Interview with an Elf

Five years ago, Shortcake Jingleberry, a Christmas Elf with experience at the North Pole, was transferred to Santaland (located in Macy's New York flagship) to assist Santa Claus at that location. Since that time, she has blogged about the experience. Despite being extremely busy, Shortcake graciously agreed to answer some questions from Mainlining Christmas, offering us a rare opportunity to glimpse inside the life of the elusive Christmas Elf.

MC: Do you commute from the North Pole or do you live in New York?
SJ: Shortcake lives in New York City. It's too much for the reindeer to move everyone from the North Pole to Macy's and back every day, so they just move Santa, and the elves find housing in New York. This way, the elves are also well positioned to keep an eye on boys and girls during the year for Santa's Naughty and Nice lists.

MC: Do you travel by reindeer or do you use public transportation? 
SJ: Santa travels by reindeer from the North Pole. Shortcake uses public transit to get to Macy's.

MC: Reindeer: Leaded or unleaded gas?
SJ: Unleaded. If lead got into the carrot supply, all kinds of things would go wrong.

MC: Are there many elves living the greater New York area, and, if so, is there a 'Little North Pole' somewhere within the five boroughs?
SJ: There are many elves living in NYC. With a city of over 8 million people, it takes a lot of elves to keep track of who's Naughty and who's Nice. We do not have a Little North Pole, as we are spread out amongst the boroughs, but we do get together every so often.

MC: Do the living snowmen at the North Pole ever go rabid and have to be put down?
SJ: Well, rabies only affects warm-blooded animals, so the living snowmen are fine on that front. We have had instances of Snowmen on the Naughty List. If we are talking about evil Snowmen who have gone on killing sprees, Santa advocates a containment policy. He believes everyone deserves a second chance and does not believe in capital punishment. If we are talking about a disease that causes untold suffering to the snowman, then Santa would endorse euthanasia, if death was the only way to end the misery.

MC: What is the politically correct term for an elf born with a growth anomaly causing them to grow to six feet or higher?
SJ: Elf. We have elves of all sizes, in order to fit in with humans and not draw attention to ourselves. Tannenbaum is 6'4".

MC: Are Christmas Elves unionized?
SJ: We are not. Macy's has to abide by US Labor Laws, and those apply to elves as well as humans. At the North Pole, Santa is very good about wages and hours and benefits. And we have the greatest benefit of all - we work for Santa!

MC: In the landmark 1947 court case, the US Post Office conceded that Kris Kringle was actually Santa Claus, and therefore was also the legal addressee of hundreds of thousands of letters. Is there any animosity between Macy's mail room and the North Pole delegation due to this seasonal influx of mail?
SJ: No, Macy's has embraced it. In fact, for every letter to Santa that comes through Macy's, Macy's will donate $1 to the Make A Wish foundation.

MC: Is Santaland legally recognized as a consulate of the North Poll and, if so, do the elves stationed there receive diplomatic immunity?
SJ: Santaland is not recognized by the United States government as far as Shortcake knows. Macy's kindly lets Santa use their premises for visits. As such, elves do not receive diplomatic immunity, and Shortcake fervently hopes it would never be necessary.

MC: Has Krampus ever had to be forcibly removed from Santaland by Macy's security?
SJ: No. Krampus is actually a manager at Santaland. He needs to be around in case we get a particularly naughty child. It is rare for him to toss children into his sack, since Santa is pretty good about keeping the naughty kids above danger level.

Thanks again to Shortcake Jingleberry for answering our questions. You can follow Shortcake's ongoing adventures at An Elf Story.