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To: Wrapping Paper Division, S. Claus Headquarters, Terrestrial North Pole

As we all know, on the day following Thanksgiving, Santa announces the official wrapping paper for the Christmas season. After months of building toys nonstop, we elves need that final jolt of excitement to get us across the snow-covered finish line.

Who can forget 2013, when Santa proclaimed that the wrapping paper would feature the reindeer, Vixen? What a palpable morale boost in the workshop that day. After months of watching Vixen rehab from reconstructive knee surgery, to see Santa recognize her effort made us all work twice as hard.

Or what about 2016, when, for the first time, Santa announced a multi-religious wrapping paper? I, for one, can say that I was proud to be working for a man who made religious tolerance a touchstone in his work. I’ve never wrapped presents faster.

The significance of every wrapping paper choice will not be lost to history. Nice children marvel in our message. Naughty children strive to do better based on what paper we present.

That’s why a growing list of concerned elves feel the need to speak up.

Last night, Santa announced that this year’s wrapping paper would feature… a picture of himself.

Listen, I’ll be the first elf to say how much I love Santa. I’ve enjoyed coming to work every day for the last 400 years. He’s made that happen. And I love to see people exchanging gifts with each other and using wrapping paper with Santa on it. I’m sure it makes common people feel a connection to the ethos of the man with the big red sack.

But what message does this year’s choice send to us elves?

A quick reminder of who is in charge? With autocratic strongmen taking control of countries across the globe, isn’t it a little tone deaf for Santa to pat himself on the back this year?

More importantly, what message does it send to the children? How narcissistic is it to give someone a gift wrapped in paper with your own face on it?

Think about it. If it was your birthday and I gave you a present wrapped in paper with photos of myself on it, you would call me a sociopath.

We understand that the logistics of making a change at this point are difficult.

Ultimately, though we think it’s worth it. My vote is for a wrapping paper design that celebrates the 200th anniversary of the planting of the holly bush in the promenade at Elf Hollow. Every elf walks by that holly bush daily. Frankly, it was a slap in the face that Santa didn’t take the time to commemorate the occasion. We know he is busy, but we are all busy. Respectfully, we await your response.

Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year,
Gorbo the Elf
Elf Union 214

Cal James

Cal James is an author, improviser, filmmaker, and entrepreneur. His memoir, “I Guarantee You Love, Fame and Legacy” follows his journey through self-realization as a comedian.

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