A What?
Off The Wall, December 10, 2010

Many times when we get so weighed down by burdens, we don’t know which end is up. If we don’t get the horse by the reigns, what usually results is getting stressed out.

Now, you may remember a number of weeks ago, I talked about this very subject. But, I intentionally didn’t mention one group of people, because many observers of Christmas may have not yet been in the Christmas spirit. But, by now, there is an upsurge of the general public looking for gifts to buy their loved ones.

And even though we have those lookers, we can’t forget those behind the scenes making the availability of productivity possible. This includes the manufacturers, retailers, and last but not least, the elves.

Awe, yes, those wonderful helpers of Santa must be frantic all of a sudden. Up to this time, they had their chores to do, but there was no pressure. I'm sure each knew what they had to do and did it with perfection. I could only imagine that eight months of the year, taking care of the odds and ends up at the North Pole, along with the designated jobs, Santa saw to it that they had to do was done as assigned.

Do you suppose these fellows had to do the jobs handed down to them at the same time they have to prepare the gift distributions? I hope that’s not the case.

But here we are, a little over two weeks away from Christmas, and the mood has taken on a whole different twist. No longer are these little guys calmly feeling the peace of what collegians may refer to as “spring break,” but all havoc has broken out in the workshop.

Now you have to figure, there really aren’t that many elves, anywhere from six to 13 little fellows according to folklore. They help him design toys and process requests of children that are sent to him through snail mail or emails. It’s the latter that pose a few problems.

Can you imagine the stress that is being created by all these requests coming in from throughout the world? Somehow, one doesn’t hear calm voices making requests such as, “Hey, Bushy Evergreen. Little Darrel wants a little red wagon. Could you wheel one down in my direction so I could get one ready for him?”

Now, it’s a tune with an upbeat tempo. “Hey, Giljagaur,” Faldafeykir said, “I need fourteen Bakugan Dragonoid Colosossus video games going down to Latrobe, and another 25 E-Racer Cars for the Norvelt/Mt. Pleasant areas. Can you fix me up?”

Somewhat perplexed, one could see bewilderment in the elf’s eyes. He thought he was familiar with the latest video games, but this one caught him off guard. “Oh, and by the way, Can you include a Tiny Robotic Hexbug as well?” Santa’s helper was really stymied. “A what?” he said. To make matters worse, he received a number of emails expressing the fact that new Wii video games had also been released. He knew boys and girls might be putting in requests for these as well. Sweat pour from his brow.

And its understandable. Stress was building as youngsters asked for FlingSmash, Pokepark and even Babysitting Mama. Can’t you just hear one or more them express further frustration when they have to search the elf warehouse for the newly produced Crazy Hand Tattoos, My Triceratops Dinosaur, and Playmobile Pirateships Sets.

“Whatever happened to the good ‘ol days?” the green-jacketed helper asked, as he threw his arms to in the air.”

Yet all of them never stopped working for a second. Hey, parents, give these guys a break. I know Santa usually gets the milk and cookies many times he visits homes where kids live, but what do the elves get – you got it, stress. Now, is that fair? Back off.

Does Stan really need a Donkey Kong Country Returns video game? Instead of being glued to the television set, he should be out enjoying the invigorating fresh air, learning how to better perfect his skills of whatever it is he loves best.

Maybe this year you could cut the elves a break? I’m sure there will be plenty of toys to go around!

- Paul J. Volkmann
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