We need to have a talk.
My name is Juniper and I’m Lead Elf at the North Pole. Second-in-command to Santa, at least when Mrs. Claus isn’t around. We start getting a lot of mail after Thanksgiving. They come from the kiddos and the still-believing-adults, but what you may not know is we get Christmas wishes from the pups and dogs worldwide.
Another thing you may not know is that sometimes these wishes travel to us in our off-season and get backed up at the Wish Department nestled within the North Pole.
Sure, most of these wishes and Christmas letters weigh on the joyous side, adding more gusto to the ‘ho ho ho’ Santa bellows after presents are delivered on Christmas Eve. But there’s the side to these letters we don’t always talk about, and after 154 years as Lead Elf, I have some things to say about that.
First, you need to understand the process.
After we get back from our much needed vacation in the new year, the elves and I begin reviewing new Christmas letters and wishes before they reach Santa. All this so we’re on track before more start zipping in at a higher rate in the fall. We see the standard toy and new iPhone requests, match them to those on the ‘Nice’ list, and then we get to work.
The Wish Department is adjacent to Santa’s Workshop. It’s where we send the letters and wishes that aren’t tangible. These come from the dreamers, the believers, and more often than not… the heartbroken.
You might’ve watched The Christmas Chronicles on Netflix recently. You know the one with Kurt Russell as Santa? Semi-spoiler: Kate and Teddy Pierce lost their dad and the one wish that Teddy had above all others was to see him again. We get a lot of that, but not as much as we get wishes from doggos asking to finally find a forever home for real this time.
“For real this time?”
How do you think The Grinch got Max? I can’t confirm or deny Imgur user Baloo78’s theory about how Max got to The Grinch, but it touches on a sad truth about pet ownership. The Grinch that we are all familiar with lives at the top of an otherwise uninhabited mountain. In one particular scene, we get a glimpse of Max’s reality.
“That's what it's all about, isn't it?" says the Grinch. "That's what it's always been about. Gifts, gifts... gifts, gifts, gifts, gifts, gifts. You wanna know what happens to your gifts? They all come to me. In your garbage."
He was thrown away.
Each year, we receive a lot of “Santa, I want a puppy for Christmas.” If we don’t deliver, chances are the parents do. Either way, not all dogs find their forever homes at Christmas time but rather a foster family. An incredibly short-lived foster family, that is.
After Santa returns from making his Christmas Eve deliveries, we gather around the Claus fireplace, infused with the essence of Christmas, and its magic shows us what happens after presents are received. It’s not a requirement to watch the fireplace every day after Christmas, but I pop in every so often to make sure the kids are happy, and to take notes so we can make improvements for next year.
We see children delighted by the arrival of a new family pooch. All of their wishes seem to have come true with snuggly hugs and puppy kisses. They play for the first week and revel in the whimsy, but with newness you can expect curveballs. Dogs all have special quirks and unique personalities. They might need training. They all require a lot of responsibility and love, and sometimes we see that bright cheer fade as days or weeks go on. Patience and the novelty of having a new puppy thins and, in many cases, the painful truth is that we see these furry friends wind up at shelters, animal control, or simply… the streets. We witness it play out by the magic of the Claus Fireplace far too much.
So the elves and I would like to ask this of you: When you hear, “All I Want For Christmas is a Doggo” or you feel the urge to get a dog yourself, don’t get too caught up in the Christmas spirit and impulsively adopt or shop. Think on it. Talk about it with your kids; about the responsibilities and commitment. Anticipate the need for training or vet trips. More important, be prepared to give them the unbridled love and loyalty that they deserve.
This request might get archived at the Wish Department here, but maybe you can help make this a reality for us and all the dogs and other pets of the world who just want to be loved. Unconditionally.
Help share this with your friends and family. We’ll put in a good word with the big guy.