What do elves get paid?

Wasatch Wagyu

Dear Elf Ernest,

Could you please tell me and my sister about how much you get paid, and what kind of hours do you work? If you do get paid what do you get paid with?

Merry Christmas

Rob and Kate

Dear Rob and Kate,

Well, that’s a fair question.

If you put aside the fact that we live at the North Pole, work for Santa Claus and worry about nothing but Christmas every day of the year you still have the simple fact that we’re people who have to eat. And that does take resources — just as it does everywhere else in the world.

But money at the North Pole is a little different than it is just about anywhere else. In America, people get paid with dollars. In Japan, they have the yen. But here at the North Pole, we get paid in Christmas cookies.

Yes. It’s true. They are the only currency we have — or need.

Think about it. Real estate values aren’t much here. The views are lousy, the weather is generally bad and the soil is poor. The schools are good but we are a long way from summer recreation. There just are not a lot of other people who want to live here except for folks interested in Christmas. Since things don’t grow here naturally we get a lot of food from Santa’s Greenhouses, and that he gives to us freely.

Of course, we’re elves. We make stuff. Our clothes, our furniture, all of our toys, of course, are all made by us. If we want or need something different from what we already have, we trade. When we don’t have something to trade, we simply make lots of Christmas cookies and that seems to do the trick.

I work about 8 hours a day, five days a week. Sometimes Santa needs me to work a little more than that but for the most part he thinks it is important we have enough time for our families. The elves have a union called MESS (Merry Elves in the Service of Santa) but it doesn’t charge us dues and we’ve never gone on strike. I think they are really just an organization that puts together all of our parties.

Money only plays a part in our lives when we travel. But most of what we travel for is for Santa or sometimes to see our families — and even then we take reindeer. But when we need money for use in different countries, Santa gladly helps us out.

We don’t spend a lot of time here worrying about money. Santa says that money and Christmas don’t really go together.

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