I can't imagine what it's like at the North Pole: the pressure, long hours, sleeplessness, the workplace injuries. Thankfully, I'm a senior elf. I don't have to make the toys anymore. No more late nights. No more North Pole, delightful as it is. And, no more eggnog, thank Santa.
Senior elfing is soooo much easier - much like grandparenting. It's someone else's job to fill the stockings, put up the tree, put together the "easy to assemble"s. Someone else was responsible for manufacture and delivery. All I had to do is sprinkle peppermint-crystal magic.
This year's assignment was southern California, a far cry from the North Pole, while a young family was away. It was a combination of house-sitting, pet-setting, and freeloading. I rushed to fill the vacuum of junior elfing with the very things that used to stress me out: wrapping presents, baking cookies, and sending cards. Ho! Ho! Ho!
Some packages were there already, ahead of the magic hour. I could have left them on the doorstep or in the hall. The family had no expectations. But, I brought them in and uncrated them. I found the wrapping, the ribbon, the tape. I wrapped them, all but one. It was so big, I devised a scavenger hunt for that one and hid clues throughout the house.
The family is due back by Christmas. The house will be clean before they arrive and the presents will be under the tree. There will be elf dust everywhere but, good thing, they won't be able to see (although the 10-year-old may now be allergic).
I'm delighted to be a senior elf but I'm exhausted. It's a lot of work - no matter what kind of elf you are - to get done in one night.