When Elves Get Mad

Life as an ElfThe nature of my job as an elf is different. I spend most of my days working at a computer in an office. When the world thinks of elves they think of the guys and gals over in Santa’s workshop.

Really, the world SHOULD think of those workshop elves first. They work hard. They do great work.

Every December they give those of us who don’t get a chance to work in Santa’s workshop a chance to help out now and then. I was over there the other day – helping to make Gak – and I was surprised to see Santa there wearing his tool belt and working up a sweat making building blocks for the little kids.

Santa works a lot in his workshop but not much in December. He spends most of December, as you know, out in the world visiting with children. So it was kind of neat to see Santa there and to be there with him at Christmastime.

And like any elf Santa was in the lunchroom at lunch time. That’s when elves talk.

Right now nobody is talking about anything more than the Merry Prankster. For months he has teased us with silly pranks but this week he has started to do some real bad things. He was once very popular here at the North Pole. But no more.

The elves are mad.

I normally have a lot to say but not when I am around the workshop elves. I respect those elves a lot. They are experts in many things. I don’t want them to think I know as much as they do. So I was kind of a fly on the wall there the other day as they were talking about the Merry Prankster.

I noticed that Santa was listening closely to them too.

And they are mad. Really, really, really mad.

It is not a good idea to get an elf mad.

Elves tend to be very creative people. Those kinds of people sometimes tend to be very emotional. Because they feel things so deeply sometimes the anger gets expressed loudly or even dangerously. Elves like to throw things and pound things and crash things when they get mad.

None of this is good for elves who handle a lot of power tools.

But Santa spends a lot of time teaching us as elves to use our feelings for good. He has taught us to be careful NOT to get mad in the first place. He says anger is a sign of a weak mind – one that does not question enough. Santa teaches us that when we get mad we should really learn to ask questions.

And that’s what these elves were doing in the lunch room the other day in talking about this Merry Prankster guy (we all assume the Prankster is a guy, I don’t know why).

I see from the comments here on the website and from all the mail coming into the North Pole that many of you are starting to get upset about this Merry Prankster situation too.

You’re asking questions!

Why don’t they use cameras to catch this guy? Did anyone think to check fingerprints? Why aren’t these places where he keeps causing trouble under 24-hour security?

You guys are asking all the right questions. And you are asking all the same questions that nearly every elf here at the North Pole is asking too.

But here is the other thing about creative people like elves.

They are problem solvers. When they ask questions, all of a sudden new ideas pop up about what action can be taken.

And some of you are sending in good suggestions. The elves in charge of trying to catch the Merry Prankster are listening. And I’m being told you are being very helpful.

So keep posting your ideas, your questions, your comments and your concerns. Keep sending your messages to the North Pole.

Together we don’t have to get mad. Together we can solve this problem of the Merry Prankster.

Why Thanksgiving is as Big as Christmas at the North Pole

Life as an ElfYears ago I got in a lot of trouble for writing a column titled A Fat Man’s Holiday.

That article talked about Santa’s love of food and the North Pole celebration of Thanksgiving.

I will attempt to once again explain it all without getting anyone upset.

First of all, let’s talk about Santa and food.

You know all this about Santa. Don’t get mad at me for calling Santa “the Big Guy” or mentioning how much he eats. You all feed him cookies. You have a part to play in this.

Just because I call it a “fat man’s holiday” does not mean I’m calling Santa a fatso. I’m just not.

He’s not a porker, a budda-belly, a beached whale, a laardvark, a tubby, Fatty McFat, salad dodger, buffet killer, butter master, a bag of doughnuts, gordo, Count Fatula, lard gargler, cake magnet, wifi blocker, carbzilla, a fattleship, blimp, fatty, hogbeast, lardo, podger, ground sloth, hambeast, Slenderella, or plump or portly or rotund.

It’s a fat man’s holiday because it is a time of feasting. That is all. And food is not the only thing Santa feasts on at Thanksgiving.

Like everyone else at the North Pole he loves the day off. He loves being with family and friends. He loves putting up the Christmas tree. He loves playing games. He loves making things in the kitchen. He loves pie. He loves being prayerful. He loves telling everyone what he is grateful for. He loves looking at the lights, starting on his Christmas cards, watching football and movies, and he loves getting ready for Christmas.

Thanksgiving at the North Pole is a huge celebration. Some even think it is bigger than Christmas.

There is truth to that. By the time Christmas comes around some of us are so tired we sorta sleep through some of it. We love Christmas. But for an elf Christmas is an end. Thanksgiving is a vibrant beginning.

I guess you could say that Thanksgiving for those of us at the North Pole is our Christmas.

There’s nothing wrong with that.

And there is nothing wrong with you having a big Thanksgiving too.

I hope you enjoy it.

Things You Need to Know About Reindeer

Life as an ElfLast Christmas was all about how Santa’s reindeer went missing. Remember that?

It was such a big story that the email questions about reindeer are still pouring in.

There are some things you need to know about reindeer. I think I can answer a lot of your questions right here.

First of all, you might be asking what reindeer have to do with elf life. It is my job after all to write about elf life.

Understand that anyone working for Santa is an elf. Reindeer work for Santa. So technically a reindeer is an elf.

No, reindeer don’t look like other elves. But we have already discussed that elves don’t have to look a particular way to be an elf.

Reindeer and Santa have a very unusual connection. He just understands them. And he loves them.

Santa also understands your curiosity about them. I actually called Santa before I wrote this to tell him some concerns I had about this topic.

Santa explained to me that your curiosity and love of reindeer is actually a good thing. He wants you to understand reindeer because he understands why you might like them so much. He does too.

I asked Santa how he first met the reindeer and how they became elves that work for him.

Santa explained that when he grew up he would see reindeer in the mountains sometimes when he helped a family member herding mountain goats. This is something that back in the old days they would do a lot.

Santa says he studied the reindeer from a distance for a long, long time. He noticed that they were animals that were very in tune with nature and everything around them. For a long time a reindeer will stand still and study everything – the sky, the water, the birds and the sounds of nature.

Santa noticed that they moved very quietly. Often they would move towards danger – not away from it. And this was because, Santa observed, they were smart and trusted their own abilities to keep safe.

Santa told me it took him many years to learn to “speak” reindeer. He said it isn’t actually talking that he does to the reindeer. He said it is more like thinking. He thinks the same time they think and somehow they know how each other thinks.

Santa says the reindeer fly and get him around the world so quickly because they are pure. He said the reindeer have big hearts. They love to serve. And they love to give. And this gives them their powers to help Santa.

Does this mean you could capture a reindeer and teach them to fly?

Santa doesn’t think you should try. He said it took him many, many years to see it happen and he only saw a reindeer fly when THEY trusted Santa. They just won’t fly for everyone, he explains.

Santa also told me to tell you that he appreciates all you do for the reindeer. When you leave out carrots or oats or water for them on Christmas Eve he appreciates it. And he gives it to them.

He says it isn’t the nutrition from this food that helps them as much as the LOVE you put into providing it for them that makes them fly.

Think about that!

Halloween for Elves at the North Pole

Life as an ElfHalloween is a lot like Christmas at the North Pole. There is a buzz here this week as Halloween approaches. Everyone is happy. Everyone is excited.

Elves love Halloween.

Love, love, love, love, love, love, love, love, love, love Halloween.

Elves in general are really creative people. We have to be. All we do is create.

Santa teaches us in elf class that the most important thing we can ever have is an imagination and as elves we’re good at that.

Elves, for example, create toys. Then we create ways to get toys to you.

So when it comes to Halloween I think it is a day that just brings out the best in an elf: creativity.

Right now, as I write this, elves everywhere here are creating something of magic: their Halloween costume.

A lot goes into this. Some start months ahead of time. But all are very highly creative by the time the day is done.

Halloween is a day off here at the North Pole. Imagine that. No toy making. No cookie eating. No shuffling letters to Santa, no buzzing saws in the workshop, no sticky tape in the wrapping department and no one at the world map in the Tracking Department. We’re all off.

And we hide. We don’t want anyone to see us before it is time.

Then, right around noon our time, the chime goes off on the big clock in the North Pole town square and we come out of our homes – in costumes – many on their trikes – for the annual Halloween parade.

We have two big parades here at the North Pole. One at Halloween and one at Thanksgiving. And while elves ride their trikes in both of them they are very different parades. And that is because of the costumes.

Elves love Halloween for the costumes alone. There is a contest, as I am certain Elf Ernest has told you in the past, to recognize the best costume at the North Pole. Elves go all out for it.
I’ll never forget the year Elf Yogi came as an Exploding Grape. It was awesome. He looked just like a real grape. He came out of his house big and juicy and round in a purple rubber suit that had to be heavier than a ton of bricks.

His face and any exposed skin was all painted a sparkly deep purple and he had a little stem growing out of his head. It was a simple costume, striking because of its color alone.

It was so simple, in fact, that nobody noticed him.

He stood next to the guy in the “world’s largest candy cane” costume. On the other side of him was “Christmas light girl”, an elf decked out in synchronized Christmas lights. There was no flash to Elf Yogi and he just told everyone he was a grape.

Nobody thought he would win the big prize.

But when the elves crowded around the town square as Santa got ready to declare another elf the winner, Yogi stepped forward and yelled, “Everyone cover your eyes!” – and just like that he EXPLODED! And grape juice went flying everywhere.

A deep reddish/purple liquid cloud erupted from him that covered the “world’s largest candy cane” and Christmas light girl. Anyone within 30 feet of Yogi was just plastered with grape.

At first everyone gasped and then there was silence – as Santa, his red suit splattered here and there, looked down at Yogi and said, “What are you supposed to be now?”

Yogi smiled. “A raisin,” he said.

And then Santa laughed – laughed as hard as I ever heard him laugh.

In fact, Yogi got everyone laughing, even though many of them were a mess. And Santa gave him the big prize.

Halloween is messy for other reasons. It is, as you know, the time for the annual Elf Food Fight. I’ll let Ernest explain that to you. It is a mystery to me.

But not Halloween. It brings out the best in us and we have a great time.

I hope you have a great time too.

How Elves Poop and Other Secrets of North Pole Life

Life as an ElfI was stunned to get this question via the mail to the North Pole this week: How do elves poop?

I’m not answering it. And that’s because elves poop like everyone else and it’s disgusting and I don’t want to talk about it.

But these are the burning questions we get about elf life here at the North Pole. People – well, kids, I guess – look at us and think there is something different.

Well, it’s not poop.

The truth is that we do not have a lot of real secrets when it comes to being an elf and working for Santa. We have the same problems as anyone. There’s really nothing special about being an elf.

I mean, yeah, I have a flying reindeer named Sparkle. But hey, what elf doesn’t?

Okay, okay. I get it. That’s not normal. Working at the North Pole is not normal. Working for Santa is not normal. Maybe there are a few little things that make us as elves different.

But let’s stop grasping at straws here. I will just explain it to you. Check your poop at the door.

I’ve explained many times that being an elf is like being as any other person. I’ve explained, as have others, that an elf can be anyone – anywhere at the world. You could be surrounded by elves and never know it (and you probably are).

But for elves who work here at the North Pole, I’ll admit, there are some thing about us that definitely are NOT normal.

But they are not the things you would expect.

First of all, we keep secrets. That much is very true. Santa cannot do what he does without a high degree of confidentiality.


Well, there are security concerns. Santa cannot have a warehouse of video games without a few cameras and door locks.

But there are better reasons to keep secrets. Santa loves to surprise and most people love to be surprised. As an elf, we know the surprises that are coming on Christmas morning.

We love that part of our jobs. It is really magical to know that what you’re making or wrapping and handling is going to make someone really happy.

So to be an elf Santa has to trust us with keeping those surprises in check.

An elf also has to be able to be happy all the time.

That is harder work than you really know. After all we have problems like everyone else. See the stuff about poop above. We get sick. We have bills. We get crabgrass and acne and Barbra
Streisand on the radio. You know, the normal stuff of life.

But Santa has this thing about being jolly.

Sometimes I don’t know how he does it. But I understand why.

When you bring a light into a light room it makes everything brighter. And when you bring a light into a dark room it makes the dark go away. In other words, being jolly and happy and cheerful is never wrong.

This is the stuff you have to understand as an elf.

That and eggnog. Eggnog is a big one to understand.

Elves drink eggnog like air. It practically runs in our veins. I don’t know what there is about the stuff but you cannot be unhappy drinking eggnog. It’s just not possible.

The things you learn as an elf.