Clementine's Sprinkles

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Clementine's Sprinkles - Week 1

Hi friends,

All I want to do right now is say hi and let you know you have a friend in Northpole. Of course you have thousands of friends, beginning with Big Red. Most of you know him as Santa, and you know lots about him, which is why I want to tell you about me.

Please don’t be skeptical. I am an elf, and quite real. My name is Clementine. I’m 13, and I have nine brothers and sisters! It’s such a ginormous family even I get confused.

Plus I have the best pet – a reindeer. OK, technically Randy belongs to Big Red, but let’s not quibble. Randy loves me and I love Randy. And when I need to get down to the rest of the world in a hurry, and go like snow, what beats flying reindeer? Randy is totally dazzy!

I want us to be friends more than anything. Elves always say, “A warm smile always breaks the ice.” So I am smiling at you, and I hope you can feel it.

Now I realize wherever you live is beautiful. I have seen photos of palm trees and beaches, blue-ridged mountains and velvety deserts. Northpole, where I live, is so awesome, fun and truly magical!

Everyone thinks of Northpole as some tiny outpost, but actually it’s a metropolis and very modern. We have everything any elf could want. There are many neighborhoods, and houses are trimmed by twinkling lights. In fact, lights are extremely important to us.

Snow, as you would expect, is nothing but amazing. I think of it as the world’s frosting!

Should you ever doubt it, let me assure you -- there’s magic in every snowflake. It’s true that each one is different and wonderful.

Most important – and so many people do not know this – happiness is a glorious cycle, and snow plays an important role in this circle of joy. One of the very most important lessons about Christmas is that less togetherness down South means less magic snow up here. (By the way, friends, down South is the rest of the world, even the Yukon.)

All of us need the magic snow because it fuels Christmas. Here’s how it works: When people down South join together in joyful moments, they create sparks of happiness that float North as the center of magic snowflakes. When that magic snow graces Northpole, the Northern Lights glow bright and power Northpole. If there are not enough joyful moments, we are all in big trouble. (This could be worse than when I gave all the reindeer nothing but sprinkles for their dinner. Yes, I am extremely partial to sprinkles, but I’ll tell you more about them when I share recipes.) These Northern Lights dimming could be a real problem.

That’s what actually prompted me to write to you. Sure, I could use my Northpole Communicator, which is cool, but I understand that not everyone has one yet. Since most of you have access to a computer, I thought I could reach more of you, faster.

Time is of the essence and the more of you who truly believe and start doing what we need to make for a spectacular Christmas, the better it will be. Do whatever you can to create those sparks of joy.

Elves, as you know, want to make everything more fun! And that includes even sitting still and reading, like you’re doing now. Nothing’s funner than fun, so I made a little game here. Take the first letter of each paragraph and write it down, you’ll find my most important message to you.

Rest assured that from the tips of my cues, (that’s Northpole slang for my curly pink sneakers) up through my striped tights and to the tips of my pointy ears, I will be your devoted friend. We can figure out wonderful ways to bring joy to people and to keep the Christmas lights burning bright.

So for now, I will end with a plea to please spread some joy.

Big hugs with sprinkles! Clementine

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Clementine's Sprinkles - Week 2

Hi friends,

Up until my last blog post, I’ll bet some of you thought elves were just pretend, a bunch of guys in tights who worked really hard a couple of months a year.

Rather a limited view, if you ask me. As a teenager and an elf, I know a lot, especially about the joys of Christmas. As wonderful as toys and bikes, games and clothes are -- and they are the deer’s ears -- you know what makes for the perfect holiday season?

Right! Helping one another. It could be small stuff like helping your kid brother tie his shoes, or bigger stuff like visiting people in senior facilities (that was one of my vocab words last year, facilities).

You can make a difference. I am so positive of it, I would be willing to bet rides on Randy, my lovely reindeer. OK, in the interest of telling the truth, as Big Red insists, the reindeer are actually his. But Randy and I do share a special bond. Every once in a while, Santa lets me take Randy out for a spin and nothing is better!

Up we go, into the night sky and we streak around so fast that sometimes when people see us they don’t believe their eyes. But as we know in Northpole, sometimes you just have to believe whether or not there is scientific proof.

Personally, I know my fellow elves have been working very hard already to make sure all of you down South -- and you do know that even the farthest reaches of your north, and its snowiest alps are still a bit tropical to us – have a most wonderful Christmas.

As we are busy up here, making toys, games and bikes, knitting and baking, we know that’s you’re busy, too. We don’t really consider making the gifts to be work. I have to be serious for a moment here because this comes from the bottom of my heart. It’s a privilege to play such an important role in Christmas, but you also play a big part, and we need you!

Need, you ask? Truly we do. We all need each other, and should remember to do good, kind acts. It does not have to be huge, and it does not have to take all day.

Do good. That’s my message. If you see an elder carrying groceries ask if you may carry the bag. If you see a kid at school eating lunch alone, sit down next to him. And as difficult as this may be, share your cookies.

How we help isn’t as important as doing it, and being together. When we’re truly happy together, sparks of joy are created.

Everyone, at some point, needs help. And the most terrific thing is that everyone can help. That’s what’s important to know. I recently asked my pal, Kevin, “Where is it written a small elf can’t make a big difference?”

Look around. If someone littered, pick it up. If someone is frowning, give him or her a smile. Hugs are wonderful, but make sure you know the person you’re hugging. Because otherwise – awkward!

Please consider doing something nice today. It sends happiness up North so the magic can happen. And don’t forget, I put another fun message in this blog post. Write down the letters of the first word of each paragraph for your special message.

Big hugs with sprinkles! Clementine

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Clementine's Sprinkles - Week 3

Hi Friends,

Once upon a time, there was a world without sugar, butter, flour, and I guess, without hope.

What sort of world must that have been? Sad, I think. No, worse! It would be tragic.

Can elves even survive in such a gloomy place? I suppose, but why should they? Once our fore-elves discovered how to combine all of those ingredients, something delicious happened.

Of course cookies happened. But to make cookies the Northpole way requires two special ingredients: sprinkles and happiness.

Oh, let’s face it – sprinkles and happiness make everything better. (Well, sprinkles in shampoo were a mistake, but they do improve almost everything else.) And they do something super delicious to cookies.

Kitchens need certain things to be useful: a refrigerator for you folks down South. In Northpole, we can put food outside, where snow keeps it the perfect temperature. And of course you need an oven.

Innovative gadgets like an automatic cookie-froster always make my mom happy, so I’m getting her one for Christmas.

Even though my Mom can frost cookies better than anyone I know, everyelf likes to save a little time. For eating more cookies!

Silly me! I got off track. I was trying to explain the importance of sprinkles. So in Northpole, we have a food pyramid just like you do. Only ours is more of a Christmas tree shape, and mine basically just includes sprinkles.  Sometimes chocolate chips.

Mittenfuls of sprinkles, chocolate chips, peppermint chips, toffee and frosting are the most important ingredients in cookies.

Admittedly, there is the whole flour and butter thing I mentioned earlier, but I actually leave the baking to my mom and my brothers. They’ll all agree. I really shine at cookie decorating. And I am even better at cookie eating.

Keep in mind a few other critical tips about cookie-making that every Northpolian knows.

Even though the hot air from the oven feels like a day at the beach, leave using it to the adults. They’re better at ovening safely than kids are.

Either human or elf it’s important to add as many cups of happy as you do of flour. Cooking with love is super critical.

Very few things go better with cookies than milk. One of the only things is more cookies.

Eight minutes feels like eight hours when you’re waiting for a batch of cookies to bake.

Resist the urge to bite into them immediately because you will burn yourself.

You never know if someone is out of cookies at home, so try to be patient if they are cranky.

There’s no such thing as a bad cookie. Just cookies that aren’t quite as good.

Having a well-rounded diet means being sure you eat pies and cakes as well as cookies.

It’s always wise to make enough cookies for yourself, family, friends, neighbors, Santa and yourself.

No one ever says no to homemade cookies.

Gosh, writing this made me so hungry for cookies, I have to go bake some now.

Before I go, though. I just want to remind all:

Elves and humans, clean up your mess!

Though elves are real and quite magical, most kitchens, sadly, are not. They must be cleaned after baking.

Tidy up, then settle in with a good Christmas book, milk and a big plate of sprinkles. Don’t forget to put cookies under them.

Eat and enjoy. And look for my fun message to you by taking the first letters of each paragraph and writing them down.

Remember to share!

Big Hugs with sprinkles!


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Clementine's Sprinkles - Week 4

 Hi friends,

Overtall? For an elf that can be issue, and I happen to be tall for an elf. And you know what? That’s cool because elves, like people, come in all shapes and sizes and colors. Wouldn’t it be boring if we were all identical? If you want to have some fun with your clothes and feel a bit Christmasy all year, I have some great tips. (And remember to check out the first letter of each paragraph for today’s fun message.)

Wardrobes are often made way too complicated. Fashionistas tells us what we can and can’t wear. If we’re too thick, no stripes. If we’re too tall, no heels. Who needs all those rules?

To dress like an elf, however, all you need is a sense of fun, a few basics and faster than Santa flies up a chimney, you will look dazzy.

Of course it helps to be spritely, but that comes from your spirit, not your size.

Don’t feel you need to clean out your closet. We all know that’s no fun whatsoever, and clothes, just like everything else, should be fun! I suppose if you need to make room, by all means donate the stuff you don’t need.

Rich or poor also does not matter. You don’t need a ton of snowkens, the Northpole form of money, which is delightful because it’s chocolate. Elf style is all about being playful.

Elves know how to rock a cap, and caps really should have a point. And I don’t mean an opinion but they should have an actual point on top.

Scarves definitely tie an outfit together and keep us toasty.

Somber clothes are no fun and shouldn’t be worn, if at all possible.

Leggings or tights are crucial.

I know most people caution against horizontal stripes, but they are classic elf wear.

Khakis are perfectly fine down South, especially when the occasion is not dressy and too casual. Fishnets are the rage in Vegas, but in Northpole we love our striped tights.

Elves can also wear solid-colored tights. You can never go wrong with red or green.

And while we are on the lower half of the body, we must discuss footwear.

Nothing says Northpole like shoes that curl at the toe. We call them cues, from curlie-cues, and are just about the cutest shoes ever. It may be impossible to be sad while wearing them.

Ears, that most beautiful part of the anatomy, can be shown off with the right hat. In Northpole, hats are positioned at just the right jaunty angle to focus on our pointy ears. So don’t feel bad if your ears are of the rounded variety. Once you have the cues, and the right tights, and you use your ears for listening that’s all that really matters.

Longish tunics over tights look very cute, and work well belted. Belts can have bells, as can cues, but are not required.

Finally the most important accessory to being a stylish elf is to have the right attitude: eyes wide open to see how wonderful the world is and a huge smile.

Big hugs with sprinkles!


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Clementine's Sprinkles - Week 5

Hi Friends,

Everyone has doubts. It’s just human nature, I guess. I think elves may believe a little easier, but I understand how some people second guess. Or maybe it’s just that think that Santa is someone, or worse – an idea -- that they outgrow. I have heard that some kids stop believing.

I need to make this icicle clear:

Santa is very real.

Santa is as wonderful and jolly as ever.

Oh, he can grumpy – momentarily – when usually-good boys and girls do something naughty, or the elves goof up and toy production slows.

Forgiving as he is, the boys and girls can always make their way back onto the nice list. And the elves immediately get back on his jolly side once production picks up.

Of course it’s understandable that some people would question him. You are not supposed to see him, and some people can’t believe anything if they don’t see it. Maybe you have heard Santa on Christmas Eve. Try as he does to be quiet, some rooftops squeak, some chimneys are a tight fit and some cookies are crunchier than others, so it’s possible he made a little noise.

Red suit, black boots and belt, white hair and beard. Iconic, right? But when you have a style that rocks the world for generations, why change? If you knew the man behind the look you would never doubt him.

Robust, ruddy, resourceful and always ready when you expect him, Santa is about as real as anyone gets.

Each of us could really use some of Santa’s spirit. He looks for the very best in people and all he asks is that you are good – to yourselves and to one another.

As my friends know by now, I would never, ever lie. OK, maybe I would tell you your hair looks dazzy if you just got a terrible haircut and I didn’t want to hurt your feelings. I would, though, try braiding the Northpole way with ribbons and make you look your best. Much as I love braiding, I can’t let that distract me from this most important message: Santa is as real as you and me, even if you can’t see him.

Looking goes beyond seeing. And I promise if you look for Santa you will find him, and all of his love. Please don’t doubt, and please check the first letter of each paragraph for my special message to you.

Big hugs with sprinkles!


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Clementine's Sprinkles - Week 6

Hi Friends,

All aboard for the most magical ride of all!

Perhaps you’ve ridden a horse or a donkey.

Ponies may trot on your ranch.

I, however, ride a creature only found in Northpole.

Elves, like Santa, get to ride reindeer.

Sure, I’ve heard tell of other magical rides.

There’s an umbrella that ferries about a nanny.

Who hasn’t heard of flying brooms? Witches have been using them forever, but lately some young wizards have taken to them.

And let’s not forget pumpkins that turn into coaches with the mere waving of a fairy godmother’s wand.

Yet even beautiful unicorns and their winged cousin, Pegasus, cannot compare.

The other mighty creatures that seem to be all over the skies lately are dragons. Yeah, they look pretty cool with those gigantic wingspans as they sail about. But any animal – magical or not – that can melt ice just by breathing makes me shiver in my cues.

OK, I admit it. I am Camp Reindeer all the way.

For me, your loyal pal Clementine, there’s only one way to zip about.

Look up! See that blue flash?

Yep, that’s me on Randy, the dazziest of all the reindeer.

I can see you, even though I am whooshing past.

Speeding through the cold air is about the best feeling you can have and it is all because of these magnificent creatures.

Believe me this is something to try.

You just need to come north, way north.

Reindeer are born adorable. They just get better and faster and smarter. They need what all noble steeds require to work. Can you guess?

Exactly! Training, and they receive that at Reindeer Training Stadium. Zooming around the world in one night requires an awful lot of strength, speed and grace. They train until Big Red feels they are ready for the big night.

If you see a sign that says “low flying reindeer” – mind it!

No one has ever been seriously hurt by a stray hoof.

Duck, though, just to be sure, and you’ll be fine. Reindeer don’t want to hurt anyone and never have.

Except for that time Rumble, a rather rambunctious elf, grabbed onto Donner’s hoof to hitch a joy ride. Now Rumble had the misfortune of trying this on July 23. You might not think of reindeer in July, but we sure do.

Every month on the 23rd, no matter what month, the reindeer have their hooves polished. And that mischievous elf made his mistake on the 23rd. Rumble jumped up, and tried to hold on, but the hoof was too smooth and he tumbled back to Northpole.

Rumble was embarrassed by the whole incident. Bouncing on his head made him a little snow flakey, but some eggnog and a good nap brought him right back, and even he still says that reindeer rock. (As always, please look for my secret message to you by writing down the first letter of each paragraph.)

Big hugs with sprinkles,