Jarred the Elf was usually a very happy fellow. He loved Christmas even more than other elves that he lived and worked with. He spend more overtime than anyone else making toys, wrapping gifts, and helping Santa to ensure that everyone had a wonderful Christmas filled with joy and kindness.
But this year, something horrible happened to Jarred. Due to a misunderstanding with email, he was left out of Santa’s Well Done After Christmas Celebration planning committee. He had chaired it for two years in a row and the new chair hadn’t been as efficient as he was, so Jarred was not notified about the first meeting to brainstorm. His resentment grew as no one noticed that he hadn’t been included and no one corrected the mistake.
Pretty soon, it was drawing near to Christmas and Jarred was so hurt that he cried himself to sleep every night in his tiny elf room. Then, on December 20th, it struck him. He would get revenge. Not just your average revenge, but revenge on everyone in the entire world. He decided that he would send something particularly horrible to all of the people in the world that got gifts from Santa; chocolate pudding.
Jarred hated chocolate pudding. He didn’t like the taste or the texture or the color or anything else about it. The very thought of chocolate pudding made him gag. So he figured that everyone else must hate chocolate pudding as well. Including everyone that Santa was going to be giving gifts to. Jarred horded chocolate pudding from the Elf Cafeteria for days. As no one noticed, or wanted to point out what was going on, he got more and more brazen. Finally, he just stole an entire box of chocolate pudding from the delivery trunk when the workers were distracted.
Christmas eve, Jarred was set up as the last elf to check the presents before Santa took off. All of the other elves went to check on the reindeer or chart Santa’s path or any of the other various duties that had to be taken care of before Santa headed off on his trip. While no one was looking, Jarred unloaded all of the presents, hiding them in the massive shed meant to house the sleigh. He stuffed the wrapped chocolate pudding into the satchel and laughed to himself. Now everyone would know his pain! No one would ever ignore him again!
Santa left without the slightest hint that anything was amiss. He went about his duties and passed out the presents like every Christmas. He went to bed that night, secure in the knowledge that there would be lots of excited children opening their gifts in the morning.
The next morning, Jarred woke up early to see the carnage that was going on in the world. He turned on the human news to see news anchors eating chocolate pudding and laughing about how Santa had given them all pudding. People joked about Santa purchasing stock in a pudding company or wanting to fatten everyone else up or giving children something that they couldn’t get bored with within a week. He watched in horror to see that his dastardly plan had backfired. Everyone else in the world seemed to love chocolate pudding and had no problem with eating it on Christmas!
Jarred went to the cafeteria for breakfast and cried quietly to himself. His friends and relatives all thought the workshop thought that poor Jarred was filled with such Christmas joy that he could no longer contain himself. They patted him on the back and told him good job and said how nice it was to work with him on such an important holiday. This just made Jarred cry harder. From then on, he never tried to ruin Christmas.