Technicians working on Santa’s sleigh are having problems with a string of sleigh bells. Elf Gloria, Santa’s Commissioner of Traditions, was just at the sleigh barn checking on their progress. She was checking their work on a part of the sleigh that they reported was ready to go hours ago. Using a special tuning tool that she always carries with her Elf Gloria discovered three bells out of more than 400 on the string that were not in tune.
“The bells are very, very important,” said Elf Quinton, who oversees the readiness of Santa’s Sleigh. “Santa’s sleigh is powered by reindeer and they have to move together — all nine of them, in order for Santa not only to fly but to fly fast. Reindeer are very sensitive to sound and if one bell is out of tune they will notice and it might throw them off and, hence, slow Santa down or prevent him from flying altogether. Elf Gloria, even though she is very old, has the best ear this side of Santa and she can tell when a bell isn’t just right.”
I caught Elf Gloria as she was walking back to Mrs. Claus’ kitchen to check on the sugar cookies (it wasn’t hard because Elf Gloria walks very slow). “Those three bells were an E-flat, not an E note. I don’t suppose even the reindeer would notice those three bells but you can’t be too sure. Those boys need to replace those bells or I won’t let Santa fly.”
Elf Gloria and Mrs. Claus are very close friends. Gloria knows how worried Mrs. Claus gets about Santa on his flight. She is so afraid that something will go wrong. So Elf Gloria takes her duties with the bells very seriously. There is no way she will let Santa fly with anything less than an absolutely perfect sleigh.
— Elf Ernest
Direct from Santa’s Newsroom at the North Pole
Estimated Time to Launch: 14 hours
Current North Pole Weather: 17 Degrees, Heavy Snow, High Winds
Command Center Status: All systems are go, all lights are green
Santa’s Status: Sleigh bound for Somewhere in Europe
Reindeer Status: Resting
Santa’s Workshop Status: 86% complete, still working
Santa’s Sleigh Status: 50% ready, sleigh bell repair underway
Wrapping Department Status: 55% complete, emergency contingency plans deployed
North Pole Christmas Party Readiness: 80% complete; Big screen TVs being calibrated for tracking Santa tonight
North Pole Medical Center Report: No new cases of sickness reported
North Pole Post Office Status: 47% complete, full staff working — stocking mail overflowing
Latest Secret Spy Reports: Roof damage reported in Austin, Texas; rough gangs reported in Chino Hills, California; Hot weather reported in Recife, Brazil.
Where it is Christmas Eve now: Australia, New Zealand, South Pacific Islands
Where it is Christmas morning now: Nowhere