As the course of winter deepens and Lapland letterboxes fill, the toy factories of Mr Claus begin their hasty production of gifts in earnest. As day becomes night, the work never stops; the countless wish lists are ticked off until the sleigh burgeons to the brim. The elves work tirelessly, they make bikes, toys and games; they hammer, drill and saw, they cause all kinds of noise.
Christmas draws nearer and the lists pile high. This final push sees a deafening commotion in the factories soon become louder and louder, too loud even for elves to be heard when they shout! Even on their mince pie and mulled wine filled breaks, the noisy workstations can still be heard, their sounds echo and reverberate; leaving the poor elves with no respite at all.
Then, at last it’s all over, when Christmas Eve comes. The reindeers fly away and the elves return home. Packing up their tools for another year, they look forward to a rest. However, as they sit down to the fire, they notice something amiss: their pointy ears are no good anymore! Words seem mumbled and jingling bells can’t be heard. They just can’t work out why or how or where this has happened, they worked so hard and can no longer hear!
At first, the trusty elves believed that their once immaculate hearing had simply deteriorated due to their old age. But, one day, it dawns on the elves that their misfortune isn’t due to age at all. They realise the damage to their hearing must have occurred in the noisy grottos, making those Christmas toys. They soon become utterly indignant: Santa is in breach of the Control of Noise at Work Regulations 2005!
The elves then embark upon a protest against Santa, angrily detailing all the measures he should have taken to stop their pointy ears from being damaged. Santa should have made sure that the elves had earmuffs to protect their ears. After all, the elves are such speedy manufacturers that they could have made these earmuffs in no time! Santa should have also provided training within the Grotto, informing the elves of the dangers to their hearing, due to the unbearable noise created as Christmas draws closer each year.
Still enraged, there is talk of a Christmas boycott spreading amongst the elves. Christmas is in jeopardy. They want justice to do be done for the loss they have suffered. Luckily, one clever elf has kept up to date with the law of Lapland in his spare time, informing the rest that they may be able to obtain compensation for Santa’s carelessness!
As this news spreads around the Grotto, the elves begin their quest for compensation. Naturally, some of the elves are unsuccessful. Santa cunningly mentioned to some elves that their hearing could be damaged many years ago, ending any hopes they may have of a successful claim. Some of the elves have contributed to their hearing loss themselves by driving noisy sleighs and listening to Christmas songs too loud in their spare time. Some elves even hid the fact that they have already tried to claim for compensation years ago – now they’re on Santa’s naughty list!
Nonetheless, the remaining trustworthy and honest elves plough on in their quest, determined to receive compensation for all the years their ears have needlessly suffered. The elves angrily write letters to Santa – this is not their usual wish lists! They demand that Santa acknowledges their letters and admits what he has done wrong. They even arrange for the reindeers to fly in a , who tests the hearing of their pointy ears and confirms their deepest fears – their hearing has really gone! The little elves don’t know how they will cope no longer hearing Christmas jingles.
However, it doesn’t take Mr Claus long to realise his mistakes. He was so determined to keep the children around the world happy that he forgot about his wonderful workers. Santa apologises to all of the elves and promises to give them the money they deserve, and an unlimited supply of candy canes and gingerbread men! The elves are so excited. Now they have enough money to get hearing aids to hear the jingle bells again, and Christmas was restored in Lapland.
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