That time I interviewed a Christmas Elf

A few days ago I moved out of my Dublin house, because next year (i.e. in 43 days) I will be moving to the Netherlands (ah).

And since it’s only six days until Christmas Day (I’m available to hire as a personal countdown all year round), I thought it wold be nice to do a festive themed post today.

If you’re a regular reader you may know I’m journalism student, and sometimes as a journalist you need to get creative when coming up with story ideas.

For college last year, I was writing for a children’s website and as it was coming up to Christmas, I thought it would be nice to do a Santa themed story. An idea I had was to interview an “elf” who worked for the man himself.

I don’t like cutting corners and though I could have done a make believe Q&A, since my “elf interviewee” would unfortunately not be the real deal; I decided not to as I genuinely wanted to interview an elf.

I called up a few Santa Grotto’s around Dublin and a shopping centre got back to me, saying they’d be happy to help.

On the day, the Grotto was very busy, so I waited around (awkwardly) until the madness subsided, before I approached the highly energetic head of this Christmas on acid. I made my best effort to explain to the owner, exactly why I wanted to interview his elf (while trying my best to come across like a serious journalist). The owner went to retrieve the elf. I don’t really know how I imagined this interview would play out… but I don’t think I ever pictured that the elf (i.e. an actor with pointy fake ears), wouldn’t come out of character AT ALL not even ONCE.

I’m not saying he would rip off his hat and pull out a fag and have a rant about the stress he’s under, but I at least thought it would be a normal enough interview; where he’d give me a few solid imaginative quotes about what it’s like to be an elf at Christmas.

The one minute and twenty seconds recording I got of our interview, doesn’t do the surrealness of our conversation justice.

I had basic child friendly questions ready and each questions was met with a high pitched enthusiasm, which included a lot of “wahoo’s.” Bless this man, he tried his best and his answers needed to be made up on the spot, but they were quite short and hesitant. But he kept his spirits high and at one point shouted with pure happiness. As this was a grown man , I was left feeling perplexed and completely unprepared for his childish joy. The elf’s owner (sorry I mean boss) at one point chimed in, “I love you elf.”

After that, I managed to wrap up our short interview fairly quickly, for my own sake and  to save us all from anymore further excruciating awkwardness.

So there you go, that is my story of my very professional and very serious interview, with a Christmas elf.

I hope the elf and his master are living happy lives, wherever they are.


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