Ruby announced at the beginning of the day that it was her last Tuesday. Santa kindly pointed out it was everyone's last Tuesday, and Ruby said, giggling, "I know."
Santa brought in sweet potato pie and it was soooooo good.
When Shortcake escorted Santa to his house, he said "Look at me! I'm in the village! Bring me all the children! My preeeeeeciouuuussssss." Santa was a little punchy at 8am.
Shortcake has been living on soup this season. Mostly clam chowder. And some bread. So you can imagine her surprise/delight/wry grin when she came into the room to this:
BoB had struck again.
A mom came in with two kids dressed in jester elf suits - think red and green jester outfits, with bells and then add the word "elf." One of the kids would not smile and just kept saying he wanted a train and reaching for his mom. His mom was hysterical and loud and dashed out of the house to her stroller to get a train, then dashed in to be hysterical and loud again and bribe her children, and then they finally left. Of course, the good picture was taken while the mom was out of the house.
A grown man came to see Santa alone. He said his family has come for 19 years and taken a picture with Santa, but now his kids are teenagers. His wife broke her foot, so she couldn't manage the trip, and without the leverage of mom pressuring the kids, the teenagers refused to come. So he came and took a picture alone with Santa because he knew it was important to his wife.
Someone sat on Santa's knee and it tore Santa's coat. Luckily, he had great elves with him at the time (Turducken and Huggins, Shortcake believes), and they got Shortcake, and she took him to Costume BoB, and Santa got a new coat.
Santa got some heartbreaking letters.
"When someone falls down I say are you okay until they say yes."
This is from an 18 year old who wants her sister and brother "to be happy this year and for them to shine at whatever they do."
And this is a drawing of kids playing with presents from a kid who said "Please give presents to people who don't have any. I do not want any presents."
You know the elves get special pins if they do a good job. Someone can also write an EARS (Elfin Award Recognition Service or something that leads to the acronym EARS) to commend elves for great things. Well, Shortcake didn't get an EARS this year. Nor did she get any pins. But she knows she deserves them. So she marched into the scheduling office and took the pins for herself. Because she needs to be tangibly rewarded for her work. And shiny buttons are the way to do that.
Okay, ready for the big reveal? We were sooooo short-elved yesterday that elves from years past came back and made appearances. These are elves who were still at Santaland, but had moved on to other roles. And for one magical day, they went back to their roots.
Corn Syrup manning the front line!
Pumpernickel at Village Exit! (Yeah, it's dark and hard to see, but he's there.)
Blip as backdoor elf! (The position used to be called Santa elf. They changed it. Shortcake agrees it's a stupid name.)
When Santa found out Cider was elfing, he said "That's not fair. That's like Derek Jeter playing T-ball."
Ruby helping Cider get dressed. They met as elves, you know. It took her back a little, to the beginning of the romance.
Is this not the cutest picture of Cider and Ruby ever taken?!?!
Cider as gatekeeper. He's so annoyed. He hates having his picture taken.
Cider as Photo Elf. He's still got it. Now, Cider's a great strawboss. And Shortcake could not ask for a better colleague. They started as elves the same year, you know. Then they moved up to strawboss together. They've been a team for five straight years, and Shortcake cannot imagine the job without him. But. Cider was also a really, really great elf.
Since it was Shortcake's last shift with Ruby and Cider, she hugged them both good-bye. And Cider whispered in her ear "During this hug, my pants may be falling down." And if that doesn't sum up their relationship, nothing else will.
Let's end with a picture of Santa and Shortcake.