The North Pole is always cold. You probably know that. You may think that it's cold where you live right now--unless you live in a place where it's warm all the time--like Tierrasanta, California, which is near San Diego, where lots of Elves go to visit after Christmas because it has 'santa' in its name, but really has nothing to do with Mr. and Mrs. Claus--and you're probably right. You may also think that cold is just cold, and one type of cold is pretty much exactly like another.
And there you would be wrong. Even though it's always cold at the North Pole, right about now, it starts to get really cold. So cold, that even North Pole Elves, who live here all the time (unless they're vacationing in Tierrasanta, California) notice that it's cold.
You may be wondering what this has to do with the headline of today's story? Well, Waldo Elf noticed it was cold. And something has to be pretty obvious for Waldo to notice it! And then he thought, 'if I'm cold, I'll bet Teema's even colder,' because Teema was not a North Pole Elf. She was a Farm Elf from Minnesota--which is much colder than Tierrasanta, California, but still not as cold as the North Pole in December.
So, Waldo decided to bake her some nice, warm strawberry-and-mustard muffins, using his own secret recipe that no one else knows. Actually, it's not really a secret--it's just that no one else wanted to know it.
He took his basket filled with hot, freshly-baked muffins over to the Reindeer stables, where Teema was helping Timbo by stacking bags of reindeer feed. As Waldo approached, Teema stopped and sniffed. "What's that smell?" she asked.
"Um...hi, Teema," said Waldo, shyly. "I thought you might be cold so I thought you might want to be warmer and I thought that these muffins might do that, and I thought that maybe this would be a nice way to show you I'm not mad at you." Waldo took a breath. "So what do you think?"
"I think you think a lot," said Teema. But she took the muffin, and sniffed it. "What's in it?"
"Flour, sugar, eggs, shredded turnip, vanilla, strawberries...and mustard," said Waldo. "And if you sang a few songs for me, I'll bring you some more," he added, hopefully.
Teema put down the muffin. "Thanks, Waldo," she said, "but..."
"I know, I know," sighed Waldo, sadly. "You'll promise to sing if I don't bring you more muffins."
"No!" said Teema, and she took a bite. "It's actually sort of tasty. I was going to say you don't need to bring me anything...I'll sing for you because I like to sing--and I kind of like you, too!"
Waldo grinned a big grin. "Any chance you could sing 'Santa Claus is Coming to Town' for me?" he asked. And she did.
Not too far away, Santa sat near a fire, drinking cocoa and going over his Naughty and Nice list. He paused and smiled when he heard Teema's clear voice coming from the stable. Then he shook his head. "I don't care what anyone says," he grumbled, "that song makes me sound like a spy!"