Thursday, October 29, 2009

Priority Mail (2)

"Quite a pile," the mail elf said.

He was not joking. It was a large sack that he struggled to lift. Then he realized that it would not fit though the window.

"I'll pick it up at the door, " I suggested.

He smiled, then grunted as he began dragging it away from the window to the door from the mail room into the lobby. The door swung open, and he tugged the bag through.

"Thank you," I said brightly, picking up the bag. It was heavy, but not too bad for me. Still, I pretended that lifting it was an effort just so he wouldn't be embarrassed.

I headed out of the post office, Nendia glued to my side.

"Special requests?" She squeaked. "Oh, but Bucky ...."

"Yes, remind me. You have an agreement?"

"Oh, yes," she panted, trying to keep up with me.

I slowed down.

"We work in the doll factory," Nendia said, adding with obvious pride, "I'm in charge of legs."

"Ah," I said. "Legs are important."

"Yes, yes," she gasped, still trying to keep up on her own pudgy legs. "Bucky makes arms."

"So you work as a team," I suggested.

"Oh, oh. But that is the agreement. Together. As a team."

"So what is the problem?" I asked.

"She works too fast. Arms Arms. More Arms. I can't keep up. She agreed that we would keep pace, but she keeps making more and more. Then she just leaves. She doesn't wait for me to finish."

She finished the last outburst with a squeak, and several gasps for air.

"Have you spoken to her?" I asked.

"Oh, I, Oh."

I stopped. She took several deep breaths.

"I ... I, yes," she said with what sounded like a combination between a squeak and a sob.

"Tell you what," I said. "Why don't we go in to the big house so I can drop off this mail? And we can get some hot chocolates."

More to come ...

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Priority mail

I was returning from the stables where I was visiting my sick reindeer - Reindeer Flu! - when I was stopped outside the post office by Nendia, one of the doll-making elves. A pudgy elf, even by elf standards.

"Santa! Santa!" She squeaked. (She tends to talk in squeaks.)

"Ah, Nendia, is something on your mind? " I asked, knowing full well that something was always on her mind.

"Well, I have to tell you," she squeaked (See?). "Bucky is not following our agreement. You have to talk to her!"

I thought for a moment. Bucky? Agreement?

Nothing came back to me. This could take a while, I feared.

"I have to pick up some mail," I said. "Then maybe you can remind me of the agreement."

"Oh, of course," she squeaked. But she also smiled. She had my attention - which is probably part of what she really wanted.

We entered the post office. Dozens of voices called out to me.

"Hello Santa! Santa! Good afternoon Santa!"

"Hello everyone," I said loudly to them all. "Quite a crowd. Not mailing your Christmas cards early? Or are you mailing your lists to me already?"

A few of them laughed. I went over to my special mail window.

"I was told some more special requests had come in." I said, trying to sound jolly, but already feeling a bit of sadness.

More to come ...

Monday, October 26, 2009

Reindeer Flu

Around the world people are worried about Swine Flu.

Here, we have Reindeer Flu!

Dasher, Prancer, Cupid, and Flash (one of the auxiliary reindeer) are all down with it, and are quarantined away from the others. Several of the elves are also sick - they claim it's Reindeer Flu, too! (I suspect it's just the regular flu, but if they want to give it a special name, let them.)

So far, Mrs. Claus and I have avoided it. If I have to get sick, I'd rather it be now before the busy season begins. Clyde suggests I go sleep in the stable with the sick reindeer, get it and get it over with!

I think I'll just wait to see if nature sends it my way.

For those of you who are sick now, I'll keep you in my prayers.

Sunday, October 25, 2009

North Pole Lives!

A year ago I wrote about some of the problems here with the ice pack melting. We've had to move some of our operations. The elves were not happy at first.

The ice issue remain, but we seem to have things settled for now.

Yes, my headquarters is still at the North Pole. Some of our creative elves came up with ways to keep the ice around the workshop solid and thick enough. Ah, those elves! What would I do without them.

At the same time, we have set up satellite workshops at different points around the world. (I can't say exactly where, but one of them is in some old stomping grounds, another is in a region of the world that has plenty of or ice and snow, and a third is in a place that Mrs. Claus and some of the elves like because there are some big cities nearby!)

This actually helps to speed up production, and it gives us more places to store toys. Last Christmas when I set out I didn't have to load everything on the sleigh. I simply made two stops to pick up more presents - and refresh my hot chocolate!

Believe me, the reindeer were relieved that we did not have to haul everything in one load.

I have many more stories to tell. I promise I will be be back wrtign soon. But for now, I have to chekc in wiht some of my helpers aroudn the world to make sure they are getting ready for this year.

Ho! Ho! Ho!