“Go away. I’m busy.”
“Busy doing what?”
“Making toys for good girls and boys,” he said, stirring his hot chocolate.
“Are there any?”
“Any what?” asked Santa, turning to look at the elf, who was dressed in green velvet.
“Any good girls and boys? We were talking about that in the toy room and we think all the good girls and boys are gone. Now there are just children who want things but don’t care about them two minutes later. Kids who just want cash, not toys or presents. We don’t think what we do matters anymore. There are no surprises left and no one is excited, or appreciates our work.”
“Saying that all the good girls and boys are gone is a sweeping generalization but I know what you mean and I understand how you feel. Christmas used to be something special,” he said, staring out the frosty window. “No one knew what was going to be under the tree. Children were so happy with whatever they found there. In those days children did’t get everything they wanted every single day. They had to wait for me to bring them toys and gifts. Nowadays, everyone gets what they want immediately and they don’t even have to leave their house.”
“Amazon is the new Santa,” sighed the Elf.
“They deliver every day of the year. I can’t compete with that,” said Santa, shaking his head. “I fear that we have become obsolete, my friend. Immediate gratification and quick deliveries have replaced us.”
“What will we do, Santa?”
“Care for the reindeer and eat cookies, I suppose. Become icons, symbols of what once was, memories of things past and lost.”
“Shall I tell the others?” asked the elf miserably.
“No, Sandy, wait until after Christmas, no need to break their hearts before then.”