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Our grumpy elf answers your Christmas questions

Dear Christmas Elf,
Every year at this time I take my brother’s kids on a big day out in London, but now they’re getting older (12, 7 and 6) it’s hard to find an activity everyone can enjoy. I’m thinking panto or ice-skating – which would you recommend?
Laura, Watford

Dear Laura,
Man, I so don’t have time to think about this. Do you know what it’s like up here right now? I’m working round the clock making Christmas toys, which is not even my area – I’m normally in HR. I wish you people would ask for Christmas advice in the summer, when I’m basically doing nothing thanks to my zero-hours contract. You didn’t think Santa used zero-hours contracts? Santa invented zero-hours contracts. Fortunately, your choice is very simple – if your one Christmas wish is to break both wrists, go skating. If not, get panto tickets.

Dear Christmas Elf,
My girlfriend is pressuring me to spend Christmas in the country with her parents again (second year in a row), but we don’t really get on and there’s nothing to do there. Last year I spent most of Christmas Day sitting alone in the Costa at Bridgwater services. Got any better ideas?
Julian, Birmingham

Dear Julian,
Right now sitting in a Costa on the M5 sounds like a dream holiday to me. I’ve got another 76,000 Elsa from effing Frozen dolls to finish before the end of my shift. I know what you’re thinking: Elsa from Frozen? That’s so last year! I couldn’t believe it when the lists started coming in. I went to my supervisor and I was like, Glenn, this is crazy! You know what he said? He said: “Let it go.” So think of me, dealing with asshats like Glenn all day, while you’re sitting there sipping your pumpkin latte and watching the cars go by.

Dear Christmas Elf,
I’m seriously thinking about giving my annual Christmas work do a miss. Why would I want to get drunk with a bunch of people from the office, and possibly behave in a way I’ll have cause to regret for months afterwards? I’d rather stay home with a book. I’ll need a good excuse, though, because it’s practically mandatory. Should I pretend to be ill, or invent some family tragedy, or what?
LK, London

Dear LK,
Guess when we have our office Christmas do here in Santa’s workshop? Never! Of course that doesn’t mean people don’t drink heavily and behave badly – they just do it on the shop floor during normal business hours. That’s how Gail got her hand caught in the ribbon machine back in 2009. Don’t let anyone ever tell you elves don’t bleed.

Dear Christmas Elf,
I’ve got a huge Christmas dilemma: my kids keep asking me how Santa is going to deliver their presents, since we live in a flat and don’t have a chimney. What’s the answer?
Mark, Hartlepool

Dear Mark,
Seriously? If that’s your biggest Christmas dilemma, I should have your problems. I’ve heard some parents make up stories about Santa being able to teleport through walls, but the truth is he uses drones for most of this stuff now. Last year he only took the sleigh out of the shed to do the White House and Elton John. Sorry to sound so bad-tempered. I’m under a lot of stress.

Dear Christmas Elf,
One of my favourite new Christmas traditions is sitting down with family and friends to watch the film Elf on television. It’s great because I can even share the experience with people who are far away, by using social media. Anyway, I was just wondering how authentic the film was in terms of your own experience? Does it ring true, or do you find it insulting? I’m almost afraid to ask, I love Elf so much!
Jemma, Lincoln

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Dear Jemma,
I actually worked as a consultant on the film (unpaid, I might add), so I can answer that conclusively. I was mostly there for background stuff and to keep an eye out for anything that was glaringly non-elfin. I understood it wasn’t supposed to be a documentary, that there was an obligation to entertain as well as inform. Overall, I think we got the balance about right.

There was even talk of me doing more projects with them, but things got a bit messy over a failure to give credit where it was due. There’s no point in dragging all that up. I’ll just say that though I can now enjoy the film for what it is – a feelgood holiday slush-fest for your kids – Will Ferrell is dead to me.


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