The Secret Life of Christmas Elves

by Cie McCullough Buschle on December 22, 2010

in Arts and Culture

elf_paradeSanta’s elves are known to be tiny, dwarf-like creatures, either male or female, with pointed ears. They are immortal and have magical powers that can control what you see and hear. Christmas elves can become invisible any time they wish and are very hard to see. They were once thought to be youthful but are now depicted as more like Santa himself in age. Since they are rarely seen, no one really knows their true ages.

Nearly two centuries ago the Scandinavian elves, famed for their magic and story telling abilities, revealed through the popular writers of the day what their true purpose was: to help Santa Claus. Since then we know that the elves help Santa design and create the wonderful toys and gifts he brings to the world’s children. The best time to spot an elf is in the days before Christmas. They are believed to be Santa’s spies and report their findings back to him. Since they take their responsibilities very seriously, they sometimes forget to become invisible until spotted by a human. More than likely, a dog, cat or some other small animal will alert the neglectful elf before any child sees him.

Hiding Elf

It was first thought that Santa employed only six, then possibly nine, helpers. As the years went on people believed that there were as many as thirteen elves living with Santa. With the world’s population as big as it is now, there must be dozens and dozens of elves working at all types of different jobs.They help Santa not only to design toys, but also to process requests of children that are sent to him through the regular mail or emails.

Besides that, the elves look after Santa’s reindeer. Since no reindeer live at the North Pole, humans have figured out  that there is a secret village with a secret passage, somewhere in Lapland, Finland, where the elves caring for new reindeer can easily get to the North Pole and back. Neither the entrance to the village or the secret passage have been found.

Several elves have become quite famous, despite attempting to remain out of the limelight. Bushy Evergreen invented a wondrous contraption that quickly, but still magically, creates whatever toy Santa asks for. Alabaster Snowball has the daunting task of keeping track of The List. This is the list of all children and whether they have been naughty or nice. During the past few years Alabaster has converter the entire list to the NPDb, or North Pole Database, and is therefore sometimes referred to as the Geek Elf. Santa only entrusts one elf with the secret of how to enter the North Pole Village, and that is the Guardian Elf Pepper Minstix. However, the Lapland village, where the reindeer are raised and trained, is guarded by Shinny Upatree, who is considered to be the eldest elf of all.

Jenny Nyström

Mrs. Claus’ right hand elf is Sugarplum Mary, Head of the Sweet Treats. Mary is in the North Pole kitchen from morning to night, always testing out new cookie recipes. She is sometimes called Mary Christmas. Last, but of course not least, is Wunorse Openslae, who actually designed Santa’s original sleigh. Now he maintains and updates the sleigh each year, plus he keeps the reindeer in tiptop flying condition. Some say because of his modifications, Santa can fly faster than you can light up a Christmas Tree.

Each of the other elves living at the North Pole, and in Lapland, have their own special jobs, but try as we might, humans have just not been able to find out anything more specific. Maybe in a few more centuries, the Christmas Elves will decide to reveal some more secrets to us. Maybe.

| Cie McCullough Buschle lives with her dog Einstein and a cat named Burton Guster. She is a lifelong traveler and enjoys researching history through holidays, toys, and everyday objects. Cie is a sculptor and co-owns The Creative Chameleon, a place where kids and adults can create, paint, celebrate, and just have a lot of fun. Sometimes you can find her time traveling back to the Middle Ages as part of the Society for Creative Anachronism.

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