Where I work, trainees have to perform something at what is called the "advent coffee". It's coffee and cake, games, talking, it's not one of those infamous office Christmas parties. Being a Grinch, in my many years there, the only time I attended was when I was a trainee and had no other choice.
As none of us five wanted to own up to playing more than the recorder which was regarded to be not advanced enough, we looked for something else to do and ended up with Christmas traditions in different countries. I picked the USA and talked about Santa, his workshop at the North Pole and his elves.
|The Workshop of Santa Claus from 1873 GODEY'S LADY'S BOOK|
In Germany, we didn't necessarily have Santa as the gift bringer on Christmas depending on the region, so of course we also didn't have Christmas elves. I'm not sure how the Christ Child managed the job, it's hard to imagine a bunch of angels working in the workshop.
Little supernatural beings have been around in different cultures for a long time, but the Christmas elves of the English speaking world seem to have turned up in the 19th century.
The famous poem from 1823, A Visit from St. Nicholas, called Santa himself a jolly old elf. Different sources claim that Lousia May Alcott has written a book called The Christmas Elves in the 1850s, but it was never published, so nothing is known about how she described her elves.
Nowadays, Santa's Elves are usually dressed in green, red (or both), often with striped stockings, a hat, pointy ears and shoes with bent up tips, and often they have bells on their clothing or shoes.
They have many responsibilities from hiding the workshop from human eyes to tending to the reindeer and of course making all the toys in the workshop. Santa can be glad he has them!