The North Pole Employee Handbook answers centuries old questions, albeit tongue in cheek. Children who grow to be oldsters have dreamed for generations of visiting Santa’s magical workshop at the North Pole. A vision of fun toys, cute elves, and jolly good cheer has danced in their heads, but until now no fulfillment of wishes and dreams has happened. The book tells of the inner workings of that super-secret organization and lays bare the brutal reality of Claus Manufacturing, LLC.
In the handbook’s introduction (required reading for all new employees) the new hire learns that S. Claus is a fair but quite demanding boss. As chairman and CEO, he writes, “I have a certain reputation for making a list, checking it twice, and then rather brazenly deciding who qualifies as naughty and who rates as nice.”
Also mentioned are Mr. Claus’s frequent requests for a certain degree of self-sacrifice from his employees, and at the same time they should remember that he is the guy who takes on the duty of delivering 4,357,281,901 toys to the whole damn world, using a non-motorized sleigh, in just one 24-hour period.
As it may be safe to assume, there are many millions of letters and postcards received at the North Pole annually. The high volume of correspondence requires that every employee share the task of answering letters. The handbook provides lists of appropriate responses.
It may also be assumed that new employees must sign and date a confidentiality agreement. The day-to-day operations at Claus Manufacturing are closely guarded trade secrets and must never fall into the wrong hands.
Nevertheless, since my ID is no longer valid at the North Pole, I feel no obligation to preserve the myths that have for dozens of decades been perpetuated on postcards.
There are three that are particularly irksome. First, the official colors of Christmas are red and white. Period. Full Stop. End of discussion. S. Claus does not wear anything but red. Except in the minds of the artists, who are trying to sell more postcards, Mr. Claus never appears at a formal function in green, purple, brown, or for that matter, any color but red.
Secondly, fake elf-ears. No one at the North Pole is able to confirm or deny if there is a logical reason for fake elf-ears to be part of the required uniform. It is suspected, but like I said, unconfirmed, that way-back-when some humans attempted to find work at Claus Manufacturing because of problems around the world, i.e. famine in Ireland, looming Civil War in America, economic depression in Canada, and other, similar calamities in other parts of the world.
Those humans seeking a bounty of riches sailed up the west coast of Norway and attempted to cross the Arctic Ocean to the Pole. They would have succeeded but they lost their maps and had to quit their trek in Greenland when their boat ran-ashore. To the best of everyone’s knowledge the fake elf-ears are a precaution against another possible human invasion.
Third, there seems to be a consensus that Christmas music is always playing on the Claus Manufacturing intercom. Not true. In fact, there are many Christmas songs that are banned at the Pole. Good King Wenceslas is a good example. Santa himself banned that one. He claims that he knew Mr. Wenceslas and found him to be insufferably pious. The Christmas song, Christmas Don’t Be Late, is another good example of banned music, but only when Alvin and the Chipmunks sing it. It seems that chipmunk voices are quite offensive to elves. And, I would be remiss if I didn’t mention, Frosty the Snowman. Santa banned that one too, he says no minor mythological figure is deserving of his own song.
I should mention that some movies are also banned! The one I miss the most is Miracle on 34th Street. I think it is a great movie, but Mr. Claus banned it because he thinks department store Santas are an intrusion of his exclusivity agreement with millions of our clients. But, not seeing Natalie Wood as a whiny nine-year old is okay with me for the term of our employment (usually three years).
The North Pole … Handbook is an insightful book and it covers many more topics that have mystified young and old alike for many years. I wasn’t on the staff when the drafts were ready for publication, so I can’t complain, but there is one topic omitted from the handbook that I think should be better known. It is very simple: Mr. Raphael Tuck & Sons, the famous postcard makers in both the United Kingdom and United States, throughout all their time in business published more than 640 Christmas, Santa, and holiday postcards. I think the Handbook needs a chapter on the proper use of postcards at Christmas time.
The Santa postcards below are five of my favorite Tucks.
My name may be Nobody Important, but I think it is important to say that other postcard makers did some real nice Santa Clause postcards too! Here are three I think you’ll like.
and may all your gifts be postcards!