9 Months Until Christmas

9 Months Until Christmas

Goodness gracious! Another month has gone by and now there are only nine months left until Christmas. And I’ve got news!

You would not believe how fast the walls went up on Santa’s new workshop. The walls and the roof are up and they are working inside almost around the clock now as they try to get things ready by our Christmas in July celebrations.

The place is massive. You could land a dozen sleighs in there, it is so roomy.

The place is so big that nearly every department is being expanded. In fact, entire new departments are being formed. Just yesterday Santa announced the formation of a department called the Department of Glitter, Sparkle and Glow.

I have no idea yet what that means.

But the elf put in charge of that department is someone you know well — Elf Butch.

Now, Butch might not sound like much of a sparkly kind of guy but he’s worked for some time in the wrapping department and he’s got what they call…um, style. He just does things with flair.

So he’s an interesting choice to be the one elf associated with Glitter, Sparkle and Glow at the North Pole. We’re wondering what his job will entail but so far he’s not saying much and Santa said we’d be hearing more about it later. In the meantime, Elf Butch has been tasked with finding 24 other elves to work the Department of Glitter, Sparkle and Glow with him. He’s interviewing right now and even though nobody knows what they do there are plenty of elves lining up to get a job there.

This is, after all, a new workshop department. Every elf wants to work in Santa’s Workshop. It takes a lot of years to get there. You’ve got to have incredible skills, no matter what department you work in.

In announcing this new department Santa said something really interesting. He said to expect a lot of elves in new positions by the time the new workshop opens in July. We don’t know if that means something only to workshop elves or to ALL the elves working for Santa.

Some elves are nervous about that.

Some really like the jobs they are in now. Others would love a chance at a better or a different job. Nobody really quite knows what to think about what Santa said.

No matter what happens you can bet we’ll be here to give you news on all the elf shuffling.

That is, if it is still my job to do so.

Until next month, friends!

Elf Ernest

11 Months Until Christmas

11 Months Until Christmas

Hi ho! Just 11 months from today…it’s Christmas Eve!

Think about it: in just 11 months we’ll be live on the radio, tracking Santa all over again.

I was in a meeting this week and we were talking about the radio program we offer every Christmas Eve from Kringle Radio right here at the North Pole. Did you know it was heard in more than 140 countries around the world this past year?

Isn’t that terrific?

Elves here are very excited to be planning next Christmas already. Everything from toy to cookie production has been discussed this week. Big plans. Big dreams. I can tell it is going to be a great, great Christmas.

As Elf Ed Zachary wrote the other day January has been a period of play time for a lot of us here at the North Pole. Santa sometimes calls it “training”. He just believes that when you work hard you play hard and this has been a period of hard play. There has been a lot of games, a lot of snowball fights, a lot of just enjoying each other’s company.

It’s a good feeling.

But I get a sense that some are ready to get down to work. Our plans are starting to transition into lists. And lists mean tasks. And tasks mean…we need to get busy!

For many around the world a new countdown to Christmas has begun. To us, we love that. The numbers look huge but we know before we know it Christmas will be here again.

And it is exciting. It is always exciting.

Hope your January is going well!

Elf Ernest

All Play and No Work for Santa

All Play and No Work for Santa

The month of January seems silly to some. Gone are the days of anticipation for Christmas and with that it seems Santa and the North Pole are forgotten. After the brief post-Christmas rush of thank you cards and letters to the North Pole post office it has actually become very quiet. January seems silly because Christmas is so far away and nobody appears to be thinking too much about it.

This is admittedly a season for a little fun at the North Pole.

The now-famous Christmas Blizzard of 2017 at the North Pole left us after raging for six full days and dumping more than 25 feet of fresh snow on the North Pole. That made for one big play ground for Santa and all at the North Pole who wanted to burn off a little steam after Christmas.

Santa organized sleigh races for the reindeer and the elves. After all, what was he to do with all those sleighs he built last year? He put them to use in a kind of Olympic-style competition for those who wanted to play. There were races on the ground and in the air. There were races with themes — the water race, the keep-the-hat-in-your-head race, the egg race and the midnight race, which was a scary race downhill in total darkness.

For weeks now there have been nothing but games and fun going on at the North Pole and nobody has been more center to it all than Santa.

I heard a laughing bunch of elves gathered around a bonfire in the middle of fruitcake toss festival the other day talking about whether Santa planned for all the fun they were having in January.

The answer, of course, is that Santa DID plan for this. Santa rarely does anything without a plan, even if it is for play. In fact, I would say Santa plans his play to help his work and his work to help his play. There is purpose behind everything Santa does.

He is the Master Planner.

I can tell you right now, even though it is January, and he’s enjoying a little “time off”, Santa’s head is thinking of all sorts of ideas for next Christmas. He is thinking about every bit of it.

In fact, I think about the only time Santa is planning something is when he is maybe flying his sleigh on Christmas Eve. That, he tells me, takes a lot of concentration.

Planning, you see, is kind of like play to Santa. He loves to plan. He loves to imagine things. He loves to think ahead — far, far ahead. He dreams first of what Christmas will be like and then slowly puts the pieces in place to make it happen.

Magic, Santa says, is no accident. This is one of the fundamental things they teach us in elf school. Magic takes planning and work — and love for both of those.

Nobody likes planning better than Santa. In fact, sometimes Mrs. Claus has to get him to take it easy with it a little bit. For example, one year a little girl wrote in that she had experienced cotton candy for the first time at a summer fair and she was sad because that was the only time and place she could get the stuff. She actually asked Santa for some cotton candy for Christmas.

Well, for some reason, Santa really liked that idea too and he started to think of how he could surprise her with some cotton candy for Christmas. He could shape it like a snowman, he thought, and that would be fun. But then, he thought, making a cotton candy Christmas tree sound like a really neat idea so he took over Mrs. Claus’ kitchen for more than a week trying to make a Christmas tree out of cotton candy.

Mrs. Claus was not happy. Not only did she not appreciate the mess he was making in the kitchen but she thought the pink, fluffy Christmas tree he made from cotton candy looked ridiculous. She finally sat Santa down and said, “She just said she wanted cotton candy for Christmas. Why not just give her cotton candy, Santa?”

Santa could only chuckle about the whole thing. Mrs. Claus, he said, was right. Not every idea turns into a plan but great things happen because Santa loves to make things happen.

So don’t kid yourself. Yes, there is a lot of playing around at the North Pole these days.

But Santa is also talking to a lot of elves. He’s asking them about last Christmas. He’s talking to them about next Christmas. And you can see the wheels turning in his head.

Next week we start to get back to work here at the North Pole.

And guess what?

It begins with a meeting — a planning meeting.

Shocker, right?