The Wrapping Room was full. Then it was empty. Then it was full again. Then it was empty again.
This was unlike last week, when all of the Christmas presents had disappeared. This was because the Elves were using the Wrapping Room as a staging area, organizing all the presents for an orderly stuffing into Santa's sack.
Bernard Elf, Santa's Number One Elf, stood in the middle of the floor, clipboard in his hand, directing traffic. "Eastern European presents over there, western European presents over here" he called as another mountain of brightly-wrapped presents came through the door. He glanced at his watch. "Let's keep up the pace, Elves! We still have all of North and South America to get through! And we don't want to miss anyplace! Remember how we almost misplaced Acapulco in 2003?"
Dozens of Elves streamed in and out of the building, and the walls of presents grew and shrank at incredible speed.
At one point, Santa and Mrs. Claus came in with two big trays full of cookies for the Elves. "Ho ho ho!" called Santa. "Are there any busy Elves here that would like some..." Santa stopped talking because there were no more cookies left on the trays. Mrs. Claus looked at her watch. "Nine-point-seven seconds," she said. "Usually, the cookies last at least twelve seconds!"
"They're moving very fast today," agreed Santa.
Suddenly an alarm went off and all the Elves stopped! "Naughty list override!" called out Bernard Elf. He walked over to Santa with his clipboard. "Santa, we need you to approve a change. Rena in Rochester had been on the naughty list because she almost never went to bed on time this whole year," he said "But she's been very helpful to her friends, and even baked bunches of cookies for them. Can she be put on the 'Nice' list?"
Santa looked at the paper Bernard handed to him, "Oh, she's done more than enough to be put on the 'Nice' list," he said, and signed off on the form. A bell rang, and all the Elves were a blur of activity again!
"You're a big softy, aren't you?" said Mrs. Claus to her husband as they walked back towards the reindeer shed. "Ho ho ho! Who wouldn't know?" was his reply.
It's looking like it's going to be a great Christmas this year! Keep reading the North Pole Times for all your Christmas news!