It is the wish of nearly every new elf to come to the North Pole. It is a dream of everyone I know. In this training post we talk about this and to do it I need to tell you a little about my story.
Like most of you, I began my elf career as a Santa Tracker. I did it for myself starting when I was about six and then, a few years later, I became a tracker elf tracking Santa for Santa, just like most of you.
I was just a kid, living in Winnipeg with my family, going to school and doing the normal stuff all people do. I loved Santa and Christmas. I used to lay awake at night dreaming of going to the North Pole. I wanted to ride in a sleigh with Santa. I wanted to see the reindeer fly. I wanted to meet the elves. I wanted to see Santa’s workshop. I wanted to go and live at the North Pole.
None of that happened for me. Every year, year after year, I tracked Santa. I sent in my reports on Christmas Eve, like a good tracker elf should. I hung my stocking, put up my tree and I wrote letters to Santa — begging him to take me to the North Pole.
I never heard a word back. That made me really sad. Santa was good to me every Christmas. We had fun. I enjoyed all the things I was doing as a tracker elf. But my dream of going to the North Pole just never happened. And each year, because of that, I felt my dreams of North Pole life slipping away.
As a teenager I got involved in other stuff besides school. I played hockey. For a while I played in the band at school (drums). I got a job during the summer helping to pour concrete for new houses. After high school, I worked a construction job for 8 months to make money so I could go to college.
All this time I stayed working as a tracker elf for Santa.
Then I stopped. I don’t know why I stopped, really. I just stopped doing it. I was in college, working a lot at my job. I was a busy guy.
For two Christmases I didn’t do any Santa tracking. I was away from home. Lonely. I was working very hard, trying to become an expert about computers.
The third Christmas of college I went back home. When I got there and smelled all the stuff my mom was making and saw the tree in our house I realized how much I missed Christmas. I realized how much I missed tracking Santa.
My room was just the same as when I was a kid. Mom didn’t move a thing. I flipped on my very old computer — which still worked — and looked up SantaUpdate.com. I could not believe what I saw. In my time away they had changed so many things. Tracking Santa was different than before. I was so excited to see what it had become.
But I felt I had blown it. I walked away from my job as a tracker elf. I didn’t even tell anyone I was going. I just disappeared.
I felt horrible. I didn’t think Santa would want me to track Santa for him again.
I wrote him a note and told him I was sorry. I told him what I had been doing in school. I told him how busy I was. But I told him I still wanted to be an elf and I still wanted to go to the North Pole.
Santa didn’t answer my letter. But an elf did.
I won’t tell you his name, because you know who he is. He’s kind of an important elf these days. But he wasn’t at the time.
Anyway, he told me to just start tracking Santa again as best I could. He said that Santa understood why I was gone, he knew I was a good kid, and he felt that my education was important. The North Pole was so supportive of everything I was doing.
I thanked him and told him how cool I thought the changes were that I saw. I told him that I could help with the website at SantaUpdate.com because I was learning about it in school. I told him some ideas I had about tracking Santa.
Even after that Christmas was over and I went back to school I continued to share with my elf friend all the stuff that was in my head about tracking Santa.
He said I had good ideas. He talked to another elf in charge, who talked to another elf, who talked to another elf, about all my ideas. Then one day, in the summer before my last year of college, I got this message from my elf friend inviting me to help build a new website for the North Pole. This site — SantaTrackers.net.
It took us a couple of years to get it going. By this time I was done with school and working a job in San Francisco.
But I kept working on the website. My tracking career continued, too. To this day I still track Santa as a tracker elf every Christmas Eve. Santa needs help everywhere.
I changed jobs and moved back to Canada where I am now. I work now almost every day of the year on this website. The North Pole hired me. I’m a bigger elf now than I really ever thought I would become.
But Santa continues to instruct me. I get training. I take classes all the time.
None of it is at the North Pole. I’ve never been to the North Pole. I’ve never seen a flying reindeer.
I still want to go.
The difference between now and when I was younger is that now I really believe it is going to happen someday.
I know a lot of elves now. It took a long time to get in with that crowd but as I showed Santa more and more that I was serious about making a bigger contribution I was able to meet more elves and see what they do. I also got to learn their stories.
Every single elf I have met so far came from somewhere far away from the North Pole. Not a one of them I have met were born there or have family there. They all went to the North Pole after living somewhere else most of their lives.
That gives me hope that someday I will get the call to ride in the sleigh and make the trip to the North Pole.
I have learned that I don’t want to work in Santa’s workshop. I did when I was younger. But I don’t any more. I like what I do and I want to do it forever for Santa. I love computers and the Internet. This is what I do — I just want to do it for Santa.
A long time ago, in a training meeting for elves, I asked what they call THE BIG QUESTION: What do I have to do to become an elf who works at the North Pole?
That’s the question, they say, every real elf asks.
The answer they told me is this: just believe.
If we keep our heads down as elves, and work as hard as we can for Santa, believing the entire time in what he does in helping other people and spreading Christmas cheer, someday it could happen.
Then I met Elf Ed Zachary. Cool dude. Really an old, old elf. Some think he is a little mean, maybe a bit grumpy. But the dude is a legend in the elf community. I asked him THE BIG QUESTION.
You know what he told me. He told me he was 114 years old before he got to ride in the sleigh and go to the North Pole.
He said, no matter what, to always believe. If you believe, it will happen.
Well, guys, I believe. I don’t worry about it much any more. I just get up every day and do my best to be a good elf. Someday will happen someday.
Santa knows what I want. And I believe.
That’s all you gotta do.