For our Christmas parties at PADT, we generally have over 40 employees so a traditional secret Santa gift exchange takes too long. At some point, we downloaded a right-left gift exchange story from the internet and it was a big hit. When we ran out of stories on the internet, we started writing our own, usually in some sort of over-the-top style. This year’s Christmas party involved sorting employees into Elf Families for some games we played. That made it kind of obvious that we should make the story Elf Family-related as well.
Here is how it works:
Everyone gets their gift and forms a big circle in the middle of the room. Someone with a strong voice reads the story and every time the word LEFT is read, everyone passes the package they have to the left. Every time the world RIGHT is read, everyone passes the package they have to their right. You should pause a bit at each LEFT/RIGHT to give people a chance to pass.
You can find previous years stories here:
– Vegas Christmas (2019)
– Hollywood Golden Age Christmas (2018)
– Elf Family Christmas (2017)
– Western Christmas (2016)
– Star Wars Christmas (2015)
– Fairy Tale Christmas (2014)
– Science Fiction Christmas (2013)
– Romance Christmas (2012)
– Film Noir Christmas (2011)
Trouble in Elftown
Way up on near the North Pole, just to the left of Santa’s workshop and right down the road from the Reindeer farms there sits a little village called Elftown. On the outside, it looked like the front of a Christmas card. Picturesque houses on the right and left side of the main street, and a giant Christmas tree right in the middle of town. But right under the surface things were not right. There was a tension in the town that left on its own, might not just tear apart the community, if left on its own it might destroy Christmas itself.
The problem was that there was a war of sorts going on between the elf Clans. Specifically, the Toe clan and the Sweet clan were furious with each other. No one really knew who was right and who was wrong, but everyone was stuck right in the middle of the conflict, and many felt they were left with no option other than violence.
It started at the last reindeer games when the Rightly Clan had decided to take the seats that belonged to the Leftover Clan. Now the members of the Leftover Clan were used to being left out of things. They lived right next to the Santa Express train tracks, but on the wrong side. So they were used to not being treated right. The only thing they had going for them was that their Reindeer Game seats were right on the track on the right side of the finish line. The Rightly Clan were on the left side, but they wanted the right side. So they marched right up and sat down, right there in the middle of the opening ceremonies. It would not be a big deal, the Rightly and Leftover clan fought all the time. The problem was that the Toe Clan had signed a contract right before the games with the Leftover Clan to outsource their toy assembly quota to them. That left the Sweet Clan out in the cold in terms of making their quota, right there two weeks before Christmas without either working-class clan to do the work for them. Right now, they were panicked. And the Toe Clan was mad that the Sweet clan had left negotiations and complained to Santa.
So right there with Mr. and Mrs. Clause sitting on their thrones right in front of the crowd, the Toe and Sweet Clans felt it was right to make the seating controversy about so much more. Harsh words, for elves, were exchanged back and forth. Then a snowball was thrown right at a crowd and it hit Santa right in the face. He stood right up and said “I’m am left with no option but to cancel these Reindeer Games right now! All of you need to leave now, right now! I said Right now I Say… ho ho hooooo!”
Everyone left the stadium, but they left with a burning hate for each other. And right before Christmas, it reached a fevered pitch. Each clan was going through their store of toys and weaponizing what they could. Spikes were put right into baseball bats. Toy Nerf guns were modified to file nails right out of their barrels. The social-economic stratification of Elftown, based on Santa’s distribution of responsibility to families that was based on payments of “left over” egg nog made right out in the open was the real cause. It was obvious regardless of if you were on the left or right of the political spectrum. As the moon passed right over the North Pole, because it was winter and the sun had left for the season, the families gathered in the main square. The Toes and the Rightly’s on the right, and the Sweets and… their allies, … other side
They brandished their vicious modified toys and hurled insults back and forth. On that Christmas Eve, right in the heart of the north pole, right where the spirit of Christmas was born and nurtured, Elftown was about to explode. And right before that fuse was lit, a small voice could be heard. “Riliburt? Riliburt ? Is that you holding a tennis racket with a spike right in the middle?” And then an even tinier, sweeter voice answered “Annibell? Why yes, I have to support my family, my clan I’m left with no choice” “Riliburt, I need to tell you something right now, right here in front of everyone, it can’t be left unsaid.Riliburt, I love you! That is right. I. Love. You!. “Oh, Annibell, I love you as well! But you are from the Toe Clan and I am a lowly Leftover, our love is not right.”
At that point, every elf heart, in the left of every elf chest, skipped a beat. All of the anger stopped, just for a second, as they all contemplated love. Because stripped of the presents, and trees, and eggnog, Christmas was really about love. On the right side of the square, and on… the other side, everyone knew what the right thing was to do. They dropped their weapons right there and merged into a giant pointy-eared mass of hugging elves. And right in the middle was the couple that reminded everyone that what they were all about to do was not right. That the Toes, the Sweets, the Rightly’s, and the Leftovers could all get along if they just remember that the right thing to feel was love and that they left hate and anger outside of Elftown.
Peace on earth, goodwill towards men was the message they remembered, right there, at the top of the world, in a place called Elftown, just to the left of Santa’s workshop and right down the road from the Reindeer farms.