Engaging Humour 5.6 – ‘Behind the Legend’

“Act as if what you do makes a difference. It does!” – William James

Good morning to the class of 2022 Elves, clears throat, I mean Ladies and Gentlemen, on behalf of Santa Org, I would like to welcome you to day one in the ‘Dasher’ Tent of this years Santa Con, it is wonderful to see so many new eager elven faces in the room. Thank you for coming along and for your interest in this incredibly unique organisation. You may wish to visit some of the events in some of the other tents, for your information I will leave the program up on the screen at the end of my section.

My Elf name is Sparkle Hollyivy and as you can see from our packed Agenda the next hour will be an Introduction to Santa Org, its organisational structure, departments, ethos, and culture.  I am the first speaker in this section and will take 5-7 minutes to cover the basics of Santa Org, then I will handover to my expert colleagues, as I have to dash off to a crisis meeting about the trend of trying to feed reindeer tinsel rather than carrots. It always surprises me that for an event that only takes place one night a year, it never stops.

You may think that you know about Santa, and in many ways you do, however, this presentation is more about the voluntary group Santa Org and how the Claus’s and their team of elves run such a time sensitive and crucial job. This is an area that I have firsthand experience of as I have worked with the Claus’s in Santa Org for the last number of years. Before I get onto my experience with this organisation I think I should explain the ethos in relation to our volunteers.

In Santa Org, we like to elevate members into leadership positions from the membership group and I can see that all of you have a lot to bring to the table and will be perfect for the leadership team in Santa Org. The membership group includes as the volunteers and the Claus’s and is crucial to the running of this organisation as they help us to evolve and change whiles also staying identifiable to children and adults alike, both groups are equally important and make a crucial contribution to the success of our organisation. 

We actively strive to create an environment of trust and mutual respect and try to have as inclusive a system as possible. We also endeavor to acknowledge and reward all contributions from all of our team. Another aim of Santa Org is to make sure that elves have a good work/life balance. After all, a happy elf is a productive and fun elf to work with. We would like to encourage and support our elves to recognise their potential, as well as their contribution and effort, but we try to do this in as friendly and uncombative a manner as possible, this is the North Pole, not Wall Street!

One of the great parts of being a part of this organisation is that you can upskill in so many ways and this can help you in different areas of your life. One of my former roles in Santa Org was as the stats elf, so I thought I would include some of our updated core findings.

If Santa and his team of nine reindeer travel east to west, they have 31 hours to get presents to over 2 billion under 12 year olds around the world, he has 1/1000th of a second to park, get out of the sleigh, get into the house, deliver the presents, eat some snacks and retrace his steps. His sleigh moves at approximately 1046.07 Km/s, which is 300 times the sound of speed. For comparison, the International Space Station moves at 7.66 Km/s.

We won’t focus on the calorific intake over the 31 hours, as it’s startling and a bit worrisome, and is something that Santa’s dietician and personal fitness trainer are trying to find a solution for. It is a concern for Mrs. Claus, as Santa is always so full after Christmas that he doesn’t eat until January.

If you estimate that every child receives, for example, a mid size lego kit from Santa, the sleigh at take off is carrying over 321,300 tons of toys alone, never mind Santa. If you apply earth physics you would need 214,200 reindeer to pull that weight, which is where you enter the circle of confusion, as for that number of reindeer together with the sleigh and Santa to take flight, the reindeer would immediately burst into flames, each lead reindeer would absorb 14.3 quintillion joules of energy per second each, creating a sonic boom and vaporising the rest of the reindeer team, within 4.26th thousands of a second. Phew! That’s a lot of numbers and not very festive.

The original findings were the basis for the genius decision that our first chief elf had to try to persuade Santa that the answer to these pesky physics questions was to assure the adults that Santa and everything to do with him was MAGIC! If the adults could, in turn, satisfy the children’s endless curiosity life would be made easier for everyone, as children see through everything and ask incredibly probing questions, they make the FBI look like amateurs.

This video was put together in an effort to reinforce the ‘magic’ element of Santa by our PR Team, for whom I was the elf liaison, the idea was to show what Santa does on the big night, obviously, we had to slow everything wayyy down significantly for the camera to pick up the action. We felt that everyone could do with seeing what Santa does. The candid CCTV approach was a good idea as it looks less staged than some of the other proposals we had and added to the magic approach we were trying to achieve. 

This slide is a list of resources I compiled, released by Santa Org to help adults support the idea of Santa and the magic around him. If you know any children that may find this information interesting, please feel free to use it.

Santa Org has opportunities for everyone and if you have any fields of expertise or areas of interest, we can help you develop those skills and interests. At the end of this hour, my esteemed colleague Buttons Flipplysleigh will assign you your elf names.

In conclusion, being involved with a voluntary organisation helps both the organisation and the people helping with it. You can learn new skills, make friends, see things from a new point of view and enrich other areas of your life. Helping with this voluntary organisation has done all of these things for me and has made me appreciate the skills I didn’t know I already had. I am sure that it has improved me in ways that I am utterly unaware of. 

Don’t forget that all work and no play, makes mistletoe a dull elf and that you can jingle your bells from 8 till late in the Dancer tent. See you there! And don’t forget Santa Claus is coming to town!

Merry Christmas.

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