It’s not that I’ve been the laziest Elf, even though most, if not all up here at the North Pole would disagree. Sometimes it’s just nice to not worry about all the hustle bustle of Christmas, even if you are a Christmas Elf. That’s right, I’m a Christmas Elf! I’m short in height and big in the ear department. I wear a silly green hat, and pointy shoes fixed with a little brass bell on the tip that jingles with EVERY step.
I guess I should introduce myself formally. My name is Stanley, I’m twenty-five but I don’t look a day over thirteen, which makes it a little hard in the lady-Elf department, if you know what I mean. I was born into the Elf business my Great Grandpa was an Elf, my Grandpa was an Elf, and my father is the Chief Christmas Elf in charge of the Toys and Decoration Department. All of that means that there are expectations of me, expectations that I am just not that interested in.
Up here at the North Pole you’d think the most important day would be Christmas, but it’s not, it’s actually the first Monday of November. That is the day that the big guy (Santa, in case you aren’t following the theme of the story) gets his list of who has been naughty and who has been nice. The list used to be flown in by carrier pigeons, but with today’s technology it is emailed through the N.O.N.E system. That stands for Naughty Or Nice Electronic, the name could use some work if you ask me. It doesn’t sound exactly promising, but one thing the system is good for is saving trees, the paper list was miles long and not very eco-friendly.
Maybe I don’t sound as positive as your typical cheery carol singing, hot chocolate sipping, skipping around the Christmas tree Elf. It’s just that November first isn’t a big deal for me. I never wanted to be a toy maker or present wrapper. I have my own passion, my own secret elf agenda. I’ve always truly wanted to be a clock maker, yes, I know an Elf wanting to be a clock maker, not something you hear every day or possibly ever. Of course it’s not what my father nor Santa wants me to do but, but hey I’d say they’re pretty lucky to know a Clock Elf.
It was the first Monday of November of this year that my father and I got into a big fight, like always. My father and I never get along this time of year and this year was no different. Or it would’ve been no different except this is the year I was supposed to step up and take over the family business. It was not unlike my father and I to get into heated arguments, and that’s what happened. He came into my room to tell me what I was expected to do this year, the new responsibilities, all the jazz about what it means to the future of Christmas. It clearly didn’t matter how many times I told him, I didn’t want anything to do with being the new Chief of the Toy and Decoration Department. I didn’t want to be a Christmas Elf, period.
I wasn’t about to spend the next month, being hassled by anyone. I made my decision and I was going to chase my dream. I would miss the North Pole but I am not cut out for the lights and tinsel of Christmas Town. I packing up my suitcase and heading to the train station, not sure where I was going but wherever it was, it would sure beat here.
I was all packed up and ready to go, standing with all my stuff packed on the floor beside the table I grabbed a scroll and a feather tip pen and wrote a short letter to my father. Dear Father
Bye the time you are reading this I will be on a train, heading to a destination unknown. It is time that I follow my dreams, go after my passion, live the life that I am destined to live. I will write when I settle in, until then don’t worry about me, I am capable. I love you very much and please don’t look for me, for I will be living the life of a free elf. Take care of yourself and I love you very much.
I left our cozy little Christmas cabin, without a single glance back. I had only one stop to make, I need to pass by headquarters and grab my favorite watch from the office. Thankfully it was late and everyone was sleeping, including that lazy butt Snoozy the security guard, ya I know how ironic right? I made it to my office and grabbed my watch, and slipped it on. On the way out I had this silly feeling, like something just wasn’t right. I tip toed back into the office and peeked down into the work room and there I saw four Tuxedo Penguin Ninjas, what are they doing here? What could they be searching for? I started back for the security booth to get Snoozy when it clicked, they’re after the Naughty or Nice disc, without that Christmas will be ruined.
There is no way Snoozy would get there fast enough to stop these slippery smooth ninjas. I need to think of something and I need to think of it quick. I took off down the stairs as fast as my three foot, five inch body could take me. “Think and run Stanley, think and run!” I chant to myself.
By the time I got down to the work shop the penguins were starting for the windows. “STOP!” I yelled but they didn’t even look, if anything they started climbing to the window faster. That is when I remembered “My Watch!” the one thing I came here for. It isn’t just any watch, it is a magical watch. I got from my father on my tenth birthday; it had the power to stop time briefly. I never had a reason to use it before and my father always warned me that it will only ever work once. I had to use it now; there was no question the fate of Christmas was solely in my hands. I pushed the buttons in the sequence of Jingle Bells. And just like my father said everything slowed down to a creep and then stopped.
I ran, climbed and pounced up the toy pile jumping from box to box, getting tangled in this ribbon and that ribbon, until I made it to the penguins. I grabbed the disc from the satchel of the leader and tucked it deep into my pocket. I tumbled back down to the bottom of the toy mountain. By the time the magical freeze wore of I was back in the office. Safe and sound with the list back in its rightful spot and watching the penguins wake up.
They had no idea what happened, no inclination that the world had frozen around them. They scurried right out the window thinking they were getting away with the perfect plan. Once they were gone and clear from sight I went back up the toys, careful this time not to break any of the waiting toys, and I locked the window tight. I straightened the crinkled ribbons and fixed the dented and torn boxes.
On my way out of headquarters I gave Snoozy a shake. I let him know that there had been reports of penguins sneaking around and that maybe he should have a cup of joe and wake up a bit. Walking out the front doors of headquarters it dawned on me, I just single handily saved Christmas. No one would ever believe that, I don’t think I even believe it. I took another look at my watch and realized that the last train of the night had left the station. I can’t say I was that upset. I guess tomorrow is another day to follow my dreams.
If there is one thing my father ever taught me it is to the do the important and right things. I could have used my watch to slow down the trains; to be sure I made it on time. Instead I used it to save Christmas, to bring joy to others. I guess I am really in no rush to get away, one day at a time. And right now I am tired, I’m going home, and I’m going to sleep.
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<a href="http://www.storiesspace.com/stories/childrens/the-clock-elf.aspx">The Clock Elf</a>