From the Market — The holidays as Elf No. 1

Memo to #1 Elf;

1. Have suit cleaned and pressed. Chocolate stains on front are still visible. My bad.

2. Wax & Polish sleigh —want to be able to see my reflection in that baby!

3. Start December exercise routine in Reindeer compound. Noticed that Rudolph is still carrying extra weight in his haunches, he’s got to be able to soar over the rooftops. Don’t want to see any damaged chimneys this year.

4. New soles needed on boots.

5. Check on toy production, have head toymaker report to me pronto.

6. Check mail daily. Assign your crew to collate the lists. Notify me of any sudden surge in requests for particular toy. Remember the Cabbage Patch Doll fiasco? Don’t want to go there again.

7. Make sure that my in person December appearances allow for travel time between gigs. Pencil in some break time for lunch and dinner, I get peckish this time of year.

8. You know my favorite music — why am I hearing rap on my headset? If I wanted to hear Snoop Dog, I’d have told you so.

9. The Tree. Once again, someone forgot to get the ladder out. You guys are so short, the ornaments all end up on the lower branches. I’m too heavy to get up on that ladder.

Sigh. I can’t blame the old fellow for wanting to have everything go perfectly, but why is it always me doing the detail work? What about the other elves? Seems to me that they spend an awful lot of time testing out the newest video games and pretending that Mrs. Santa’s cookies need their quality control expertise on every single batch. Geez, she’s been baking cookies for more years than I can count, she doesn’t need their help. And when the hot chocolate comes out, do they ever think to set a mug aside for me? Nooo! Sometimes I wonder why I ever applied for this job as Head Elf. Just listen to me complaining! Ridiculous, isn’t it — they all know how much I love this place. Come the first time out on the sleigh, I’m the one jingling the bells, singing at the top of my lungs, and wanting to stay the longest.

So, the list of appearances. Should get that confirmed right now. The old fellow really loves seeing a line of children waiting to see him when he arrives. And hot mulled cider, he loves that stuff! Okay, says right here on my Ipad calendar that our very first visit is in Hoquiam, Washington, United States — on the west coast. Time of arrival, 11 a.m. Good, that means that they’ll be serving us lunch. It’s a long trip from the North Pole to Hoquiam, my oatmeal will be worn off by then. Ah, says that this is a Holiday Open House at a Farmers Market! Oh, yeah, so much better than a Department Store. Homey, good stuff made by the local folks — kind of like our best workshop products, the ones we save for the discriminating kids and adults who appreciate things like wooden toys, hand knit slippers, tie dye T-shirts, great art work, stained glass, one of a kind jewelry, garden sculptures, wooden drums, and really fine pies and cookies. That’s the kind of place that the old fellow really appreciates. Like the old days, when everything was crafted by hand. Yes, we’re going to enjoy this one. I see that the folks at the Farmers Market are inviting customers to come over and sample all the food with us! Oh, us elves are a sociable bunch. Nothing we like better than loading up a buffet plate with goodies and getting to know somebody new. Always learning things from these outings- who’s been naughty, who’s been nice, who makes the very best cookies in town. But even elves can’t live on cookies alone. We need our veggies and fruits, and for protein we’re awfully partial to fine sausages. Yup, they have those too. Sounds like this place fits the bill perfectly — now I’m getting excited for the Christmas season!

Barbara Bennett Parsons, #1 Elf during the Xmas Season. 538-9747. Dec. 1st , 11am Santa arrives in Hoquiam!