Elf of the Year Announced

Fellow Elves,

It is my honor, duty and privilege to announce our Elf of the Year. This distinction comes to just one in the Tracker Elf Community for a reason – and that reason IS community.

Out of all the elves who contribute to the efforts of Operation Merry Christmas none need community more than Tracker Elves. That’s because you all work remotely and largely alone. You do not get to attend the meetings, the rallies, the events, the celebrations and all the things that go on at the North Pole.

Your role is a special one. And a hard one. That is why we want to recognize an elf who best exemplifies the community we’re trying to build here among our tracker elves. You all are different, special and unique but you are all connected by your mission and your duties. It is important that you participate here, make your voice heard, get your questions answered and have a place where your Christmas light can shine and your Christmas spirit can be shared.

This past year was a big year for tracking Santa for Santa. We made great strides. We showed incredible improvement. We accomplished a great deal.

But none of those strides, improvements or accomplishments are more important than what one elf brought to us all over the course of this past year. She was present. She was hopeful. She was bright. She was inquisitive. She was helpful. She was merry, kind and always trying her best.

Our Elf of the Year is one we can all agree upon: she is Elf Ulan, of Japan.

It gives me particular satisfaction to recognize an elf from Sector 1 and particularly from the country of Japan. There are not a lot of elves from Japan. Japan is a country still fairly young in their knowledge of Christmas and their support of me.

Elf Ulan is thus a pioneer. She brought Japan to our Christmas table this year and fed us continually with the generous giving spirit of that great country and culture.

And to that country she will continue to bring a knowledge of Christmas and what we do as elves from the North Pole.

I know this recognition of Elf Ulan as Elf of the Year is one you will all find agreeable. Everyone knows Ulan. Everyone here, at least from what I can see, has had interactions with her and likewise enjoy her friendship and love.

Elf Ulan has been present at most chats this year, both on SantaTrackers.net and SantaUpdate.com. She has asked great questions of nearly every elf who has visited. She has immersed herself in elf life, making her joys of discovery available to us all. She has been fun, gracious and so very kind.

I see for her a great future as an elf. I am grateful for her many contributions.

There were, as there usually are, a number of deserving elves on our lists of finalists. In fact, we have spent the better part of two weeks debating it all. Even Mrs. Claus and myself have talked long hours over your many contributions. Certainly others are worthy of this distinction. In fact, all of you are.

You may not recognize yourselves as ground-breakers, but you ARE. Every. One. Of. You.

You see, 2022 was really our FIRST year of the tracker elf program. Yes, we “tested” it for five years previous and in that time we’ve seen a lot of elves come and go. We even lost a few good elves in 2022.

But you are the ones who overcame. The ones who stayed. The ones that stayed true to the Oath, to the Elf Code, and to the Elf Community. The ones who are serious about giving to others by helping me do what I do.

Those that continue to stay, that continue to grow this community and contribute to it, will be those who become elves of different kinds in the years ahead.

I get asked all the time what it takes to become one of those important elves at the North Pole. It takes time. It takes persistence. And it takes good role models. Elf Ulan is a good one to model yourself after. That is part of the reason why Elf Ulan is Elf of the Year.

Thank you all for your efforts.

In the New Year there will, once again, come many changes. We always work hard to improve. All of us can improve, especially me.

I thank all elves who work on my behalf, who try so hard to help Operation Merry Christmas succeed. Next week, we begin that effort anew. There will be a new countdown, new goals, new targets and new challenges. But the big goal, the one we all aspire to, is to be all the elf we can be by focusing on the love of others.

Thank you, Elf Ulan, for showing us that way.


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Elf Cookie Dough

Congratulations Elf Ulan great job you are awesome

Elf Ulan

Thank you, Elf Cookie Dough. You’re great and awesome too! ^^

Elf Ulan

Thank you so much, Santa and the Elves I respect. It’s incredible, and I’m thankful to hear that from you. I know everyone knows more about Christmas and Santa than I do, so I’ve been learning and following you all this past year. That’s it. I couldn’t receive this honor without you, so I want to receive it with all of you. Thank you, everyone; thank you, Santa. I’ll continue being a better elf for you! XD