Saturday, December 24, 2011

A Christmas Lesson in Resource Allocation

On the eve of Christmas Eve, my nine-year-old and I had a conversation about the Elf on the Shelf.  He looked at the creepy little doll and we talked about whether or not the elf would be leaving over the night to make his final report to Santa or if he would leave on Christmas Eve.  I half felt that he was trying to go over the protocol more for my benefit than anything else so that my wife and I would get it right.

Then the conversation turned.  What resulted led me to believe that my oldest son might take after one of his uncles and have a head for business affairs.

"The Elf on the Shelf is the opposite of a Christmas song," he explained.  "In the one song, it says, 'He sees you when you're sleeping. He knows when you're awake.'"

I agreed and asked him why that was the opposite of the Elf on the Shelf.

"Why does he need an elf in everyone's house to watch them if he can already see them.  I think he should just keep those elves in his workshop so that they can make more toys."

I started to try and defend the little guy on the shelf, but, frankly, I couldn't come up with anything.  My son found a significant shortcoming in the logistics of Santa's workshop.  Here he's hired hundreds, probably thousands, of employees that do nothing during the busiest season (the only season) but sit around in the homes of strangers, relaxing.  Sure, they log a lot of miles having to fly back and forth from the North Pole, but if this can all be seen remotely anyway, it's a waste of manpower.  Get those elves in the shop and get them making toys, I say!

It would certainly seem that Santa does not have his crew operating at peak efficiency, which worries me.  What else has Santa been dropping the ball on?  I'd like to get my hands on a copy of the route map he plans on taking to deliver presents.  I'd also bet he's not getting great mileage out of those reindeer.

Maybe my son could sit down with the big man after the holidays and go over his long term business plan to make things better for next year.  With the way the economy is going, I'd hate to see Christmas go bankrupt.

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