Sunday, December 25, 2016


Shortcake barely slept last night, as she had to be up in the middle of the night to head to the airport.  (We've been over this.  Santa needed the sleigh for his big ride, and besides, Shortcake isn't allowed to drive the sleigh.  She has to use conventional means of air travel.)  Anyway, she made it, and arrived safe and sound home in Chicago.  Wearing two backpacks.  It's a family thing.

And once she got home, she opened her presents!

2 books and a game and a water bottle and snazzy jacket from Santaland and a DVD and a ukulele song book (thanks Santa!) and a 2017 calendar and a beautiful carved elephant.

Shortcake is spending her Christmas watching movies.  So far, she's seen Miracle on 34th Street, the best Christmas movie ever, and Christmas Belle - which is terrible, atrocious, don't watch it - and is currently watching A Christmas Kiss II - we only hope it can live up to the hype of the first.  And soon, she will see Rogue One and hopes to end the evening with Die Hard. Which she has never seen.  So many things to look forward to!

Photo Dump

Following is a collection of photos from the season that Shortcake wanted to put up, but didn't fit in a particular post.

A sign on the Subway.

Shortcake and Chuck!

Santa reading a scroll of Christmas wishes.

Pumpernickel elfed up.

Cider and Santa.

Latke and Krampus.

The official Buddy the elf photo.

Treetop and Cider.

Bro House: Little Star, Treetop, Jinglesnaps, Dumpling, and Santa.

Santa and Shortcake's prom photo.


After Shortcake left Santaland on Christmas Eve, she picked up a hot chocolate and walked 5th Avenue, looking at the window displays.  It was a lovely way to end the day.

She started with Macy's windows.

The Empire State Building was red and green for Christmas and blue and white for the first night of Hannukah.  Inclusion!

Shortcake loves the Lord & Taylor windows.  This year, the windows were okay, but the lights and greenery for the "enchanted forest" were the highlight.


Squirrels in greenery!

Nothing says Christmas Eve like lights and hot chocolate and selfies.

Saks Fifth Avenue windows!

New York is very serious about parking on 5th Avenue.

Rockefeller Plaza and the tree:

Tree selfie!

Weird sculpture selfie!

Some skyscraper that's lit up red and green:

Elie Tahari windows:

Shortcake just liked this spiral staircase.  Somewhere.

Barnes and Noble windows!

An octopus at Asics!

Shortcake just liked the spiral thinger with the flowers.

Tiffany's windows!

Close-up of one of the Tiffany windows.

The Harry Winston building

Shortcake liked the roses and dress.

There were coats spinning, along with wooden t-rex models.

Bergdorf Goodman windows!  Always the best:

Some perks about walking in NYC.  If you need to pee, you can find a hotel and use the lobby bathroom.  Shortcake was close to the Plaza, so she went in there.  And found this chandelier and Christmas tree.

And then, miracle of miracles!  Shortcake had the entire subway car to herself!


One of the perks of Christmas Eve is that shenanigans ensue.  Shortcake wasn't the only elf to put on the outfit.

Shortcake and Jubilee

Sarafina scheduling the elves

Whiteflowers!  Brent, Jubilee and Serafina.

Robert!  The big man!  The man in charge!

Christmas Eve

Shortcake started the day bright and early at 6am.  She wore her elf socks because it as cold outside, and she needed another layer over her tights and because it was Christmas Eve!  Then Brent surprised her with a lovely gift - the Santaland jacket featured above.  It's not the best photo of it, but, trust her, it's a snazzy jacket.

We were adequately staffed, for once, and since Blissful came in to help over the day, Shortcake elfed up.  She felt left out since both Cider and Blissful got to elf earlier in the week.)  Obviously, everyone was thrilled to see her.  She felt weird, since she used to have a red t-shirt, but times change.

Santa and Shortcake

Teddy Bear and Shortcake.  Alas, they did not get to work the front line together, but they both know how precious those memories are.

FaLaLa and Shortcake.  She finally learned how to properly spell his name - no spaces.

Giggles made a surprise appearance!

More Shortcake and Santa

Sweet Potato Pie came to explore the village.

Shortcake strawbossed the whole day, but also spent one hour in the house taking photos for Santa.  She was a little rusty, but it mostly came back.  The Wilson kids came to visit, Harden and Eliot.

They were so cute.  Eliot wouldn't sit with Santa, but he told him everything on the list, and eventually Shortcake got him to stand closer to Santa and smile.

Speaking of lists, their lists were amazing:

Yes, Eliot, yes, you ask for presents and Santa brings them.  And the best part of Harden's list?  It's not written on paper.  That's puffy packaging.

You know how Shortcake can sometimes get overwhelmed and excited and a little stressed?  Especially on a day like Christmas Eve?  Weeeeeell, Cider knows this too.  So he sent the following text at 10:11am.  With no prompting.

Shortcake laughed so hard when she got that text.  And sent that photo back.  Because it's an awesome photo.

After elfing, Shortcake changed back to human adult clothes - mostly because she wanted to procure lunch.  And Rosie and FaLaLa and Teddy Bear all complimented her on her dress.

Shortcake and Blissful - Christmas Eve strawbosses - ROCKING. IT.

Remember the Krampus tradition of bringing in bourbon balls?  Bourbon balls so soaked in bourbon, it's like taking a shot?  Shortcake didn't think that tradition could continue this year since Krampus was gone, BUT.  Santa came through.  We had bourbon balls, soaked in bourbon. There is a reason Shortcake didn't have one until the end of her shift.

Remember Sprinkles and Spritz?  Well, this was their tenth and final year at Santaland.  Next year, Santa has new assignments for them.  Shortcake is going to miss them sooooooo much.  They went on all his special events, and they're such good friends.  

Spritz and Sprinkles with capes and sunglasses.

Spritz and Sprinkles.

Spritz, owning the strawboss chair, like the superelf she is.  Shortcake is so glad she got to know them.  They're genuinely good elves who made Christmas magical for ten years.  Ten. Years.

The village finally started to show some hustle, feel some urgency at 4pm.  Shortcake was a little miffed - like, what were those elves doing for the first nine hours of the day?  Shortcake went out to check on Express Pass and she saw the two elves do a secret handshake of sorts.  It went trot - trot - trot - high five.

Remember Willie? He told Santa earlier this year that he hasn't gotten a Christmas present in years, so some of the elves got together and gave him a photo album since he lost his photo album from last year.  He was so touched.  It was a beautiful gesture, and makes Shortcake glad she works with such thoughtful people.  Willie is one of ours, and we take care of him.

It came to the end of the day, and we closed the line at 4pm.  We close the line early, so we can get everyone through the line before the store closes at 6pm.  And then Santa leaves because he has a big trip to take.  But some people do not take the closing of the line well.  One woman got very close to Gingerbread's face, threatening her.  And Gingerbread was not having the best day.  Shortcake came across her crying later in a house, and it hurt Shortcake that she almost started crying.  Shortcake gave Gingerbread a hug, and Santa gave her a hug.  Santa made it very clear that he loves Gingerbread (as does Shortcake).

Once we got everyone through the Village, the good-byes and photos started.  This is one of the best parts of the season.  Hugging everyone and wishing them a Merry Christmas and meaning it with all your heart.  Because these are Shortcake's friends.  She may only see them for a few weeks out of the year, but she's been seeing them for five, six, eight, nine years.  Brent said the nicest things to Shortcake when he said good-bye.  He thanked her (and Cider and Blissful and all of the veterans) for their experience and trust and patience and institutional knowledge and spirit and goodwill.  Without the vets, this year would not have gone as smoothly as it did.

Some of the best elves - FaLaLa, Estrella, Teddy Bear and Spritz.

Teddy Bear and Santa talking business.

Santa and Shortcake elfie!

The only time Shortcake will appear taller than Santa.

Shortcake and Huggins

It's a dark photo, but that's Shortcake and Dash.

Santa didn't want to leave Santaland.

So Annette had to pull him.

Santa really didn't want to go.

Neither did Shortcake, Santa.  Neither did Shortcake.