I gave her a Christmas wand and she got really happy. Another time I put the magic back [into] an Elf on the Shelf. They’re little Elf dolls that sit in a home and report behavior to Santa. But they lose their magic if touched. Someone had touched it and the family’s little daughter was sad, so I did an elf blessing and got his magic back. Superheroes love to save the day!
What’s your job exactly?
I welcome people, make them laugh and help them find the best plants and gifts for their garden and home. I have a specially decorated chair for pictures with people, and I’m also really good at wrapping poinsettias.
What’s your most interesting encounter as Superelf?
Last year, I was driving to a car-repair shop and a policeman kept following me. When I stopped at the light, I was really nervous, but in my mirror I saw the officer give me the thumbs-up. When I got to the shop, he said, “You made my day. You’re beautiful.”
When is your season?
I’m here only from just before Thanksgiving to just after Christmas, but I wish I could stay all year because I’m accepted and the people here are like my family. It’s so fun and I get to eat a lot of greens here, unlike at the North Pole, where they don’t grow.
How do you get back to the North Pole?
I travel in a heated sled. Sometimes I ride with Santa and tell him all my experiences. I love looking at all the lights and decorations people put up. I just like being part of all the fun.