As always this time of year, life here in Santa’s Village is busy, busy, busy. Before things get really crazy, I thought I would take a moment to let you know what’s been going on in the Claus household this year.
First, let me say, I am sorry about the mass e-mail. The economy has forced us to put new efficiency measures into place, and I’m just not sure I will be able to answer all of your notes left in/near stockings hung by the chimney with care. You can bet, though, that I will devour your much-appreciated milk and cookies!
In addition to efficiency, I thought this year might require something a little more expansive from me, so I can explain a few things. If ever there were a year that the Grinch might steal Christmas, this is it. But I want to put to rest the rumors circulating on the Internet: There is no way that the Grinch, or anything else, will prevent me from making my rounds again this holiday. You can take that to the bank. (A functioning one, of course.)
Speaking of finances, you probably know that the difficulties in the broader economy posed a few challenges to North Pole 99705, as we jokingly refer to our environs. (And let me just say, what with the melting ice caps, that our once snowbound community is looking more and more like the beaches of Beverly Hills, 90210 every day. So we don’t laugh quite as hard as we used to at our little joke.) Anyway, the good news is that despite what you may have heard, none of the elves’ quarters or reindeer stables or Mrs. Claus’s and my house ended up in foreclosure.
Meanwhile, yes, like everyone else, we were hit with rising costs. That, in turn, led us, as you’ve probably read on various blogs, to renegotiate contracts with the elves. I would not be completely forthright if I didn’t acknowledge that the negotiations weren’t exactly jolly. But in the end, we reached an agreement that streamlines operations, increases productivity, and ensures the long-term prosperity of Santa’s Village and its inhabitants. In other words, it’s all good. Or as we like to say around here, it’s all festive.
Another challenge for us this year was the rising cost of fuel. Fuel? you ask. I thought the sleigh was powered by reindeer. True -- it is. Because of that, the sleigh is environmentally sound; we’re proud to say that our annual trip around the planet leaves no carbon footprint. However, the fuel I am talking about is reindeer food: grasses and lichens.The same rise in food prices affecting the rest of the world is affecting the North Pole. But if there is anything good that comes of global warming, it is that the warmer temperatures allow more grass to grow. So rest assured, the reindeer are well fed and chompin’ at the bit, as it were, for the big night. Donner and Blitzen, especially, are playing their reindeer games with even more gusto than usual. They are even letting Rudolph play.
In keeping with the general economic situation, we enacted some bonus incentives, and I think that may have helped renew their vigor. As for Mrs. Claus, she has been baking up a storm, as you can imagine. She has also become more active in community affairs and may run for local office. I wouldn’t be surprised if she ended up on a national ticket someday (ho, ho, ho). This is a joyous time.
Regardless of any difficulties we all may have faced, we will again have a wonderful holiday season. And even as the elves work feverishly, building iPhones and Guitar Hero games, I want to say that it’s possible everyone may not get everything they want. As I sit with my pipe in front of the fire, contemplating the meaning of this time of year, it occurs to me that the Grinch himself unwittingly taught me that a holiday “without packages, boxes or bags” could be a good thing: “He puzzled and puzzled ’till his puzzler was sore. Then the Grinch thought of something he hadn’t before. What if Christmas, he thought, doesn’t come from a store. What if Christmas, perhaps, means a little bit more.” *Well, that’s about it from here. I’ve got to get crackin'.
With good cheer to all,
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*from how the grinch stole christmas! by dr. seuss