Sector 4 Trackers, Goodnight!

I feel like I’ve hardly asked you guys to do much this year. But honestly, Santa’s plan worked out so well that when it came to Christmas Eve we just needed to track and NOT report much. Santa said that is the way it should be.

So congratulations, thank you and Merry Christmas.

You can sign off for the night.

Tracker Activity Wrapping Up in Sector 4

Flight Command has asked us to send in one last weather report. That’s our sign that things are wrapping up for us. Today was easy, eh?

If you do not know or remember your sector, please see this link
Check all that apply

Let’s See Your Christmas Smile

The direction from Flight Command is pretty slight, so let’s have some fun. Shoot a photo and send it in! I want to see some Christmas smiles

Click here to see or change your Elf PIN.
Click or drag a file to this area to upload.
Just one image file only

Sector 4 is in the Red Zone

Welcome to the Red Zone, Sector 4! For the next 24 hours we celebrate Christmas Eve and track Santa.

Flight Command has already been active with requests in other sectors. In our sector right now they are asking – for some weird reason – for an update on air traffic. Let’s do what we can with this:

Just look out the window and look up!
Check all that apply
Click or drag a file to this area to upload.
This is optional

Check in Begins for Sector 4

Ok, Sector 4! This is it. Time to check in for the show. Let’s get this party started:

Sector 4 Cruises to the Finish Line

Feliz Navidad! Christmas Eve is upon us in mere hours now and we’re going into it with a head of steam. Here’s the elf count:

North Pole Tracker Elves: 10,047
Freelance Tracker Elves: 3,854,114
Total Tracker Elves: 3,864,161

That’s isn’t quite our goal but I think we’re gonna make it. Where we HAVE made it is in our tracker reports:

North Pole Tracker Elf Reports: 77,362
Freelance Tracker Elf Reports: 17,343,513
Total Tracker Elf Reports: 17,420,875

I don’t have any instruction for you right now except for this: PAY ATTENTION!!!

Our news page is located HERE. We want you paying attention to me via that page. If you don’t watch that page you won’t see the stuff Santa needs for our sector. So check in frequently and go to that page only.

A New Tracker Challenge

Greetings, my tracker friends. It is time for my final tracker update of this season. This Friday, December 23rd, Santa will launch from the North Pole and make a journey around the world unlike any other he has taken before.

Why will it be different?

It will be different because he will have at his command more detailed information about most areas he will be flying. I spoke with Santa earlier today and he is just THRILLED with the Santa tracker effort this year. Although we are now just over 500 million tracker reports, which is over halfway to our goal, reports are coming in so fast that Santa feels confident we will meet and exceed our goal easily.

We have, however, some news to share with you today that you need to be aware of:

  1. The Santa Tracking Map here at has now gone “dark”. The next time you see it will be when Santa himself launches.
  2. The test flights of Santa’s sleigh will now take a new chapter. The final version of the sleigh is being launched from the North Pole today. It will continue to fly until Thursday night, when it will return to the North Pole for a brief adjustment period. A final test flight will take place on Friday, December 23rd.
  3. That final version will feature 12 different sleighs. They will launch from the North Pole tonight and will fly only at night. Each Sector will have at least 2 sleighs in flight at a time, some will have 3.
  4. We challenge our tracker elves, between now and when Santa himself launches, to find and photograph or video any of these sleighs in flight over the next four days. Any elf who can post photographic evidence that is confirmed by North Pole Flight Command will be awarded 25,000 points by Santa himself.

That’s great news and a great opportunity for each tracker out there. We have lots of other announcements coming over the next few days. Here is what you can expect:

  • Each sector will begin a “check-in” process for tracking Santa according to the time zones of that sector. Please be paying attention.
  • A special set of “short form” reports designed for fast use while Santa is in flight will be introduced.
  • Announcements from each sector will now happen at very random times. All trackers are encouraged to check in frequently.

As a reminder, I will be in Elf Chat on Christmas Eve. I’m not sure what to expect, given the unexpected nature of the news of Santa’s sleigh this year, the many different kinds of weather challenges all over the world expected next weekend, and the unpredictable nature of tracking Santa in general. However, I will do my best to be there and prepared to discuss the latest with you.

This is a very exciting week ahead for us. Let’s stay focused on our job and get Santa around the world.

Elf Roger Star

Chat Recap with Elf Crash in Elf Chat

Elf Crash Murphy, Santa’s Eye-in-the-Sky Reporter and the Ultimate Santa Tracker, was in Elf Chat today to talk about tracking Santa this year. Everyone’s questions sure made for an interesting conversation. Here is the recap:

Elf Crash MurphyHi ho – MAXY!!!
Elf MaxHi Crash. You’re right on time
Elf UlanHi, elf Crash!
Elf Buddy FrostHello Elf Crash!
Elf Crash MurphyI’m surprised to see you here…but not surprised. How are you doing?
Elf MaxThanks, Crash. I’m doing good. I wanted to be back to track Santa this year and it looks like it is working out
Elf Crash MurphyHi Buddy Frost! Hi Ulan!
Elf Buddy FrostHope your doing well Crash!
Elf Crash MurphyFantastic! I wasn’t sure who I would be talking with today but I’m glad its you. And I’m glad you’re going to be able to track Santa this year. I know that was a big goal
Elf MaxYeah, I’m not 100% yet but it’s good enough. It’ll be a good Christmas. I’ve got a TON of questions here for you, Crash.
Elf Crash MurphyOk, I’m raring to go. Things are super busy, I think they might be for everyone
Elf MaxI think that is why we have so many questions. People want to know how this next week will be different.
Elf Crash MurphyIt’s different already. I just got out of our daily pre-flight meeting. Those started last Monday
Elf MaxWho is in that meeting, Crash?
Elf Crash MurphyWell, it’s me, Santa, Roger, Elf Buck and a handful of folks from Flight Command
Elf MaxPre-flight – so this is about when Santa takes off?
Elf Crash MurphyWell, kind of. We talk about different areas of the world and different things going on at Flight Command that will affect launch and delivery. They are short meetings.
Elf MaxHave you done these meetings before?
Elf Crash MurphyYes, we start about 10-days out. Every year this is kind of our routine.
Elf Crash MurphyBut this year is really different because Santa and Flight Command have SO MUCH more information – different information than last year
Elf Crash MurphySo everything is very detailed like never before
Elf MaxInteresting. Will that change what they tell us to do when we track Santa after he launches?
Elf Crash MurphyNo doubt. You might get in on this, Max. I’m told there will be some new “quick” type reports that elves might be asked to send in after Santa takes off
Elf Crash MurphySo yes, it’s all looking very different this year
Elf MaxWhen are we going to find out about this? Officially -?
Elf Crash MurphyWell, Roger has the deets on that and I’m guessing you might find out tomorrow. But releasing it to the tracker elf world might not happen until Monday or Tuesday
Elf MaxOk, I’ll be ready
Elf Crash MurphyI’ll private message you some stuff after
Elf MaxOk, very good. Ready to take some questions from Elf Ulan and Elf Buddy Frost?
Elf UlanHi Crash, which sleigh is faster launching? Santa’s or yours?
Elf Crash MurphySure thing!
Elf MaxGo ahead, guys
Elf Buddy FrostYes, I am curious to know now, can you give us even a hint of what these quick type reports may be?
Elf Crash MurphyElf Ulan – Santa’s sleigh is the best in the world. I’m in an old clunker. I’m about watching Santa, not keeping up with him
Elf UlanYou mean you will launch after Santa’s sleigh?
Elf Crash MurphyThose “Christmas Eve Reports” – that’s what Roger has been calling them will be simple report features so that a tracker can send important information quickly – think things like changes in the weather, flight obstacles, etc. Nothing too fancy or extreme. Just a quick way to get really important information to flight command fast
Elf Crash MurphyElf Ulan, I actually am in the air most years ahead of Santa. His launch is always a very public affair, you’ll hear it on the radio. And he takes off like a shot. It’s easy for me to already be up there and waiting for him to take off from there
Elf MaxCrash, what are they saying will be the need for reports from trackers once Santa takes off?
Elf Crash MurphyThey don’t really know. The Elf Supervisors are nervous about it too. But really, Santa doesn’t want to burden Tracker Elves will TOO much because he wants them to be spending time with their families too
Elf Crash MurphyAnd a lot of it will depend on what’s just going on at the time
Elf Buddy FrostWell you can bet I will be ready to send in those reports!
Elf MaxCrash, I’ve seen some trackers complaining in their reports about being sent to bed too early last year. Will bedtime be extended for tracker elves?
Elf Crash MurphyI know you will Buddy Frost!
Elf Crash MurphyMax – I don’t think Santa’s going to give on the bedtime advisories for anyone. We’ve already talked about it and he’s set in his mind.
Elf MaxWhat do you advise those trackers who want to stay up later to do?
Elf UlanYou see Santa’s launching in the sky^^ is every time looks the same?
Elf Crash MurphyI advise them not to do it.
Elf MaxHahaha – why is Santa so strict about this?
Elf Crash MurphyI have a lot of theories, Max. But honestly, I think the toughest thing Santa has to juggle is getting people to bed so he can do his job. He’s always thinking ahead. And if he spends a lot of time in one place that means he has less time to get to another. Bedtime on Christmas Eve is a big thing to Santa
Elf Buddy FrostI have another question. I have always wanted to see Santa’s sleigh but what does it, or any sleigh look like at ground level?
Elf Crash MurphyElf Ulan – Santa’s launch is always a different view for me. I’m in the air and he usually takes off in a storm at the North Pole. Very normal for this time of year at the North Pole. So when I see him he’s flying UP – he punches through the clouds and if I have moonlight it’s quite something to see.
Elf Crash MurphyElf Buddy Frost – Santa’s sleigh is always bigger than people imagine it. The size, and the fact that there are a lot of lights on it are what usually surprise people the most.
Elf MaxSpeaking of the sleigh….
Elf Crash MurphyYeah, I don’t even want to comment on it, Max.
Elf UlanSounds so cool!
Elf MaxCrash, I’m hearing a lot of stuff.
Elf Crash MurphyYes, I am too.
Elf Buddy FrostConcerns with the sleigh?
Elf MaxHave you guys talked about sleigh options in the pre-flight meetings?
Elf Crash MurphyYes, a little bit. There’s supposed to be a big meeting with all the High Command elves about the sleigh today or tomorrow. This could be an interesting week.
Elf UlanSpeaking of the sleigh lol, do you have jingle bells on your sleigh?
Elf MaxYes, Elf Buddy Frost. There have been concerns coming from the test flights of Santa’s new sleigh all year long.
Elf Crash MurphyYes, Elf Ulan. I have jingle bells on my sleigh. Most people don’t understand the importance of the bells. I never fly without them.
Elf MaxWhy are the bells so important?
Elf Crash MurphyReindeer fly better with the rhythm of the bells to move them. Without bells they are slower. With bells they work together better. Sleigh goes faster.
Elf UlanI heard Santa says it too
Elf MaxCrash – do you think Santa is going to fly that sleigh they are testing.
Elf Buddy FrostHow does the bells affect the reindeer?
Elf Crash MurphyIt’s true Elf Ulan
Elf UlanAnd do you play Christmas music with the bells too?
Elf Crash MurphyThe bells help the reindeer keep a rhythm. It’s moves them in a way like any music moves all of us. Their hearing is more sensitive to higher pitches and bells seem to work really well for them, especially up there in the high winds. They can hear them. They move more steady with the bells
Elf MaxHello Hollytinsel
Elf Buddy FrostHm, that actually makes a lot of sense, thank you Crash!
Elf CrusaderHi everyone! Sorry I’m late
Elf Crash MurphyI hear music through my headset, which is almost always on. My headset is where I communicate and do the news from. Hard for me to do my job without it. So I hardly hear the bells. The bells are for the reindeer
Elf MaxDo you hear Flight Command through the headset
Elf UlanWow, do you know what’s the reindeer favorite music?
Elf Crash MurphyYes, Max. And Santa too. Everyone is in my head.
Elf CrusaderHi crash
Hollytinsel234Does Santa’s reindeer have Christmas magic?
Elf Crash MurphyYes, Elf Ulan. Reindeer love music. But they especially love jazz, Country Rock and Rock ‘n Roll. Especially Blitzen. He’s a banger
Elf Crash MurphyHey Crusader!
Elf MaxBltizen is a banger!!!????
Elf Buddy FrostMe and Blitzen would get along then! I love rock n roll!
Elf Crash MurphyYes. Well, not too much heavy metal. Way into Def Leppard
Elf MaxNO WAY!!!
Elf CrusaderCrash, are you and santa stopping by my place this year?
Elf UlanWow, interesting!!
Elf Crash MurphyNot sure, Elf Crusader. That’s a Santa question. I go where he goes. I cannot imagine he’d forget you though
Elf MaxDef Leppard doesn’t have Christmas music, do they?
Elf CrusaderThanks
Elf Crash MurphyGeez, Max…how would I know that?
Elf CrusaderUmm no they don’t max
Elf MaxSo Santa doesn’t play it for him?
Elf Buddy FrostI like the Trans Siberian Orchastra. Best christmas rock music!
Elf UlanAre your teams the same reindeer or change members every year?
Elf Crash MurphyNo, but Santa teases him about it.
Elf CrusaderI’m a rock and roll fan too. That’s how I know
Elf Lil CreamI’m so glad I joined on time! The chats have always been when I’m gone or too early
Elf Crash MurphyThe reindeer will hear Kringle Radio at times on Christmas Eve. They love to hear if they make the news somehow
Elf Crash MurphyNice to see you Lil Cream!
Elf Slimey Chello!
Elf CrusaderI listen to a lot of nickelback,Linkin Park,breaking Benjamin,and daughtry
Hollytinsel234Crash, whats your favorite Christmas song?
Elf Crash MurphyOh, and Slimey’s here’s too. Wow, it is Christmas now
Elf Crash MurphyI don’t know that I have a favorite Christmas song. It depends on my mood I guess.
Elf Slimey CIm so excited, really starting to feel like christmas now!
Elf MaxI like your radio show, Crash.
Elf CrusaderCrash, did you ever record that podcast I did with other trackers?
Elf Crash MurphyThanks, Maxy
Elf UlanMe too!
Elf Buddy FrostMy favorite is “That’s Christmas to Me” by Penetonix!
Elf Crash MurphyElf Crusader, I owe you a BIG apology about that
Elf CrusaderI think Crash is a funny dude
Elf Crash MurphyI’ve worked on that podcast here and there but things have gotten so busy I just totally blew it.
Elf CrusaderHey, no problem. Just send me some elf eggnog and I’ll be good
Elf Crash MurphyIt’s totally my fault, Crusader. Don’t believe what Frank might tell you about it. Totally my fault
Hollytinsel234Mine too!
Elf Slimey Cno sweat, Ik its a busy time of year rn haha
Elf Lil CreamWhat have we missed from the chat so far? anything we should know?
Elf Crash MurphyI’ve like Pentatonix since before they got crazy big.
Elf CrusaderI understand Crash. I’m not upset
Elf MaxI’ll post up the recap later, Lil Cream
Elf CrusaderBeing sector lead is a big responsibility btw
Elf Crash MurphyWell, I am upset. I’ve had that since June. But to be honest, Frank is a little cheesed at me too because I’ve not been able to do as many podcasts as he wants
Elf UlanMaybe I don’t know. I’ll try to listen!
Elf CrusaderIs Santa ever covered in soot from all the chimneys?
Elf MaxYou’re all over the place, Crash. You shouldn’t feel bad
Hollytinsel234How many days until Christmas?
Elf Crash MurphyI could do a whole show of just Pentatonix. They come out with a new Christmas album like every five minutes
Elf UlanI agree too
Elf Crash MurphyCrusader works hard on his podcast and I let him down. I do feel bad about that. Santa should only give me soggy cheerios for Christmas
Elf CrusaderI so wish that I could live up there at the pole
Elf Crash MurphyYou’re in Minnesota, Crusader.  So you already know a lot about snow. How cold is it there now?
Elf CrusaderWould it help you to know that I am not upset with you crash? I think you’re an exceptional elf
Elf Buddy FrostDon’t feel bad Crash! You’ve got so much on your plate it’s understandable! You shouldn’t be so hard on yourself.
Elf Crash MurphyYou’re always so kind, Crusader. But I just blew that podcast. I need to find a way better than Elf Eggnog to make it up to you.
Elf MaxLil Cream or Slimey – do you have a question for Crash? Our time is about up
Elf CrusaderOh boy. Great question. It’s been snowing like heck these past two days. It is currently 15 degrees
Elf Crash MurphyThat’s some good North Pole training right there, Crusader
Elf UlanVerrry cold!
Elf Lil CreamNope! I’m just here to listen today, ill check with him tho
Elf Crash MurphyTell me, Crusader. With the cold and snow in Minnesota, do you guys have sleighs?
Elf MaxWow, maybe we should schedule a chat for questions for Elf Crusader!
Hollytinsel234Does Santas sleigh have a snow maker on the bottom??
Elf Crash MurphyHahaha! Good idea Maxy
Elf CrusaderNo. Not that I know of. But what I do know is that it makes driving difficult for those who operate vehicles
Elf Crash MurphyNo, Santa’s sleigh does not have a snowmaker
Elf Slimey Cim back! sorry i was outside looking at the frost. its 30 degrees where we are!
Elf CrusaderI’d be happy to do that Max. Just name the time and place and I would be glad to be interviewed.
Elf Crash Murphy30 degrees in California, Slimey?
Elf Slimey Cwe’re out of town and it never usually gets this cold haha
Elf MaxMaybe we could have you show up some time on Christmas Eve, Crusader. That would be fun
Hollytinsel234Its 40° here
Elf Crash MurphyOk, Slimey. I thought that sounded a little chilly for your neighborhood.
Elf Slimey Cyeah near the China Peak area/ Fresno
Elf Slimey CI love this weather
Elf MaxCrash, besides the pre-flight meetings you talked about, what else do you have to do to prepare for Santa’s launch?
Elf CrusaderDone max. I have free time. I can’t wait
Elf Lil Creamyeah- at home its gonna be sunny for christmas :/
Elf Crash MurphyI know Fresno pretty good. It’s 30 degrees in Fresno?
Elf Lil Creamyup! it gets pretty cold in the winter
Elf UlanDo we need a certificate to get into a sleigh?
Elf CrusaderHey crash, quick question: how much do you know about the mayo clinic here in Rochester Minnesota?
Elf Crash MurphyMaxy, actually my week this week is fairly normal. I have a lot planned for news with Frank. Big week for that. Not sure if we’ll squeeze in a podcast. I have some tracker training to do in Flight Command. But other than that I just need to pack my lunchpail for the flight
Elf CrusaderIt is a world renowned hospital. I wonder if Santa visits there. I think of all the sick children and patients who believe in him.
Elf Crash MurphyYes, Elf Ulan. To even fly in a sleigh you have to be certified. It takes months to get that certification.
Hollytinsel234@Elf Lil Cream: Thanks for liking my post!
Elf Crash MurphyThey Mayo Clinic in Rochester is world famous. Santa goes EVERY YEAR
Elf UlanTakes months, can I try it? ^^
Elf Crash MurphySanta actually does a lot of hospitals all this week, Crusader. Part of why he’s not at the North Pole and doing all these meetings by Zoom or by phone
Elf CrusaderThat’s great news! But he should be careful not to collide with the mayo one helicopter. They always fly that thing every day
Elf Crash MurphyElf Ulan. Sleigh Certification is a program that requires recommendation by your Elf Supervisor. And of course, that comes after taking about 18 months of flight school
Elf CrusaderWait a minute, are you telling me that I could operate a sleigh?
Elf Crash MurphySanta usually goes to the Mayo clinic by car (well, truck – Santa’s truck guy). Flying sleighs are reserved for Christmas Eve, Crusader
Elf Crash MurphySure, any elf can become a sleigh pilot
Elf Lil CreamWow! Thats a lot of training! I’m working on my drivers licence right now, is the training similar (obviously more time tho for a sleigh
Elf CrusaderWhew! That is good news! So there’s a chance I might see him
Elf Crash MurphyI’ve toyed with the idea. But the math is really hard. I am certified to fly in a sleigh, but my pilot certification is still a work in progress
Elf UlanOkay, I remember Elf Randi has it and it takes a lot of year’s till she can asks us ^^
Elf Crash MurphyElf Lil Cream — you’re DRIVING? Where do the years go!
Elf Slimey C🙂
Elf CrusaderHow would I know it’s Santa and not some dude who looks like him?
Elf Crash MurphyElf Crusader – ask him about the Elf Code. Santa knows it by heart in 17 different languages.
Elf MaxOk guys, let’s wrap it up.
Elf MaxCrash, thanks as always for all the extra insight today
Elf CrusaderAlright. If I see some person that looks like Santa, I’m going to ask the elf code.
Elf Lil CreamYeah! Thank you Crash
Elf Buddy FrostAlright, it was great chatting with you all! Merry Christmas!
Elf Crash MurphyMy pleasure, Maxy. So good to see you too!
Elf CrusaderBye crash.
Elf Lil CreamMerry Christmas!
Elf Crash MurphyMerry Christmas everyone. If we get a chance to do another one of these this week I’ll be here!
Elf Slimey CThanks! Merry Christmas!
Elf MaxOk, Crash. Just tell me when and I’ll open the doors
Elf UlanWow, a lot! How about you control sleigh traffic?
Elf Crash MurphyDeal.
Elf Crash MurphyOh I don’t control sleigh traffic. But I went to sleigh traffic controller school to understand more about what Flight Command does and what they need from me. That’s complex work
Hollytinsel234Merry Christmas!!
Elf MaxMerry Christmas everyone!
Elf Crash MurphyBye y’all
Elf Lil CreamBye!
Elf UlanThank you, Crash, and Merry Christmas to everyone!


Sector 4 Shows Big Gains

Sector 4 is on FIRE! Yes, my friends – we had a good week. Here’s the elf numbers:

North Pole Tracker Elves: 8,767
Freelance Tracker Elves: 2,374,554
Total Tracker Elves: 2,383,321

We topped the word with 131% growth last week in elves. Nobody added more than we did (well, percentage-wise). That gave us a world-leading boost in reports, too:

North Pole Tracker Elf Reports: 57,862
Freelance Tracker Elf Reports: 7,598,573
Total Tracker Elf Reports: 7,656,573

That is a 90% boost over the number of reports for last week – which is HUGE.

So congratulations! Sector 4 is making big contributions for the Santa effort this year. Thank you!

Feedback from Santa:
Another stellar week, Sector 4. You are becoming a force in Operation Merry Christmas. You have no idea what your efforts mean for my ride in your sector this year. I’m so excited to get there because I know so much more this time around. And that’s thanks to you. For this week, please invest a little time in reporting on yourself. I want to know my elves. Elf Tubby will show you what needs to be done! – Santa

Instructions for this week, please send in the following reports:

  1. If you haven’t done so, please file a Home and Family Report – click here
  2. Please send in an Elfie Selfie – click here
  3. Time for Another Local Christmas Report – click here
  4. Please update the weather – click here

Halfway to our Report Goal

Hello Trackers!

As we approach the final full week before Christmas I’ve got some good news…and some bad news. First, the good news:

We have crossed over the halfway point to our goal. As of late this morning, we are over 500 million tracker reports so far this season.

This is historic. We have never had so much good information before. Our analysts are busy stuffing the database Santa will use when he takes flight with information he’s never had before. If he left right now, he would have roughly ten times the amount of current information than he has ever had in the past.

If we were to stop everything right now, we’d have set a record and Santa would be flying more prepared than ever before. Congratulations and THANK YOU.

And, now the bad news:

We have crossed over the halfway point to our goal.

500 million is only half of what Santa says that we need. And it has taken us all year to get to this part. That leaves us just 12 days to get the other half billion.

Can it be done?

Well, we know that it always comes down to the last two weeks. Every year. But this year is different because we’re chasing a report goal, not an elf goal.

How many elves do we have?

In all five sectors we now claim a total of more than 46 million elves.

Doing straight math, if those 46 million elves just did about 11 reports EACH in our last 12 days, we’d meet the goal.

But that’s a really dumb way to think about it.

We’re going to get millions of new elves in the next 12 days. And those elves are going to give us more reports than just 11 reports, right?

So, relax. Listen to your elf supervisor. Send in the reports he or she is asking for. Be ready to report on something new once Santa takes flight. We’ll make that goal, don’t you worry.

Now, on a topic entirely different.

You might hear some weird stuff over the next 12 days about Santa’s sleigh. Don’t freak over it. It doesn’t concern us, okay. Let’s keep our eye on Santa and getting our job done in helping him get around the world no matter he flies, alright?

Elf Roger Star

Santa Answers Questions

Santa here. I send greetings to my fellow elves! Thank you for your excellent work so far this season. We have a couple of weeks to go and I was asked by the organizers of the Tracker Elf Conference to participate in Questions and Answers. You elves supply the questions and I supply the answers.

We have been at this a couple of weeks. These are all questions that came in from the Tracker Elf Conference survey. We have filtered out the usual “What am I getting for Christmas?” and “What time will you be to my house?” kind of questions. We want to focus on tracking, getting around the world, and fulfilling our goals for Operation Merry Christmas.

Here we go:

Q: How does your sleigh fit so many presents?
A: It holds a lot but not the whole world’s worth of presents. Long before I launch from the North Pole there is an effort called Operation Airlift which is run by North Pole Flight Command. They launch thousands and thousands of sleighs before, during and after my launch. These sleighs are mostly freighters that move things around. Part of that operation is a complicated process that sees my sleigh constantly re-supplied. As I stop and make visits in homes those sleighs and the elves and reindeer assigned to them re-supply my sleigh. All night long this happens, all over the world. It is a massive operation largely unseen by the world. Part of the magic of Christmas Eve is that it is the one night of the year when seeing a flying sleigh is really possible because there are thousands of sleighs out there – not just me. Great question. 

Q: What’s the hardest problem while taking the big trip, and is their anything we can do to help you out?
A: The biggest challenge is not knowing what I’m going to run into. That is why what you are doing now, in the weeks before I launch, is so helpful. The more I know about a home, a neighborhood, the weather, trees, fences, dogs, traffic, new construction, etc. the better I am able to do my job. The best thing you can do is to be thorough in your reports and think like I have to think when I fly. Be eyes up. When you see something that would concern anyone coming into your neighborhood with a huge sleigh and flying reindeer, say something. 

Q: How many tracker elves would you like to see do their job this year? Why do you love the tracker elf program?
A: We used to worry about how many elves. We thought the more elves we have the more reports we get. We learned that’s not true. We made changes this year to weed out the people who wanted to be elves but wouldn’t do the work of elves. We have fewer elves this year than last year. That does not matter because we are getting more reports and better reports this year. I am expecting MUCH better results in my flight this year because I simply have better information. I love the fact that we have whittled things down to elves who really care, really work and really celebrate Christmas. This is fun. 

Q: Can you magically just fly?
A: No. No magic about it. It takes training, talented reindeer, talented elves, expertly designed sleighs and lots of speed to fly. 

Q: Does Santa give gifts to grown-ups too who believe, or just to kids?
A: This isn’t a tracking question but I feel it is an important one. There are no grown ups to me. Just children. So the answer is yes. Understand? 

Q: How is the sleigh situation going?
A: Pretty rough. Not too worried about it though. 

Q: Dear Santa, Thank you for everything. If you could answer one question, have I been being useful to you as an elf so far? I would appreciate it if you could tell me specifically what more I need to do to be a better elf for you as a tracker elf, an elf educator, or a reindeer therapist?
A: Hi, Elf Ulan. You are an exceptional elf precisely because you ask questions like this. You are extremely helpful to me, especially as you share information about your country and customs. Your voice, as is the voice of every elf, is very important. So keep talking. Keep participating. Keep sharing. Keep asking questions. Your elf supervisor keeps track of your performance. If there are problems you will hear from them. As for me, I’m very happy to have you as an elf, doing all that you do. 

Q: Do you remember me?
A: Of course. I remember every believer and every elf, even those who live in California. I think this question comes from a different thing than just one particular person living in one particular place. It comes from being a little older and experiencing Santa different as an adult. Am I right about this? Yes, it changes as you change. But I always remember you. Remember that. 

Q: Who is the most amazing elf?
A: Hahaha – trick question! Mrs. Claus is the most amazing elf. 

Q: Why do you say “hohoho”?
A: I don’t, actually.

Q: Do you go to all the houses of your believers? Even if they are grown up?
A: I go where I am welcomed and invited. Some don’t want my inside their house and I understand and respect that. 

Q: Are you upset when people don’t believe in you or say mean things about you?
A: No, we don’t have time for that. 

Q: How much water could we leave out for the Reindeer team?
A: I appreciate this question. Figure on about a cup per reindeer. I want them to stay hydrated but too much water is a problem too. So keep it simple. A cup, no ice. Just water. Thank you! 

Q: How do you deliver to boats?
A: Boats are easy. Moving trains, planes and busses are a much bigger challenge. I’m just glad for very athletic reindeer and advanced sleigh technology. 

Q: Does Santa still come even while your tracking? Has Santa ever missed homes before and why?
A: I send out bed time advisories from the sleigh. Usually around 8pm to 10pm local time. I expect everyone living in the area of the advisory to do it. Even trackers. That being said, sometimes family traditions and events keep some people up later than that. That’s okay. I try to remember those things and not get there too early. And yes, I’ve missed homes before and had to go back. It happens because I’m not perfect and the information I have is not always up to do. That’s another reason why the work of trackers is so important. 

Q: I know you been doing this for years but is it any chance for you to retire and probably have someone else take it over?
A: No. Don’t believe the stuff of silly movies and television shows. 

Q: What is the very first thing he does after he gets back to Santa head quarters on Christmas day?
A: Celebrate Christmas with Mrs. Claus. 

Q: What if you get hurt on your flight?
A: Good question. We have a number of plans in place to deal with emergencies. We have elves everywhere on Christmas Eve. And I do mean everywhere. 

Thank you elves for your questions. If you have more, post them in the comments below.

Sector 4 Gets in Gear

I’m so proud of you, Sector 4! We had a big BIG HUGE week.

Here are the elf count numbers:

North Pole Tracker Elves: 6,972
Freelance Tracker Elves: 1,024,751
Total Tracker Elves: 1,031,723

We cleared 1 million elves last week! Who saw that coming. Of course, that meant a lot to our tracker report totals as well:

North Pole Tracker Elf Reports: 29,282
Freelance Tracker Elf Reports: 3,996,529
Total Tracker Elf Reports: 4,025,811

That is an increase of 113%. GREAT WORK!!!

Feedback from Santa:
I told you things would get better and boy, did they! I’m so very happy with all the work you are doing. Whatever caused the increase in elves last week also caused everything to get better in Sector 4. In fact, I think we can now have you guys worry about some other things we need to be paying attention to. In Sector 4, now that there’s more than a million of you, we need to look up. Elf Tubby will instruct you on what information I will need about roofs and chimneys in your area. It’s important. Especially for those few areas that have chimneys. I know it’s summer there is most areas and nobody thinks about their chimneys. So I want you to think about them, okay? If you don’t have chimneys, that’s ok. I could use your advice on how to enter a house without a chimney. I welcome your ideas. Thanks for all your help! — Santa

Instructions for this week, please send in the following reports:

  1. Roof Report – click here
  2. Chimney Inspection – click here
  3. Ground Report – click here
  4. Weather Report – click here

Gracias! Let’s keep it rolling!