It was already mid-September and Santa was concerned. Elf vacation had ended in July and usually by this time the Elves had already completed making a good portion of the years presents. Dumbfounded and wanting to get to the bottom of things Santa called for a meeting with the Elves.
After they had all gathered he asked, “Ho, Ho, Ho, so what’s going on? Thus far you haven’t made a single present and even though you might be able to make up ground, if you work overtime, I’m concerned you won’t finish by Christmas eve”.
As a spokesperson for the Elves, the head Elf stood up on a bench and proclaimed, “You’re right Santa, we haven’t made a single present yet and even though we could finish them by Christmas we don’t intend to do so. This year we are going on strike”.
Normally Santa was a very patient and understanding soul and as such not prone to outbursts but in this case he became very perturbed as he inquired, “Why on earth would you refuse to make presents and go on strike? Don’t you realize that if we don’t give out presents this year there could be chaos throughout the world and people might lose faith in you and me and stop believing in Christmas altogether? So what is it that you want me to do for you so you’ll go back to work? Do you want more vacation time, hot cocoa or better benefits”?
Although the head Elf was intimidated by Santa’s stern tone and line of questioning, he decided to stand his ground and in his very shaky little Elf voice replied, “No Santa, it’s not about our benefits and hot cocoa or anything you’ve done. You provide us with everything we could ever want or need and we love it here. We do what we do for you and the love of Christmas”.
Confused, Santa rubbed his hairy chin and wriggled his nose, then inquired, “That’s wonderful but then why on earth are you going on strike”?
With all of the other Elves looking on encouragingly, the head Elf cleared his throat then exclaimed, “The truth is Santa, many people have already stopped believing in you and lost faith. On top of it all it seems like the more gadgets and toys we give them the less happy and fulfilled they seem to become. So why go through the effort”?
Now Santa was a wise old soul so he took to heart what the head Elf had told him and realized they had a good point. He then thought, then thought some more until he finally came up with a workable solution. He then rose from his chair, looked at the Elves, then replied with a smile and a twinkle of an eye, “I see your point my wise little friends and thanks for showing me the light. It seems like we have been so busy giving folks what they say they want that we’ve forgotten to give them what they truly need. So if you are all in agreement then let’s do just that”.
After hearing out Santa’s plan, the Elves jumped up and down and cheered their approval. When things had settled down the head Elf scratched his head and asked, “That’s a wonderful idea Santa but how are we going to do that? We’re just simple elves and have no idea of what each person needs and how to build it for them”.
Santa smiled knowingly as he replied, “You might not but I do so if you are willing to call off your strike I will share my plan with you. It’s actually a very simple one and that I am certain we can complete by Christmas eve. All we’ll need is some paper and pens as well as boxes, wrapping paper and bows”.
Totally baffled by Santa’s request but willing to go along with it, the head Elf said, “Ok Santa, we’ll call off the strike but you are going to have to help us understand your plan a bit better and what you want us to do because it doesn’t make much sense to us now”.
Santa laughed so hard that his belly shook like a bowl full of jelly. He then replied, “Well then gather around tight and I’ll whisper it to you so no spies will hear of our plan and spoil it”.
The Elves did as Santa had requested and after hearing him out cheered loudly then ran off to go about their tasks.
Though it took them every bit of the time they had left prior to Christmas eve, they somehow completed their mission. Santa thanked them profusely for their efforts then they loaded his sleigh with the gifts before Santa headed off through the lands to deliver them. As he took off from the North Pole it was with much trepidation as he wondered if, in fact, the gifts he believed they truly needed would be accepted and appreciated.
After Santa had completed his rounds and returned to the North Pole, he joined up with the Elves around the ginormous globe to watch as the people opened their presents. To their delight, their plan actually worked. Their presents were well received and it became one of the most joyous of Christmases in memory.
In each box was a note that told them what their special gift was for. For some it was the gift of hope. For others it was the gift of forgiveness, not just of being able to forgive but also of accepting forgiveness. He also gave out gifts of faith, charity, trust, friendship, peace of mind, courage, spiritual and psychological healing, joy and directions for helping those in need. For others he gave the gift of justice and freedom along with countless other gifts that each person truly needed. But the gift that was most treasured and given to all was the gift of love.
So from Santa, the Elves and me, whatever gift you truly need this Christmas and holiday season we hope and pray you receive it.
Thanks for checking in and I hope you enjoy my story and I’ll look forward to seeing you again within the week when I post my next story. In the interim have a safe and happy week and pray for peace.