The most recent crisis at the North Pole – Santa’s absence – seems to have sent waves of panic in the elf community.
It has caused many of you out there to send in letters of concern.
From nine year old Natalie of Wisconsin, this question is typical: “Why are the elves so nervous?”
It is a good question and one I think deserves a straight forward answer.
There are, of course, many kinds of “nervous”.
There is the nervous you feel when you stand before people to perform or give a speech. There is a nervous to starting at a new school or a new job. And there is a kind of nervous that comes on you when you’re just not sure what is going to happen.
But there is still one more kind of nervous that a lot of people do not think about.
It is a nervousness born of high standards, best wishes, and a genuine desire to do well.
This kind of nervousness is sometimes called anxiety. The cause of it is having a good heart.
Elves might be funny kind of people to you. Maybe some of the things we do are silly.
We tend to throw a lot of food, for example. Maybe you have noticed that.
We sometimes sing a lot, we tell jokes a great deal, and we just love to do kid stuff like riding big tricycles, dressing up funny or doing goofy things.
Sometimes we put gummy bears under our arms to make them really soft before we eat them. And we might now and then walk through puddles or put lipstick on a dog.
Just because we are a little goofy doesn’t mean we’re weird or anything.
We are people just like anyone else.
But we also wake up each day thinking about others.
Santa works very hard to teach us to do this. He tells us the most important thing to being an elf is to learn to think of others first.
He tells us the more we forget about ourselves and think more about others the happier we will be.
As elves we take that very seriously.
We work hard to make other people happy and we do that to be happy ourselves.
And guess what?
For the most part, we are pretty happy. Elves are known all over for being cheerful, playful and fun.
But what if we fail?
What happens if we cannot make people happy?
The hardest letter an elf sees at the North Pole is one from a child who says she didn’t like what she got for Christmas or that the thing he received is already broken.
Elves feel terrible about stuff like that.
Because we try so hard and our work really isn’t about making toys or stuffing stockings it is about delivering happiness.
We do sometimes fail.
And that causes us to worry.
And worry causes us to fear.
And fear causes us to get nervous or anxious.
Right now the elves are all anxious about Santa.
The elves are worried he won’t make it back in time for Christmas. They worry if he will come back at all.
And that is because they don’t want to fail.
They know that Christmas will not be as fun if Santa isn’t a part of it.
Now, as many of you in your letters have pointed out, Santa told us before he left not to worry. He said he would be back.
So why worry, right?
Well, some people – like the elves at the North Pole – just cannot help from worrying.
They just don’t want anyone to be unhappy.
Well, I’m a very old elf. I have seen many things in my years as an elf at the North Pole. I personally think this stuff about being worried about Santa’s disappearance is way overblown. I am not worried at all.
Do you know why?
Because Santa is an elf. He in the ultimate elf. I am not with him, of course, and I haven’t talked to him. But know him well enough to know that he’s concerned about getting home for Christmas too.
He does not want to fail either.
And he won’t.
So if you’re a little like most elves here at the North Pole – and I know many of you are – relax. Have fun. Think good thoughts. Don’t worry.
It is going to be okay.
And to my fellow elves out there, the boys and girls of the North Pole workforce, I say: chill.
Santa does not want us worried. He wants us helping other people.
And we can’t help others when we are worried, can we?