She bounced in her seat as excitement practically zip-zapped from her pores.
With breathless excitement, she said she thought Christmas would never arrive.
“I’ve only been waiting 358 days, 16 hours, 33.5 minutes and seconds upon seconds,” Peppermint exclaimed. “It’s the only one we will have this year, you know. As far as I see it, that makes Christmas 2013 extra, extra special.”
Production for Christmas 2013 began at approximately 12 a.m. Dec. 26. It was the first time in decades the elves had longer than 10 minutes to rest from production.
“We protested days for a longer break,” Peppermint said looking exhausted at just the memory of the ordeal. “Work was completed, but none of the younger elves sang.”
Pulling up her green-and-red striped sleeve, Peppermint revealed a tattoo with peppermint-shaped letters. The words read, “The best way to spread Christmas cheer is singing loud for all to hear.”
She said elves take singing “very, very, very, very, very” seriously.
Day 6 found Head Elf Nipper Pointy Toes between a rock and a hard place. On one hand, the numbers had never looked better. On the other, her elves had lost their gleaming eyes and sweet smiles.
“She stepped up to bat for us,” Peppermint said with a smile. “The older elves aren’t bad, they just are a little traditional is all.”
The young elf said she and her friend Jolly McJingles took the extra time after Christmas 2012 to visit Bow & Wreath Shopping Center, Peppermint Heights, Wrapp’n Town, the Jolly Reindeer, the Valley of Bells, a store specializing in expanding stockings and a local gum drop farm.
“It was the most relaxing afternoon,” Peppermint said. “That night I ate dinner with the 438 CandyCane Blue gang before grabbing some shuteye.”
Added Peppermint, “We elves are real grouches without our 20 minutes of cheer sleep.”
She once saw McJingles deliberately place a blue toy tractor in the red pile after pulling an all-nighter. Pointy Toes about had her jolly hide after that one, Peppermint said with a chortle.
Production began without a hitch. Soon toys lined the storage spaces set aside in Rockin’ Hills. The hills garnered their name due to a propensity to wobble to and fro at the sound of Christmas music.
It is the one place the elves agree to keep the singing to a minimum.
“I think the hills are a little sad of all our talk,” Peppermint confided. “So sometimes I shave off a couple minutes from my cheer sleep to sing a sweet song.”
She said the presents are safe from being crushed by the straps which hold each box down.
“When McJingles comes with me, we sing extra loud for the hill holding the bells,” Peppermint laughed. “One time the jingling, jangling sound woke up Head Elf Pointy Toes. I will tell you what, the Nipper-Meister was not very cheerful.”
Peppermint’s eyes suddenly went wide.
“Oh no,” she exclaimed. “I am supposed to be giving you an update on Christmas 2013, not telling you about my little elf life.”
With haste she assured Santa would be ready to hit the sleigh at the appropriate time.
When asked what time that would be she replied, “Well, at the most cheerful hour, of course.”
According to Peppermint, Santa’s sleigh will be weighed down with toys for boys and girls of all ages.
She said Cleveland and Bradley County have made the ‘nice’ list for another year.
A town, city, county, state, country — and in very rare cases a continent — can qualify for the nice list when residents on the nice list outnumber those on the naughty list.
“Someone once put Sodom on the nice list,” Peppermint shared with barely concealed glee. “Let me tell you what, that was one elf who did not pay attention in Mrs. Claus’ School for Elfin Studies math class.”
Added Peppermint, “It didn’t matter one way or the other. Legend goes, when Santa arrived there was nothing but sand where Sodom stood. Freaky.”
Before hurrying back to her workstation, Peppermint encouraged children of all ages to keep their eyes peeled for Santa at the most cheerful hour.
“And I almost forgot,” Peppermint yelled over her shoulder as she scurried away. “Have a Merry Christmas, and a Happy New Year!”