“Are you ready?” I asked Ms. Claus as I snatched my coat from the rack.
“I just need to grab my notes for the meeting,” Anya responded.
I held the door for Anya, and as we walked holding hands towards Elf University, she asked, “Do you think Birdie has the elves prepared to visit with the children?”
“Since Halloween is behind us now and Thanksgiving just around the corner, the children are looking for their elves, so I sure hope so!” I exclaimed. “With all the new Scout Elves and the COVID-19 pandemic, Birdie had her work cut out for her.”
As we walked into the lecture hall, Birdie turned in our direction. “Perfect timing Ms. Claus and Santa,” she said beaming. “The elves are ready for you.”
“Thanks Birdie,” I announced walking to the middle of the stage. Turning to face all the Scout Elves, I smiled. “Let’s see how smart you are today,” I remarked, “because I have a few important questions that need answering.” Pausing I asked, “When do you come back to the North Pole to report your findings to me?” Looking out I saw a sea of hands waving in the air and pointed to Max.
“Every night right after the children go to bed,” he responded grinning.
“Correct! What is the most important part of picking a place to sit and watch during the day?”
Not able to hold back, Elfie blurted out, “Because of the virus this year, you want to be where the children can’t get within six feet of you.”
“Absolutely.” I then pointed to Tiny and asked, “What if there are not any good places six feet from the children?”
Tiny stood proud and responded, “We wear the masks the elves in the costume shop made for us.”
I nodded and then waved my hand across the room as I pointed at each elf. “You know how important that is this year, and I suggest you wear your masks even if you are six feet from the children,” I declared. Glancing at my notes, I added, “But this is equally important. I know many of you like to play after you get back from the North Pole, so what do you do if the children awaken early and catch you?”
Again, I saw a sea of elfin hands go up. “Jellybean, would you like to answer this one?”
“I would love to Santa. If we get caught, we have to freeze right where we are and wait for the children to leave for school or go into another room. Then we can clean up and get to our post for the day.”
“Excellent!” After asking about several other matters and getting the right answers, I asked my final question. “What are the two things you need to report on when you come back each night?”
I pointed to Fratzkel who did not hesitate. “Anything we see the children do that was nice or naughty, so that you can update your List. We also need to pay attention to what they would like for Christmas, just in case they change their minds.”
“Amazing, I think all of you are ready.” Looking toward Birdie, I added, “As usual, you have done a great job training the Scout Elves this year.” Finishing, I heard all the elves stand up and cheer.
“One more important thing,” I announced holding up my arms for quiet. “Before you can leave, Ms. Claus would like to discuss a few issues.”
Before Ms. Claus reached the podium, Hanfin hollered out, “I know the children in my family have already asked for me to come. Can I leave tonight?”
As the room exploded with chatter, Ms. Claus loudly said, “Not so quick!” When the elves settled down, she continued. “No matter when your family requests you to come and visit for Christmas, there are three things you must do.”
“I thought all we had to was pass Santa’s test!” Peppermint exclaimed.
“It’s not that simple. If you are going to judge the children for the good and bad things they do, then you have to understand what activities are good and do some of those things yourself.”
As the elves began grumbling, Anya gave me a big smile. Looking back at the elves, she explained. “The first thing you need to do is complete any chores Bernard or the supervisor in your department has given you.”
One of the elves shouted, “What if we complete our chores and they just keep giving us more?”
“I guarantee that you will not be given any more chores to do before you leave,” I quickly responded.
With that question settled, Ms. Claus continued. “Once you have your chores in the workshops finished, you have just two more things to do.” Not a single elf made a sound.
“When you are ready to leave for your visit, let me know, and I will come and inspect your room.”
Though the elves squirmed in their chairs, they kept quiet till Snickers asked, “What does our room have to do with visiting the children?”
“We want you to set a good example for the children. That means you need to straighten your room up, put things away in their proper place, and make your bed.”
The room erupted with all the new Scout Elves talking again. This time the veteran elves quieted them down. Heart stood up to address everyone. “Listen up! All new elves will understand how important it is to set a good example once you arrive at the homes of your children, just like all of us veterans have in the past.”
“Thank you, Heart. I ‘m sure they will.” Looking around the room and then at Birdie and me, Anya said, “If no one has any further questions, I think we are finished.”
All the Scout Elves rose and clapped. As Birdie and I walked to the center of the stage to join Ms. Claus the three of us held hands and in unison said, “Congratulations and Good Luck!”
After the elves left the hall, I looked at Birdie and said, “One again, you have done an excellent job training the elves.” I then turned to Anya. “I could never have done this without your help teaching the elves to set good examples for the children.”
“I know Santa. Everyone here at the North Pole is dedicated to making Christmas as special as possible for the children, and I’m just doing my part!”
Notes From Santa
To read more about Scout Elves please check out: Scout Elves Are Coming, which was posted on November 4, 2019; Scout Elf Shortage, which was posted on February 17, 2020; Scout Elf Precautions, which was posted on September 28, 2020; and Invisible Elves, which was posted on October 19, 2020
I hope you enjoyed today’s story. I will post another one next Monday. If you have any comments or if there is something you would like me to tell you about, please feel free to leave me a comment. Until next week . . .
Illustration by FireMane Studio