Santa was sitting in his consultation room when the door swung open and in walked eight-year-old Katie.
“Why am I here?” she asked. “I just mentioned to one of your elves that my friend’s Talking Olaf was better than my Elsa doll and she pushed me in here.”
“Well, my dear,” said Santa, “it sounds as if you could do with a present check-up. This is provided by the Elf Service to make sure you’re getting the most from your presents. Did she get you to sign your consent letter to Santa?”
There was a banging on the wall. “Yes, alright!” bellowed Santa. “Sorry,” he said. “The elves need me to check some presents in the workshop. That’s the trouble with being in the grotto – everything else stops.
“It’s not enough to be responsible for the workshop, but all the new services have to be performed by me too. At least our door-to-door delivery model suits the Department of Elf – even if it’s more 24/12 than 24/7.”
Santa pulled over a computer screen. “Now, here’s your present list – talk me through which ones you’ll play with and how.” “Well there’s a Frozen karaoke machine, Pie Face, and a Minions Tumbling Stuart. They’re all good fun.”
“OK, what about some lifestyle matters. Do you eat your greens?” “I don’t like vegetables,” began Katie, “but what about pear drops, cherryade and liquorice – do they count?”
“Hmm,” replied Santa. “And do you bite your nails?” Katie looked a bit sheepish.
“Well, yes – but I’ve cut down to only a couple a day.” “Well,” said Santa “We can offer you Support To Stop Biting. Maybe some of these NailQuitin patches.”
“Now, my dear, is there anything else you’d like to ask?” “Well there is one thing,” said Katie. “My mummy is a pharmacist and I’m worried about her. She sometimes seems so tired when she comes home and is getting cross with me even more than usual. Do you think you could get her a new job for Christmas?” Santa smiled. “Is this how she is all the time?” Katie paused to think.
“No,” she replied. “Most of the time she comes home with funny stories about people, or looks really pleased when someone thanks her for making them better, and at Christmas she brings home boxes of chocolates that grateful patients have brought in.”
“You see,” began Santa “It’s a bit like you thinking your friend had the better toy. The grass is always greener on the other side, as they say, and sometimes we have to stop and recognise the good things about what we have. Remember – if you’re worried about your mummy we can always offer an emergency present supply service.”
“Well, I hope it’s Prosecco,” called Katie as she skipped out of the consultation grotto “Because daddy says mummy’s always a happier pharmacist when she’s rat-arsed. Merry Christmas!”