Hi gang! 9 weeks left now until Christmas.
I was going to talk some more about Halloween but, honestly, there are some bigger things of Christmas to share with you.
As you may know, the test flights of Santa’s sleigh are happening and they have been flying since July. That’s not really new, although I think everyone would admit that those test flights got off to a late start this year.
I was working on a story about Santa’s workshop and I stumbled upon a place that might be actually busier than Santa’s workshop right now. It’s the Sleigh Barn, a tucked away little facility where they build new versions of Santa’s sleigh.
Those guys over there are crazy.
The story of Santa’s sleigh out of North Pole Flight Command this year has been a little troublesome. The sleigh has not been testing well and it seems that every time a new version of the sleigh is flown some new problem crops up.
Many elves are perplexed. They don’t understand why this whole sleigh thing has been so problematic this year.
After all, last year Santa set a new speed record in the sleigh that was designed and built in that same sleigh barn. It was so successful many thought Santa would not get a new sleigh at all this year.
In fact, this year’s new sleigh is based almost exclusively on last year’s sleigh.
So WHY is the new sleigh for this year not working out so well? That is a question the sleigh designers and sleigh builders at the Sleigh Barn are asking. They are growing suspicious.
In fact, even getting within a mile of the place requires special clearance now. North Pole Security has set up check-points on the road to the Sleigh Barn and nobody is allowed in or out who does not have a special pass. I know.
I tried to go there and got turned away.
I went back to my boss – Elf Harold – and he had to go to his boss, Elf Ernest – just to get me an appointment to get a pass.
I had to take a call from some Elf at the Sleigh Barn who wanted to know the nature of my visit. I told him I was a reporter elf working on a story. He asked me about a hundred questions and then told me I had to be interviewed by North Pole Security.
My heck. I was interviewed by Elf Agent X himself. He is the head of North Pole Security (maybe you’ve heard him interviewed on North Pole Radio on Christmas Eve, he’s on every year).
Anyway, Elf Agent X gave me the pass after talking for maybe an hour under the bright lights of the North Pole Security conference room. My pass was only good for a few hours and I had to have an escort from North Pole Flight Command.
Once I got inside the Sleigh Barn I was shocked to see maybe 400 elves there all working on building new sleighs. There were maybe 80 new sleighs stacked up in that barn. They told me they have the next 8 versions of the sleigh all lined up and ready to “adjust” before they send them out for testing.
Right now, according to the Santa Tracking Map at SantaTrackers.net, Santa’s sleigh is testing in Sector 1. I understand they will be there for a while and likely testing over open water for the next few weeks. But that’s not the whole story.
It seemed every elf I talked to was….worried. None of them would allow me to take quotes or write down their names. In fact, I was not allowed to take notes at all. Not even Big Sled Ted would talk to me.
But I didn’t need to take notes.
Here’s the long and the short of it: those are some really worried elves and they are sweating bullets these days. They are feeling pressure. For them, the time is growing short to get things right for Santa’s sleigh.
Now, please don’t let that worry you.
In fact, you should know, after I got back from my visit to the Sleigh Barn I got a call from Elf Hugo at the North Pole Post Office.
He’s a good elf and a great friend to me. Hugo practically begged me not to write about Santa’s sleigh today. He told me that if I did the only thing that would happen is that people all over the world would get worked up like those elves in the Sleigh Barn and that, he said, would not be a good thing just 9 weeks before Christmas.
I know Hugo pretty well. He’s worried about all the mail coming in. He knows that if I share anything that causes people to worry his post office is going to get slammed with mail all expressing concern.
So everyone – please relax.
I’m taking the Elf Crash Murphy approach to this whole sleigh situation.
If Santa’s new sleigh for this year does not work out he will just use another sleigh from his vast collection to fly on Christmas Eve.
Santa doesn’t even need a new sleigh, according to Elf Crash. They just build him a new one each year because Santa always wants to go faster and do better than he did the year before.
I guess that’s a tough thing to do.
In any event, I can tell you that most elves in the know – like Elf Crash Murphy – have no real concern for Santa’s sleigh. Santa is gonna fly no matter what come Christmas Eve.
That’s a mark on the calendar I am learning means more to elves than the rest of the world. Everyone I have talked to about this situation with the sleigh has mentioned that there are only 9 weeks left until Christmas.
That’s the big thing right now.
It’s not Santa’s sleigh.
It’s not Halloween – which I will now need to talk about next week when there are only 8 weeks left until Christmas.
9 weeks. Everyone here is talking about THAT.
And for the sleigh, I guess, that means time is really growing short.