Hello, friends. 51 weeks remain until Christmas. And you know what? It feels kind of good to say that.
There is so much to tell you today, even though officially not much has happened since Santa sleepily reset the countdown clock on the day after Christmas. After that brief ceremony Santa and Mrs. Claus returned to the quiet of the Claus residence and took a nice long nap. Mrs. Claus tells me that Santa slept in and the spent a lot of time “catching up with the puppies”. But nobody has seen much of Santa – or each other, honestly – since Santa declared the annual holiday between Christmas and New Year.
I’ve been busy. I’m not much of a napper. Besides, I’ve been a little anxious.
My job as Chief of Staff to Mrs. Claus was always intended to be temporary. So I’ve been cleaning out my office and trying to figure out my place at the North Pole for the past several days. I finally decided to reach out to Elf Ed Zachary, head elf of the News Department, to see if I could get my old job back as a North Pole Reporter.
His voice was deep and gravelly when I called him. He’s not sick or anything but he too had been sleeping. And he was a little grumpy. He told me to go ahead and keep doing the weekly countdown updates, just as I have these past four years. I reminded him that Christmas Eve in 2024 lands on a Tuesday and that I would need to put something together fast. He agreed and here I am, writing the first countdown update of the year.
I got in to my office really early today. I like having my footprints be the only ones in the snow. There’s something magical in my little brain about being the first person on the job for Operation Merry Christmas 2024.
Like the snow outside, everything is new. It’s a new year. It is a new countdown. And I’m guessing I’m in for some new things, too.
I’m going to miss being Mrs. Claus’ right-hand woman. We’ve become close and I just love her. Like me, I’m sure Mrs. Claus is not sure what the new year means for her.
I do know this: Santa is not going anywhere this year. At least for a while. I heard both Santa and Mrs. Claus say that Santa was really looking forward to being home for a while.
If the past few years are any indication the next few weeks will be a time of reflection and setting goals. If Santa is anything, he’s consistent. He is a very strong goal setter and even though last Christmas was a record breaker you know he will want to do better this year.
I have come to enjoy that. I really like Santa’s positive take on the future.
For me, I’m not going to dwell much on my job change. There were parts of working in Mrs. Claus’ office that I didn’t care for – parts that I didn’t think I was very good at. I’m looking forward to getting back into my comfort zone.
I’m not sure what that will be or even when I will know what it is. Elf Ed Zachary has to talk to Santa, Mrs. Claus and Elf Ernest about my future. Once they are all done talking about me then I guess they will talk to me. Until then I will remain in my dark and now packed up office, waiting to learn my fate.
I walked into my office today to a surprise – a gift, from Mrs. Claus. She had Elf Wendell at North Pole Clock Worx make a special, shiny-sparkly clock. It’s all mechanical. An old-school style clock that you have to wind up with a key. It is all gold with a very intricate design of holly leaves engraved on the front. To look at it you’d likely say it is a really formal piece. Imagine my surprise then when at the top of the hour it suddenly burst into a hand-bell choir rendition of Jingle Bells.
The noises it makes are just beautiful. The music coming from it is like a magical orchestra. I’ve never seen a clock like it and I honestly do not know what to say to Mrs. Claus. It seems a bit over-the-top for a little old elf like me. It will serve as quite the memento of my time serving in her office.
Well, in the time it has taken me to write all this I see elves stirring outside my windows. My footprints are no longer the only ones in the snow. Others have begun their first work of Operation Merry Christmas 2024.
It has started. And it feels good.