There are just seven months now until Christmas Eve and that means training time for all of Santa’s elves.
Santa and Mrs. Claus have packed their suitcases and they are off for travels far and wide. Like many folks Santa and Mrs. Claus like to get a little vacation time but this trip right now is all business. They begin this week a nine-country tour of special locations where Santa’s elves are in training around the world.
Why can’t this training take place at the North Pole?
Santa explained it this way: “Being an elf is tough work. It requires a lot focus, a lot of love, a lot of dedication, and lots and lots of skill. We train elves all year round, even at Christmas, but the training we all get as elves is very special at this time of the year. We do it in special places all over the world because the North Pole is kind of a distraction for an elf who is trying to learn. The North Pole is for elf work, the world is where elves train.”
For example, beginning next week hundreds of elves will be meeting in the jungles of Brazil where they will live an adventure together. They are divided into groups that Santa calls “clans” and the purpose of each clan is to build shelter, find food, and plan a way to escape out of the jungle. They have 12 days to get this done and all they take with them is the clothes they are wearing. Santa’s sleigh drops each clan into an area that Santa has already selected and they have to work together to get the job done. The purpose of this training to teach elves to depend upon each other and to build their skills in being resourceful.
In Germany there is a different kind of elf training taking place: woodworking. There in the German countryside is a large workshop where Santa has a reindeer ranch. More than 90 elves are sent there for special training in working with wood. This program runs for more than a month. They scour the forest for different kinds of wood, studying trees and the science of aging and growing wood for making things. They are taught how to put things together, how to shape wood, how to make it look like other things and how to minimize waste. This is very specialized training for only the most talented elves.
In Geneva, Switzerland there is a gathering of more than 26 elves who will attend a science conference. This highly technical gathering will help elves who work in designing sleighs, production techniques for the workshop, weather tracking and other technology that is needed at the North Pole to help Santa do his job.
In India Santa has several hundred elves working at a special farm for animals. Santa, as you know, keeps thousands of reindeer but he also makes use of other animals in the Christmas effort. He employs horses and birds and seals and penguins and all kinds of other animals for various jobs in weather spotting, communication and scouting. I’ll bet you didn’t know that! Santa needs lots of elves to help work with these animals. They need to know how to communicate with them and how to train them for what Santa needs. It is interesting work that takes an elf with very strong feelings and one who can be sensitive to animals. Not every elf can do this work.
So Santa and Mrs. Claus are traveling the globe to these very special places of elf training. They will be gone for at least a couple of months before everyone returns to the North Pole for our annual Christmas in July meetings.
As for me, well, I get to stay here at the North Pole while every else is gone. There are only a few of us here. It gets a little lonely, to tell you the truth, so feel free to send me a letter or an email with your questions. This is a great time of year to get hold of me!
— Elf Ernest