Things were bustling all over North Pole Proper. All the toys were built, but now they had to be organized and delivered as close to the  Sleigh Port as possible. The helpers dusted toys to move them, but blew away the dust so they returned to their original sizes. The elves wanted to avoid another situation like the one that had occurred that one year.

           Smitty found himself with time on his hands. He wanted to help, so he went to the Sleigh Port.  He was feeling a bit shaggy, so decided to pay Bob a visit while he was there. 

           Bob, the beard barber, wasn't especially busy during the Yuletide.  The elves didn't have a lot of time to have their beards groomed.  December 23rd was reserved for Santa; if anyone else needed Bob, he could be found in the vicinity of the Sleigh Port, where he helped to organize the presents for effecient delivery.  Smitty thought to look there first.    

          "Has anyone seen Bob, Bob?" Smitty inquired upon his arrival at the Reindeer Traffic Control Tower.

          "He's fetching a load of toys.  He's been gone awhile, so he should be back soon," Nobby replied.

          "How can I help, help?" Smitty asked.

           "Well, you can push that load of stuff this way," said Donovan.  "We need to keep the path to the sleigh clear."

           Smitty began working beside the other helpers, who were sorting the toys by continents.  Later they would be separated into countries and provinces.  But for now, the goal was continental divide.

          "So, where are we putting Africa, ca?" Smitty wondered.


          "On the Sleigh Port, for now. Kat and Wimbley are pulling toys out of their shops.  We're going to put some of Africa there," Strubby answered.  "And Europe will be partially stored at the Holiday Express Station," he added, noticing that Smitty was holding a German doll.

          "Alrighty, righty," Smitty grinned.  He continued to work until Bob returned with a sled loaded with toys.  While helping Bob to unload, he asked, "Could I get my beard bobbed, Bob, Bob?"

          "Huh?" Bob looked puzzled.

          "My beard, beard.  Can I have a trim, trim?" Smitty repeated his question.

          "Sure," Bob said, shaking his head.  "Just as soon as we've finished with this load."  Smitty and Bob emptied the sled, and then left for Bob's 'Bobber' Shop.

***

          Meanwhile, the other elves continued sorting and moving the toys.  Violet turned to Nobby, "I'm going to take some dust to the shops on the Lane so we can move the things faster."

         "Good idea," Nobby said, "but just remind everyone of what happened that one year."  He said the same thing every year because centuries ago, when there were lots less toys, the toys were dusted and placed altogether.  When they returned to their original sizes, there was a tangled mess.  The toys had to be re-dusted so the mess could be straightened, and a lot of valuable time was lost.

          Violet chuckled. "I won't forget, and I'm sure they won't, either."  She took several buckets of dust and made her way down Candy Cane Lane.  She stopped first at Tessie's.  "I brought you some dust," she hollered, shoving her way through the door.  The toys were spilling into the street.

          "Good," Tessie sighed.  "Things are getting tight in here."

          "Here you are, and remember--"

          "I know, I know," Tessie interrupted."Carefully place the toys so that they have a little room to return to their original sizes."

          "Yes, well, I promised Nobby I wouldn't forget," Violet grinned.

          "Nor will I," Tessie said.  "Thanks, Violet."


          "I'm off to Ticky's," Violet said, pushing back out of the door.  She continued along Candy Cane Lane, delivering dust to the shopkeepers.     

          The Lane was overrun with elves and presents.  Everything had to be hauled out, sorted and moved and sorted again.  Although some of the helpers whined a bit, no one really minded the inconvenience.  After all, this was what the North Pole was about, and they really loved the bustle of the Yuletide season.

          Things were just as busy on Second Street, and Santa Claus Lane, and North Pole Boulevard.  It was a very busy place during the Christmas season.  Every building was stacked to its capacity with presents and toys, and all of this stuff had to be taken to the Sleigh Port. 

          And the North Pole bustled in this fashion until Christmas Eve.


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