CHRISTMASTOWN, N.P. — As the holiday season draws near, the once bustling factories of the North Pole are almost a ghost town. A few sullen elves still man the floor at the nutcracker factory, but mostly it’s quiet.
Over the past decade, low-skilled factory work has increasingly been outsourced to countries with cheap labor, like Mexico and the Island of Misfit Toys, fattening Santa’s pockets while kicking most of the North Pole’s workers to the curb.
Peppermint Jinglesman worked as a sleigh assembler for nearly 600 years before being laid off last winter. Now he’s working two low-wage jobs shoveling snow and cleaning reindeer stables just to make ends meet.
“I used to think this couldn’t happen to me. I thought Old Saint Nick cared about us little guys,” said Jinglesman. “I’ve got kids to feed. I’m up to my ankles in reindeer crap and what is Santa doing about it? Nothing.”
With the majority of the town struggling to get by, Claus holds that unemployment is at an all-time low. While some factory jobs have been lost, he says, most elves have successfully found work in other sectors.
“The fast food gingerbread industry is booming,” bellowed Claus with a jolly smile. “We’re having the most magically profitable Christmas in years.”
But while Claus lives lavishly in an ice mansion decked with luxury boughs of holly, most elves are living paycheck to paycheck, barely scraping by to pay rent.
“Christmas is dead,” said Jinglesman, closing down the local alehouse yet again during the perpetual night that engulfs the North Pole in winter. “Gimme another shot of eggnog.”