"The qualifications of the modern toy-making elf." – Humor Column

It probably comes as no surprise that despite an ailing economy and unfathomable unemployment rates across the nation, there’s really never been a better time to be a toy-making elf.

Think about it – in this crazy, technological age of Bluetooth this and wifi-enabled that, toys these days are more complicated than ever. These new gadgets aren’t exactly something that just anyone could pound out in a couple of hours – would you be able to sit down at a workbench and just “make” an iPod Touch?! I mean, give me a pocket knife and I could go out into the woods and whittle you a set of Lincoln Logs, but today’s modern Christmas gifts require a bit more assembly than the simple cut here, pound there trinkets and baubles of holidays long passed…

All of this fancy, new technology takes a team of highly skilled workers to build – it’s really an elf’s market for anyone who considers helping to create happiness among children all over the world to be an important value in the workplace. Sure, computers and video games have been around for quite a while now … I still remember unwrapping my own 8-bit Nintendo Entertainment System almost 25 years ago … but have you seen the graphics on a Playstation 3 running at full HD resolution?! To say that we’ve leaped forward a step or two since then would be an understatement akin to calling HoneyBaked Ham just an ok option for Christmas dinner! And much like not just anybody can create a delicious, mouth-watering ham like HoneyBaked, not just anyone can build these highly-sophisticated entertainment devices for the good little boys and girls all around the globe, either!

Granted, I’m not exactly privy to what kinds of training that elves have to go through around the North Pole to ultimately become toy-makers, but I’ve got to imagine that it’s probably a pretty extensive selection process. Maybe they all start out just wrapping gifts and sorting letters in the mail room and stuff, eventually working their way up through sleigh packing and reindeer maintenance (a stinky, but vital job, indeed!) before finally earning their place amongst the ranks of those who actually get to make stuff around the North Pole. First would likely be candy, then cookies and other sweets, and then hopefully with enough hard work and dedication to the craft, the best and the brightest might someday find themselves transcending the leap from consumables over into the highly-coveted toy department where workbenches are filled day and night with hardworking elves building the very toys that will delight millions young and old come Christmas morning!

Sure, some cynics might argue that the hours are long and at the end of the day there’s one guy in a suit who takes all of the credit for your work, but something tells me that it’s not about recognition that keeps these dedicated elves showing up to work in subzero temperatures each and every morning. For starters, I hear that the universal healthcare at the North Pole is outstanding, not to mention access to the latest gadgets and gizmos, plenty of Christmas cookies always laying around the workshop, and of course, the collective sound of gifts being unwrapped the world over on Christmas morning – that, along with an incredibly competitive benefits package and getting to work with the Santa Claus?! I tell you, if I was three feet shorter and could actually stand being even somewhat remotely cold, it might be something to consider if this whole writing thing doesn’t work out!

Until then, though, I say we take a moment to express our kind thanks to the little people who actually make the things that bring smiles to our faces and truly make Christmas Day something worth being “good” for the other 364 days of the year. Remember, if it wasn’t for these highly-devoted workbench warriors, you might actually have to pay full price at a store for that iPad you’ve had your eye on…


Scott Sevener is a humor columnist who enjoys writing funny narratives about the random things in life that amuse him. His first book, a collection of humor columns entitled “The First Seven Years Are Always the Hardest,” is available now at comedic-genius.com.
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