by Esther Bell/Staff Writer
Photo Source: https://hrdailyadvisor.blr.com/2020/12/17/dol-takes-critical-view-of-santas-workshop/
I’m dreaming about reindeer with candy-cane horns when I am awoken by the sound of sleigh bells. My eyes pop open and I feel a smile take shape on my face. I can smell cinnamon in the air, and look out the window to see snow falling gently from the sky. Already I can feel excitement flow through me when I imagine the full day ahead of me. Honestly, it’s hard not to be excited when you’re one of Santa’s elves.
I hear my siblings, too many of them to count, getting ready in the next room. I put on my favorite red dress, eat some snickerdoodles for breakfast, then leave my room to join them in the hallway.
“Alright, listen up,” my sister Kyla, the leader of my group, says. “Santa needs 900 toy cars ready ASAP. Today, we’re doing red pickup trucks. Let’s get to work!” She turns abruptly, then leads us single-file to a large, colorful building that sits at the very center of our small town in the North Pole. We call it Santa’s Workshop.
Inside, hundreds of elves are already hard at work. I can hardly keep track of what everyone is doing. It’s always loud here, with everyone bustling about, little hammers tapping at a wide assortment of things, elves calling out greetings to each other.
Before I know it, we’ve arrived at our work table, and little pickup trucks are already being passed down to me. I am the painter of our group, so I make sure that every inch of every toy is painted, every stroke of my brush gentle and meticulous. It’s something I adore doing. After I and the other painters are done with our toys, they are placed neatly in a large pile to be inspected later today.
By the time the sleigh bells ring again, announcing lunchtime, we’ve finished 572 toy cars. Everyone stops what they’re doing, and we stream out the big wooden doors. As I approach the picnic tables that sit just outside the workshop, I see my brother Jack, and walk over to him.
“Hello!” he says brightly to me. “What are you working on today?”
“Little red pickup trucks,” I reply, and sit down at a table. “How about you?”
Jack plops himself down next to me. “Santa is having us bake gingerbread cookies for everyone as a special treat,” he says, smiling. “We’ve even decided to put everybody’s names on them. He gave us a list so we didn’t forget a single person.”
I smile back at him, then begin my lunch. We chat for a while, and soon have a large group of friends sitting around us. Eventually, we hear the bells chime again, and return to our separate tasks. I get back to work, and in no time, my group has made 900 cars.
Now comes the best part, when Santa himself arrives to inspect our creations. It’s my favorite part of every day. I hear his jolly laugh, and wait impatiently, as I always do, beside our stack of trucks, watching him in his bright red suit as he encourages the other elves on their work, calling each of them by name. I don’t know how he finds time every day to do this, but I love it.
Soon enough, Santa reaches the end of our table. He picks up one of our cars, looks at it carefully, turning it over in his hands, then turns his twinkling eyes to me. He smiles warmly. “Well done, Layni,” he says, and I can’t help beaming with pride. “It’s perfect.” He winks at me, then moves on to the next elf.
As I lie in my bed later, looking out my window at the bright, shining stars above, I smile, tucking away another amazing day into my memory to never forget, and drift off to sleep.