Bernard Elf closed the email from Santa with a sigh. He turned to look at the group of Elves around him. "Well, you heard him, everybody. We have work to do."
"We're already working," said Twinkle Elf. "As hard as we can."
"And we're right on schedule, as far as I can tell," said Adamup Elf. "Our toy-to-child ratio is right were it should be."
Gizmo Elf, Santa's chief Toymaking Elf, looked over the printout from his great toymaking machine, "And the Appendapulator's Appendapulating as well as it's ever...well...Appendapulated."
"Santa asked me to check his sleigh already, and I fixed it," said Smitty Elf. "It's running straight and true. I suppose I could check it again..."
"Let's face it," said Louis Elf. "We're doing everything right. But it still doesn't feel right."
Just then Mrs. Claus came into the room with a tray of cookies, plus a salad for Jiller Elf, who prefers vegetables to sweets. "What's going on?" she asked. "You all look so gloomy! It's less than ten days 'til Christmas! Where's the Christmas Cheer?"
"I don't know, Mrs. Claus," said Jiller, picking at her lettuce.
"I do," said Santa's wife. "It's because Santa's not here, isn't it? That, and the fact that those poor reindeer were taken by that strange Flemspackle woman. Well, sitting here moping will do nothing to make the situation any better."
She made the Elves all stand up. "I'm sure many of you remember Abraham Lincoln?" she asked them.
"He was never on the naughty list!" said Twinkle Elf.
"Er...no, I don't think he was, Twinkle," said Mrs. Claus. "He was known for more than never being naughty. He was the sixteenth President of the United States. And one of his more famous sayings was this: 'People are about as happy as they make up their minds to be.'"
"What's that mean?" asked Gizmo.
"It means that if you want to be happy, you can choose to be happy, no matter what else is going on." said Bernard, smiling. "Mrs. Claus is right! Moping around isn't going to change anything, so why mope? It's almost Christmas! We're Elves! Let's be happy!"
The other elves cheered, and thanked Mrs. Claus for the words.
It's always important to remember this: even if you can't choose what's going on around you, you can still choose how you feel!
As the Elves were getting back to work, the door burst open, and Ali Elf burst through the door. "I know what Dolores Flemspackle is doing with the Reindeer!" she said, "And it's right here on this newpaper!"
What does that newspaper say? Keep reading this newspaper--The North Pole Times--to find out!