Monday, December 24, 2012

Christmas Eve

 Merry Christmas Eve!
That's Shortcake and her friend Greg.  Shortcake is wearing the scarf Santaland gave to all the elves and strawbosses.

Since it was Christmas Eve, the managers dressed up and wore silly hats.  Jim outside himself.

Shortcake worked a 12 hour day.  She was up bright and early, before the sun, to be at Santaland at 6am.  The people came at 7am, and the line started to build up after 9am.  It wasn't so bad, but we were in HR for most of the day.  Of course Justin Time came by to visit.

Santa went on a world tour around the Village today.  It was very exciting!

Shortcake received her 3 year pin today!  Krampus came in, trumpeting loudly, and proclaimed to the entire room that Shortcake was being presented with the pin representing three years of service at Santaland.  Shortcake jumped up and down, and curtsied, and made a speech thanking everyone for their help and support and acknowledged the pin being given to her (two years later).

Shortcake was very alert for the first 2 hours, almost alert for the next 3, and got a second wind in the afternoon.  Genie came in at noon to help Shortcake out, so Santa had two strawbosses taking care of him today.  Shortcake was able to do some cleaning before Santaland closed - she washed water cups and wiped down the coffee station.  Near the end of the day she helped out at the Village exit.  And at the very end of the day, she escorted Santa through the register area, through the employee elevators, and up to the roof where he got in his sleigh and started his trip around the world.

Sunday, December 23, 2012

Christmas Eve Eve

Hello people.  Shortcake elfed again today, and now has almost no voice.  Here's Spatula and Shortcake at the beginning of the day.
She photoed for a half hour, and then the line exploded, and she went back to HR.

Except that it took a bit for the line to make it back to HR.  So Shortcake and Jangles spent some time waiting for the people.
Eventually the people showed up, and Shortcake spent the whole day in HR and HR 2 trying to get people to smile on their way.  It was a record-breaking long line.  Longest wait to see Santa ever.  She swore in a few junior elves on the line.  Their jobs were to 1) Wave at everyone they passed and say "Merry Christmas," 2) Smile with Christmas Cheer and 3) Try to be the best elf they could be all year long.  Elfredo, Pooh, Double-A, and Unicorn all seemed to do a good job as far as Shortcake could tell.

At the end of the day, Shortcake had her hated cowlick again.
Do not be mistaken, people. Elfing is a physical trial. Behind all the Christmas Spirit, is a body with sniffles and aches and pains and cowlicks.

First, there's the sleep deprivation that comes from getting up early to be at work on time. And tomorrow, Christmas Eve, Shortcake has to be there at 6am. That means waking up at 4am. That's so early!

Then, there's the subtle discomfort from standing all day. It creeps up on an elf, not manifesting until Shortcake has sat down. Or slept. And then the next time she stands, bam! A mild discomfort in the heel. Not enough to prevent action, but enough to announce its presence, with the promise of more to come.
And, yes, we know you're thinking "get some gel pads for your shoes." Shortcake has some. And she wore two pairs of socks for extra padding. Time is inexorable, and it will wear you down, like water lapping against a rock. Water always wins. So does time. And Shortcake's feet hurt much worse by day's end.

Then there's the sniffles. Shortcake can still breathe out her nose, so it's not too bad yet. Breathing through the nose is taken for granted until it can't be done.

And the tickle in the back of the throat. This scares Shortcake more than anything else. Her colds ALWAYS start in the throat. She talked loudly for 8 hours a day, with improper technique, (she's not an actor, you know) and the throat was sore by the end of the day. If it continued, it'd mutate into a full blown headcold with no voice, runny nose, stuffy nose, headache, fatigue, the works. So Shortcake sucked on cough drops (not the sugar free kind - she once had so many the aspartame gave her a stomach-ache, and she swore never again) and drank tea and overdosed on Princess gummi.vitamins and drank orange juice. And tried to go to bed at a reasonable hour. And tried to eat all her fruits and vegetables.

And this is after only TWO DAYS of elfing! The other elves have been doing this for five weeks! It's been a loooong season, and the effects are showing. So many elves have been sick. So Shortcake didn't complain about her minor woes; she just went out there and spread that Christmas Cheer. To help the other elves out. For Santa.

And now Shortcake is going to bed.  Good night.

Saturday, December 22, 2012

Saturday - Shortcake's Back!

Yes, dear readers, we know Shortcake has been at Santaland all year.  But she was strawbossing all that time.  Today she was in full elf gear.  BAM!

Shortcake started the day as Gatekeeper, and everyone was thrilled to see her.  Fa La La and Pippin gave Shortcake hugs.

After a mere hour and a half gatekeeping, Shortcake headed to HR.  Right where she belonged. 

Teddy Bear & Shortcake, the best crowd control elves ever.
She spent the rest of the day in HR, on the front line, and deep in HR.  HR 2 is rough.  The people in line are tired.  Shortcake was tired.  And Shortcake was the only source of Christmas cheer.  About halfway through the day, Shortcake met a gaggle of 6-8 year old boys.  They tried to convince Shortcake she was not a real elf. Which is ridiculous.  Obviously, Shortcake knows what she is.  Elves come in all shapes and sizes, and wear comfortable running shoes for arch support, and do not have pointy ears.  J.R.R. Tolkien made up the pointy ears.  The boys tried to take Shortcake's walkie, claiming elves didn't need walkie talkies.  Shortcake asserted that elves did, indeed, have things like wireless communication technology, and she sent those ruffians on their way.

OH!  Two days ago Tannenbaum couldn't remember Shortcake's name, so he called her "Spongecake."  Spongecake?!  SPONGECAKE?!  Shortcake has never been so insulted in her life.  Fa La La almost fell over laughing after Shortcake told him this story.

Here's Spritz teaching an NBC news reporter to be an elf.

Friday, December 21, 2012

Thursday, 12/20/12

In preparation for the end of the world (it could have ended on December 21st, you never know), Santa baked.  There were coconut chocolate drops, chocolate chip peanut butter bacon cookies, sour cream cookies and gingerbread.  It was delicious.  Yes, Shortcake did eat her salad, but not until hours after the cookies.

While Santa got ready in the morning, he sang "O Holy Night," and then when it came on the radio, he played it he turned up the volume.  It is a beautiful song, but Shortcake things perhaps 9am is not the appropriate time to blast it.

A German reality tv show came to visit Santa.  Apparently, there is a tv show about a wealthy German family who travels around the world.  There were two little girls, and they came to see Santa.  Shortcake is so glad that reality tv is the part of American culture that got exported.

Santa had an event in the afternoon, so Shortcake took him and Spritz down to wait for the car.  They waited for 30 minutes.  The car did not come.  Why?  Because a car had not been booked.  Santa had a 15 minute break, then Shortcake took him back down to the new car that had just been booked.  And, yes, Santa travels in style in a black Cadillac SUV.  This event is notorious for transportation issues.  Harumph.

On a happier note, here's more fan art:

Merry Elfmas!

It's a snowflake with a drawing in the center.  Awesome.

Wednesday 12/19/20

We had long lines all day. Shortcake was so busy, and moving so quickly, she literally tripped over a child as she came out of the house.

Shortcake started the day smiling because Santa sang "Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer" with backup.  Everyone else in the room just shouted out things like "What'd he say?" and "Like Monopoly!" as appropriate in the song. 

Sprocket may be the best elf ever.  Ever.  There was a little boy who waited in a very long line to see Santa, and when he finally saw him, was kicking and screaming and would not sit still.  He was pulling his mom's hair, wouldn't stand up.  He was in major sensory overload.  His mom took him out, gave him some water and a snack, calmed him down, and brought him back for a reshoot.  Sprocket was the usher elf, took it slow, and completely turned the kid around.  It was amazing to watch.

Santa found this video on youtube.  It should bring a chuckle to your day.

Tuesday 12/18/12

It was a long, tiring day.  Shortcake woke up late, so she skipped breakfast, and then overcompensated with carbohydrates and forgot to eat lunch.  Santa had to visit the NYU hospital, while also staying at Macy's, and Shortcake is still learning how to work around Santa being in two places at once.  He can do it.  It's harder for the elves.

We had a bouncer front line consisting of Fa La La, Snowball, Teddy Bear and Jangles.

Spritz was a pirate for the day.  She greeted children with "Arrr.  Ahoy!  This way to see Santa," and then she would limp away.

That's Spritz and Sprocket, the hipster elves, with Santa.

Shortcake's friend Sarita came to visit Santa.

Santa had a great visit at the end of the day.  Three little girls came in, wearing ballerina tutus, and Santa told them they got to keep the cat.  The girls were so excited, they jumped up and down and their light up Ugg boots were blinking like mad.  They hugged their father, and it brought tears to Santa's eyes.

Monday, December 17, 2012

Shenanigans Monday

Good news!  Here's the video from when Santa went on The View.  Spritz and Sprinkles are with him.

Santa had a special event today, taping for the Today Show.  There were other VIP visits as well, and Santa was very busy with school groups all morning.  Unfortunately, the shenanigans are kinda under wraps, since what happens in Santaland stays in Santaland.  Except for what Shortcake puts on the blog, of course.  Not everything is consistent.

It was Veggie Monday.  Shortcake brought veggies and Veggie Straws and mint chocolate chip cookies.  Santa brought dip and veggies and chocolate covered bacon.

Friday, December 14, 2012

Teddy Bear and Snowball

Teddy Bear as Gatekeeper

Snowball wearing the Felt Christmas Tree.  Kids throw ornaments covered in velcro, and they stick to the tree.

Fruit and Cheese Day!

Look at all the fruit!  And a little bit of cheese.  Santa's wife made cookies to complement the fruit. Santa went to tape The View (aired on 12/14/12), and they let him bring all the fruit from the green room back to Santaland, so there was even MORE bounty later in the day.

Santa had a dog visit him first thing in the morning.  Again, dogs are not allowed in Santaland, but this was a VIP visit.  A manager was with Santa the whole time, and the dog was not allowed to sit on or next to Santa.

Shortcake was a bit busier than usual.  Someone was sick, so Shortcake had to switch the schedule around to make everything work.  And Good-Lookin' Santa had 5 school groups all in a row.  This was great for Santa.  This was not great for the Village. It tied up the Village for a half hour while the line just grew longer and longer.  Once the school groups were through, we were able to get the line back down and out of Parade hallway. 

Santaland was cold. Again.  You would think Shortcake would just wear more layers, and she tried, she really did.  She was wearing two long sleeve layers.  But she still had to cuddle up to the space heaters in the managers' office and next to Spatula.

Speaking of the managers office:
None of those elves are managers.  And when Shortcake sits in the managers' chair, she gets kicked out quite quickly.  Harumph.

Wacky Wednesday

12/12/12 -  And the world didn't end.

Santa had three events on Wednesday.  There were two news crews (one in the morning, one in the afternoon), an HR party (which is not Santa's favorite event), and two VIP visits.  The news tapings were fine, and the HR party was better than in previous years.  Santa sits in the Santa throne from Miracle on 34th Street, and it's uncomfortable.  Shortcake brought him cushions this time around.

The morning news crew followed Spritz around, talking through every elf station.  There weren't enough elves to man all the stations, so Spatula suited up.

There were so many school groups on Wednesday.  There was a kid who had a nosebleed in the register area, so Shortcake gave him paper towels.  Of course, by the time his nose stopped bleeding, his school had already seen Santa, so Shortcake took him back for a mini-visit.

Santa lives at the North Pole, so he is comfortable in the cold.  He enjoys it.  For his comfort, Santaland is kept quite cold.  The elves are also from the North Pole, but they spend so much time down in New York they went a little soft.  The elves and Shortcake were freezing in Santaland this week.  It was like being on the icy tundra.  Shortcake figured out a way to combat the cold - hot chocolate!  It made the afternoon so much better.

Santa had a visit from a woman with a service dog.  Normally, dogs are not allowed into Santaland.  Service dogs are because they are well trained, and there to save their owners life.  This dog was a lapdog (usually service dogs are much bigger).  Santa was told the dog was there to sniff out kiwi.  The woman was deathly allergic to kiwi, and the dog could smell it and stop the woman from eating or touching it.  Think about that.  This woman, probably, lives in New York City.  Kiwi is not an indigenous fruit to New York.  Kiwi, while delicious, is not a common ingredient.  It is also neon green, so it's pretty easy to spot if you're going to eat it.  How often had the dog prevented the woman from eating kiwi?  Never.

Shortcake was a touch skeptical of the woman's story.

At the end of the day, Santa had a VIP coming to see him.  Shortcake told Santa the children's names, so he knew who to expect.  And then, seeing two children coming into the house, said "I think that's them now," and quietly backed away.  She looked across the house, and saw Spritz and Sprinkles shake their heads "no" at her.  Shortcake then realized she had just lied to Santa.  She proceeded to silently flail her arms in frustration, sink to the floor and lie on her side in a meltdown.  Sparkles ran over to her to see if Shortcake was okay. Shortcake just shook her head and slinked off on her hands and knees.  All Spritz and Sprinkles saw was Shortcake's feet sliding out of the doorframe.

That little melodramatic breakdown happened while Santa was having a beautiful visit with the two children in his house.

And that is why it was Wacky Wednesday.

Two weeks until Christmas (last Tuesday)!

With two weeks to Christmas, Santaland was getting a little busier.  Shortcake's body must be adjusting to the new sleeping regimen because she was very alert Tuesday morning.  And fairly high energy all week.  There may have been skipping down hallways.  It might have happened.

The first hour in the morning, before the school groups arrive, is usually slow, so Shortcake took a walk through the maze.  There was a penguin leading a snowman chorus.  And the Elf on a Shelf is hiding throughout the maze as well.

It was Spruce's birthday! Spritz made him a birthday crown, sash and button.

Spruce and Sprinkles

Near the end of the day Shortcake met a little boy who was from India.  He liked Spiderman.  He did not like Batman.  He did like Captain America.  He told Shortcake there was no Captain India.  He wanted to grow up to be Spiderboy.

Teddy Bear, Snowball and Fa La La were put into a house together.  It was the bro-iest house of all time.  The Dudest of the Dude Houses.  It was awesome.  Mostly because Shortcake thinks of Teddy Bear and Snowball as the bouncers of Santaland.  They're usually on crowd control.  Even though she has seen them smile, and often hugs them, really her mental picture is of two very serious elves staring you down.  And then to put the three of them in the same house...  It was magic.

Thursday, December 13, 2012

Rice Recipe

Those of you who know Shortcake know that she loves pasta.  Loves it.  And she has always loved it.  There is a photo of a one year old Shortcake with spaghetti all over her face.  Clearly, her parents were more interested in procuring a humiliating photo than in helping her eat dinner cleanly.

The point is, Shortcake eats a lot of pasta.  Probably one meal a day is made of pasta.  Because it is delicious, easy to make, and easily made in bulk.  (Shortcake is not fond of cooking more than once or twice a week, especially when she has to pack her lunch every morning.)  (Shortcake has been eating a salad for lunch while at Santaland.  Be very proud of her.  This is an accomplishment.)

You would think Shortcake would also love rice because it is delicious, easy to make and easy to make in bulk.

You would be wrong.

Rice is actually very hard to make.  It requires paying attention to the rice (Shortcake tends to wander away from the kitchen - this is why baking and boiling water are the limit of her cooking prowess.  No, really, she was taken off waffle duty once because she kept walking away from the waffle iron.).  There is a very short span of time between uncooked rice and overcooked rice. Pasta is much more forgiving.  Shortcake and rice are not friends.

So Santa gave Shortcake his rice recipe.  It should be foolproof.  Shortcake will try it out.

Santa's Rice Recipe
Boil water on stove
1 cup rice in covered microwavable pot w/ 1 tablespoon oil
Microwave rice on high 2 minutes
Microwave on high 1 minute
Add 2 cups (minus 2 tablespoons) boiling water
Microwave on high 5 minutes
Microwave on 60% 5 minutes

Fan Art

Shortcake's had three days at Santaland, but she won't be able to get full posts up until this weekend, so in the meantime, have some fan art.

Monday, December 10, 2012

Slow Monday

Dear readers, it was a slow Monday.  Santa and the elves enjoy the calm of Mondays after the hectic pace of weekends.  We had a steady flow, but the line never made it past Stroller Alley.  Since nothing much happened today, here's a photo of Gingersnap:

 And a photo of Shortcake as a Strawboss:

Sunday, December 9, 2012

Holiday Music

Shortcake’s holiday music library has expanded in the last month.  Here’s an oldy but goody that Shortcake can’t get enough of these days: Mariah Carey's "All I Want For Christmas Is You"

Another fun one Shortcake is loving: Michael Buble’s “Cold December Night”

Jonathan Coulton and John Roderick came out with a Christmas album this year, and Shortcake immediately bought it.  It’s pretty good, and this tragically sad song that makes Shortcake cry is her favorite song on it: Jonathan Coulton’s “Christmas is Interesting”   

Shortcake had to google some things to get all the references.
Cee Lo Green’s new Christmas Album is fantastic.  Go buy it.  No really, do it now.  He does a duet with the Muppets.  It doesn’t get better than that.  Shortcake used to hear this song at Christmas mass (back when she was a practicing Catholic).  She even learned it in sign language for a third grade holiday pageant thing. (Yes, even the North Pole has Catholics and school holiday concerts/pageants.)  Cee Lo does a beautiful rendition of it: Cee Lo Green’s “Silent Night”

Mainlining Christmas

If you’ve been reading Shortcake’s blog for a few years, then you’ve seen links to Mainlining Christmas.  Shortcake’s two friend spend the Christmas season, from the day after Thanksgiving to Christmas Day, watching, reading, listening and thinking about nothing but Christmas, in all its forms.  This year they interviewed Shortcake.  After you finish reading the interview check out their reviews of Christmas specials and books.  Shortcake has been enjoying the short fiction this year.

Saturday, December 8, 2012


Spritz and Shortcake have worked together for years.  Spritz has been at Santaland for at least 6 years; it could be 7.  She does a lot of the special events with Santa, and she’s been interviewed many times.  You probably saw her along with Spruce and Sprinkles on the View clip.  Except it doesn't air until next week. So... look out for that.

Even when Spritz is trying to look evil she just looks sad.

 Hipster Spritz!