Kaitlyn Johnson's column on life as an ElfBack
Outside of her time as a student at Abbeygate Sixth Form College, Kaitlyn Johnson has a job as a Christmas Elf at Center Parcs. Here – in character - she talks about life as an Elf – to help everyone get in the festive spirit. (When not doing Elf duties, she studies A-levels in English Language, History and Sociology).
Hello - I'm Fruitcake the elf. I work at Santa's Christmas grotto at Elveden Forest, Center Parcs every weekend and I can say for certain that it is the best job in the world. It’s great to do something positive and work in the community.
I travel down from the grotto via my dad's sleigh every day, and arrive at about 10 most mornings.
Before I get into work, I have to walk through the holiday village. On my walk I make sure I get a picture of my Christmas earrings of the day.
I have everything from Christmas puddings and gingerbread men to Christmas trees and presents, and I make sure I say hello to all the families I see. If they are taking family pictures, I always feel the urge to photobomb them.
But, most of the time children don’t even see the bright red and green uniform casually strolling past them. It's often the parents that notice and say ‘look, there’s an elf’.
I start my shift in the grotto by signing in and then check the board to find out my ‘Elf position’ for the day. Sometimes I am outside entertaining the queue, which is always fun. Whilst outside, I get to play and dance in the magical snow – snow that’s never cold. We have lots of snowball fights. There are always Christmas songs playing - like the one from Polar Express. I also love to dance around the Christmas trees and see all the Christmas lights glowing in the dark. The lights look like fairies flying through a forest.
Sometimes, I entertain the visitors by attempting to name all of Santa's reindeer.
I also tell them about the time I got in trouble and had to spend the day shovelling reindeer poo - which although it’s sparkly, it’s very smelly and not fun at all.
Another game we play is working our way through the ‘Elfabet’ to come up with something Christmassy for every letter - the best thing I've got for Z so far is a Christmas zebra.
Other times, I’m inside the grotto with Santa. I take families from the ‘elf door’ to Santa's living room. We have to watch out for Ginger the elf though - because he likes to steal hats - especially mine. He‘ll hide behind the door in the corridor and snatch it right off my head. When the children see Santa, they tell him Ginger needs to be put on the naughty list. Santa usually says he already is.
Santa likes to know what the families have been doing on holiday at Center Parcs.
Swimming seems to be the favourite activity. Santa tells them about the time he went on the rapids and got stuck, so all us elves had to go down the slide after him to push him along.
The big moment is when Santa asks – have you been good this year?
When Santa asks that question, it’s my cue to nip back into the workshop to collect some presents.
When the children get the presents it’s always a magical moment - the reaction is always so cute.
Then it’s time to take a picture and you get to see big, bright, beautiful smiles.
And then Santa has to say goodbye. We all joint together to wish everyone very merry Christmas and tell them that we hope they enjoy the rest of their holidays.
Santa reminds them to leave a mince pie out for him on Christmas Eve.
By the time I'm ready to go home it’s dark and I get to walk under all the lit up trees, knowing we‘ve made people’s Christmas extra special.
I hope that you all have an extra special Christmas and that you all have good health – or I guess I should say good elf......