“Oh dear… oh dear.” A little elf repeated as she hurried past other elves. “Oh dear, oh dear, oh dear.” Focusing on the small cardboard box in front of her, she kept questioning herself, “Will they be enough?”
She pushed the box against two oak doors and scuttled through the banqueting hall. Everything and everyone was very busy. Dinner was being prepared, the table was being set, and the carol singers and orchestra were preparing for their performance tonight. Tonight was a very special night, for it was the evening of Christmas. Mr Claus would be arriving home very shortly, after delivering the presents all around the world, and everything was all but calm in the Claus’ household.
See, every Christmas Eve, everyone prepares the present delivering during the day, right up until Mr Claus departs on his sleigh. The Reindeer’s are fed, and trained for their big mission, the elves are working hard in the toy workshop, finalising details on the gifts, their’s mapping and route planning, weather analytics, packing the gifts into country sections, checking through the list one last time… Let’s just say that every department is busy on this day. Once Mr Claus has departed, the mapping and weather team are on stand by, in case any emergencies arise. Other than that, Mrs Claus orders everyone to get enough sleep so that they are up early preparing for the celebratory Dinner party during the day.
So you can imagine, how this little elf felt when she woke up to the Tree Designer 207000 machine, (a machine that creates all decorations for Christmas trees) blocked off for maintenance.
“What’s going on?” She asked the maintenance elves.
“There is a small bauble caught between two cogs inside the mechanics.” They responded.
“So is it nearly fixed, as I must get on with decorating the tree.” She said, going to her desk to gather her clipboard and notes.
One of the maintenance elves chuckled, and responded with a resounding “Nope.”
The little elf responded “…but it needs to be.”
Another was analysing the instruction manual of the Tree Designer 207000.
Without looking up, they said, “It may need to be ready, but due to the way this machine was designed, there’s a lot more to it than just taking a panel out and removing the bauble…”They scratch their head as they mumble “Why don’t they just build machines like they used to?”
The little elf’s eyes widen with fear. A sudden realisation that this machine was not going to be ready, in time for hanging the decorations up, looks at her notes with a blank face and asks herself, “How am I going to do this?”
One elf laughs from the other side of the machine, “Why don’t you just throw some old toys, paper work and snow onto there. I’m sure that will look great.”
Chuckling at their own joke, the little elf pays no attention to their sarcasm, and just flicks through her notes with sadness filling her eyes. The maintenance team glance over, and stop when they notice the pure worry on this little elf’s face. The joker elf stands up and says “I’m sorry. I was only trying to lighten the situation.”
The little elf still pays no attention, but walks to a lonely cupboard and picks up a small cardboard box, marked “Old Decorations. Not to be discarded.” She picks the box up and goes to leave the room. She stops as one elf says “I’m sure whatever you end up doing is going to look great.”
She leaves the room, and makes her way to the banqueting hall.
Looking down at the box, she begins to panic. She asks, “How is this box going to even cover a quarter of the tree?” She stops. Widens her eyes and scuttles through the corridor, repeating “Oh dear oh dear.”
As she reaches the tree in the Banqueting hall, the Tree team gather around, asking if everything is okay and ready. She shakes her head and goes to place the miniature box of ornaments, by the skyscraper of a tree. Mrs Claus is looking over the room and notices the gathering of saddened elves. She overhears the little elf explaining the situation and beings to walk over as another elf asks “So what now?”
“Well now…all we can do is work with what we have.” The little elf sighed and looked at the box. Noticing Mrs Claus heading in their direction, she quickly pipes up and bluffs with, “But it’s all well! We can make it work, right guys?” Desperately looking at the other elves, who questionably agree and nod their heads.
“What do we have here?” Mrs Claus asks. The other elves also quickly pipe up with reassuring quotes, “It’s all fine, everything will be sorted, just getting on with work” etc…
Mrs Claus opens the box and gasps. She pulls out a hand made cookie heart with a piped date on it. She looks to the elves and asks, “Where did you get this?”
The little elf raised her eyebrow and said, “It was in a cupboard in my office.”
Mrs Claus smiles and holds the ornament to her heart. “This ornament is very special to me. This was actually made on the first date Mr Claus and I had.” She began to tell the story of how he asked her out, and how he was a hopeless romantic. Somehow, time passed, and all departments gathered to listen to this story.
There was a sudden bong of a clock.
The little elf frantically stands and shouts “The time! Wh-what are we going to do?”
Everyone looks at each other.
Mrs Claus laughs and places the ornament on the tree.
“Well I know that a Christmas tree is made with love. Personally I would love it if the tree had all kinds of love on it.”
Without any hesitation, all the elves get up and run to find personal items to hang on the tree.
The little elf looks up to Mrs Claus and mouthes “Thank you.”
Mrs Claus smiles and mouthes back “No problem.”