The sun glared intently upon the growing village of the North Pole on an unusually warm December morning. Children were busy tying their shoes and getting their lunches hoping not to be late for school. Moms and Dads were hustling and bustling with morning activities hoping the children wouldn’t be late for school and they wouldn’t be late for work.
Even with the odd warmth of the day, the reindeer were busy with the pre-launch exercise required to make sure they could go the distance on Christmas Eve.
That afternoon, the two thirty whistle shrilled across the happy village signaling school was out for the day and all the workers could take another fifteen-minute break. Not a soul was aware of it at the time, but this two thirty whistle would resound through the history of the North Pole for eternities to come.
As the children raced across the snow-laden fields towards home, the adults all gathered at different spots across the main staging area, having a snack or a good chat with their friends. Not more than one hundred feet from the closest chatters, one peculiar event after another happened. The thin ice roof of Storage Room A, where many of the Christmas items are stored, had melted more than normal. Having melted to a very thin layer of clear ice, it became a magnifying glass, creating a beam of light strong enough to cook an egg! That in itself could have easily been taken care of if nothing more had transpired during that memorable fifteen minutes. Unfortunately, some of the melted water found its way onto the floor beneath a rolling storage bin. The floor became slick and the storage bin rolled, full steam, into a large box of wrapping paper. The wrapping paper fell directly into the beaming light rays and within five minutes created a fire.
The fire quickly ensconced the rolls of paper and spread onto the wooden pallets, enveloping their contents in a matter of moments. Before the first elf noticed the column of smoke billowing from the now melted ceiling of the storage room, nearly half the stored goods were ablaze.
The blare of the fire alarm broke through the merry making and set a panic in its stead. Elves broke into a run to grab fire extinguishers and hoses. The local fire department set out at full tilt to gather the reindeer together for a water assault from above. The reindeer, still a little tired from their morning long exercise, rose to the occasion. Lifting two elves onto their backs, they flew to the lake where the elves filled the buckets they were carrying. Jumping back onto the reindeer, they flew through the smoke dumping buckets upon buckets of water through the hole and assisted in squelching the flames in just under an hour.
But the damage was done. Storage room A housed nearly half of the Christmas items and of that half, three quarters had been melted, scorched, water logged or ruined by smoke. With three weeks until Christmas, the elves surveyed the room with heavy hearts.
Santa and Mrs. Claus sat down and contemplated the situation. Whatever could be done about Christmas must be done soon. Even at full tilt, with all the elves working, it would take months to rebuild the storage area as well as all its contents.
“Dad?” asked little elfin Sam.
“Yes son?” replied Elf Corwin still cleaning the soot from his suit.
“Is there going to be a Christmas this year?”
Turning and picking up Sam, Corwin replied, “There will always be a Christmas, although maybe not as happy as other Christmas’s.”
“Is Dana going to have a good Christmas? You said she was on the good list this year. Every time you came back to report to Santa she had always cleaned her plate and brushed her teeth.”
“I don’t know son. I am not sure what she wants for Christmas so I don’t know whether there is anything left for her or not. That’s Santa’s department. He tracks who wants what, I just give my report.”
“Well, I can make her something, Dad. You have shown me some of the things you do at work. In a few years I will be pretty good too. I could practice now and lend a hand.”
Elf Corwin hugged his son tightly “I am sure you will do a wonderful job. You best get some sleep so you can go with me tomorrow morning. I want to get there early.”
Another morning broke over the now saddened village. The children merrily skipping off to school weren’t to be seen. The whistling and smiling faces whisking into the factory had been replaced with saddened trudging. Although the night crew had managed to clean all of the mess up the fresh paint would have to wait until the end of this season to allow time for the fumes to dissipate.
Santa walked into the workshop and froze in his tracks.
“Ho! Ho! Ho! What is going on here?” Santa chuckled for the first time in over twelve hours (which for Santa was over eleven hours too long!)
“It seems the elves have a little help today.” Jingles stated with a chuckle of his own before adding “The key word being ‘little’”.
“My goodness! Every elf and elfin from this part of the factory are here! My word! This is wonderful!
And so it was wonderful! All the elves and their children were busy at work trying to refill Storage room A with all the items lost. Three days came and went and the lot toiled away, hoping beyond hope, to finish replacing everything that was lost. In fact, the factory was so busy building, making, packing and wrapping, they hadn’t had time to decorate the workshop. Christmas music played to the room from a half dozen speakers, but the Christmas spirit wasn’t the same.
On that third afternoon, it became apparent the needed end results weren’t to be met in time. Disheartened, but still clinging to hope, Factory A shut its doors for the night and wearily went home.
As the sun crept over the frozen tundra signifying a new morning had come, the routine began once again as the elves from Storage room A set out to begin the day.
With spirits slightly down and smiles hard to come by, the elves entered to a big surprise! The work shop was already up and running and everywhere one looked there were elves hustling and bustling, reindeer with satchels toting, elfin decorating and a whole breakfast fit for ol’ Santa Clause and all of Factory A!
“My goodness,” Exclaimed Elf CandyCane “what is going on here?”
All at once there arose a deafening “Good Morning Factory A!”
“Hi CandyCane,” Elf Char greeted, offering her a hot chocolate. “Factory B here to assist where we can. We put in some extra hours at our shop to finish early so we could lend a hand”.
“G’mornin CC,” said Elf Sneaky, extending a napkin holding a chocolate cream filled donut. “Bakery all set up for the day, so we’ll be doing snacks and lunches. Oh, and I hope you don’t mind if we do some decorating. After all, it is Christmas!”
“We would absolutely love that,” Elf CandyCane replied with tears forming in her eyes.
“All I have for you is a hug,” Elf Dak said, giving CC a big bear hug. “Oh, and I also have all of Factory C here with me. Couldn’t let B finish before us and be the only ones helping now could we?”
And so it was that with plenty of time to spare and spirits refreshed, Factory A was ready for Christmas. The entire village came together and Santa and Jingles hosted the most special get together ever seen at the North Pole.
“A few weeks ago we had a test of our character,” said Santa. “The test not only proved what can be done when the times are tough, but it showed that in working together greater things can be accomplished. Son standing beside father, daughter beside mother, all aimed at the goal of bringing love and happiness for Christmas. The outstanding camaraderie that can be found between the different factories is as prominent now as any time in the history of the North Pole. There is no single effort more outstanding than everyone gathering as a single spirit to accomplish a single goal. Every elf, elfin and reindeer played an important role in this years readiness. For that, I give you all thanks and wish you a very Merry Christmas!”
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