He would get out of his Santa chair, stretch up toward the fake beams, and announce to the crowds, “I think I hear the reindeer! Yep, they’re getting restless. I will be back in five - somebody has to take care of them.”
Off he would go. Pebbles would send me to placate children, while she talked parents into buying more photographs. We had this down, but the crowds kept coming. The Magic Corridor of Santa’s North Pole was packed. Pebbles and I were feeling frazzled, so we grumbled to each other when we passed each other.
“Don’t these people have anything better to do?” I snarked.
“I think that family has been here six times since we started,” Pebbles hissed.
We whispered our nastiness. In our defense, we were tired, and the sound of toy kazoos was finally getting to us. On his way back from feeding his reindeer for the third time, Santa called Pebbles and me back to the cashier area. He shook his head and stared us with bleary eyes.
“Elves, you’re sending out some seriously negative vibes. You gotta step up your game – look at those kids! They’re livin’ it! Their parents are hard to take, sure, but like, be like the kids, live it, elves! Elf Pebbles, to the cash register, Elf Mary, send the next kid up. You two live it! Yeah, be jolly! I know I’ll be!” He patted the pocket where he kept his stash and his wee pot-pipe and winked.