Are you one of those people who absolutely can’t wait for the turkey sandwiches to all be finished so you can concentrate totally on what comes next on the holiday calendar? Do you relish the thought of stringing lights on a tree or on the eaves of a house? Does the idea of making a list and checking it twice and then either hitting the stores or letting your fingers do the shopping fill you with glad tidings of great joy? And does thinking about climbing into your four-door sleigh and heading to the kinfolk’s house for a few festive days put you in a euphoric mood?
Or is all that and more which surrounds the Christmas season just a wee bit stressful for you? In the movies we watch, the ads we see, and the stories we tend to read, happy, smiling faces abound singing carols in pitch-perfect harmony alongside brightly wrapped presents under colorful trees. Kind of hard to emulate all that in real life, although most try their best to get into the spirit of things.
This year, unfortunately, even those who wear a different Christmas sweater every day in December may find the season a little taxing. Especially if their gift lists include toys for kids. There have already been dire warnings of shortages from manufacturers and retailers and about shopping early if you want to snag the most popular offerings to open after the Jolly Old Elf has left the building.
Speaking of Santa, I’ve been wondering if his North Pole elves might be having the same difficulties with supply and demand we mere mortals have been experiencing. By this time of year, those helpers who spend their days fulfilling wishes, wants, and needs of others may have had to sit down with St. Nick to talk about reality.
ELF 1: So, Santa, thanks for meeting with us.
SANTA: Of course. I’m always interested in how you’re coming along. Besides, sometimes getting those reindeer ready to roll isn’t all candy canes and cookies, if you know what I mean.
ELF 1: Yeah, I understand Blitzen was balking about his place in line again.
SANTA: He says the scenery never changes from his vantage point. But that’s his problem. How are the toys coming along?
ELF 2: Frankly, we’re having some issues.
SANTA: Issues? You mean as in not enough good little girls and boys this year? Has the Naughty List gone nuts?
ELF 2: No, no, nothing like that. The Nice List is still huge.
SANTA: So, what issues are you talking about?
ELF 3: I’m just going to give it to you straight. We can’t get the parts to make all the toys.
SANTA: We’ve never had that problem before. What’s different now?
ELF 1: Well, ever since we outsourced the supply chain, we’ve had to wait until everything gets here to assemble the finished products.
ELF 2: You remember when we did the test sleigh run two weeks ago and we saw all those ships off the coast of California?
SANTA: Yes, it looked a lot like that Battleship board game. That’s one of my favorites, you know.
ELF 3: Right. Well, those ships have our parts.
SANTA: And we can’t get them?
ELF 1: Hey, it’s hard enough for the people in Los Angeles to get deliveries, let alone trying to find a trucker willing to drive up here to the North Pole.
SANTA: Well, what are we going to do? Look at this list. Two million Galactic Snackin’ Grogu Animatronics, six million Nintendo Switch 2021s, five million Space Jam Shoot + Dunk Playsets, ten million Hot Wheels Supercharged Shark Vehicles. And that’s just the beginning.
ELF 2: We’re working on it.
SANTA: Please tell me the Magic Mixies Magical Mixing Cauldrons are wrapped and ready. I can’t tell you how many requests I’ve had for that. You know you can make a cute furry friend with that, don’t you?
ELF 3: Santa, who do you think helped design it?
SANTA: Oh, right. And what about the Bluey Mega Bundle Home? That is one curious puppy.
ELF 2: Destined to be a classic. But all for naught if we can’t get our supplies. We really need your help, Santa.
SANTA: That bad, eh?
ELF 1: We’re in crisis mode.
SANTA: Hmmm. All right, all right. Let me make a few calls. Get me the White House, the Teamsters, and Xi Jinping. I know they don’t want to be on the Naughty List. And tell Rudolph to fire up his nose. I may need him and the others to make a supply run for me.
©MMXXI. William J. Lewis, III – Freelance Writer