Dental Do-Gooder to Alabaster Snowball
After decades of dreaming about becoming a dentist, Hermey the Elf was named DDG (Dental Do-Gooder) in November by the president of the American Dental Association ADA)!
“Hermey’s passion for dentistry coupled with his devotion to helping others feel good about themselves inside and out, deserves recognition,”said ADA President Maxine Feinberg, DDS. ”I know Hermey the Elf, DDG, will continue to inspire young people and those who are young at heart to follow their dreams.”
Hermey, Rudolph and some of their friends have also been honored on a postage stamp. These stamps celebrate the 50th anniversary of the much-loved holiday classic. Here are Five Fun Facts:
- According to Ken Muller, brother of ‘Rudolph’ screenwriter Romeo Muller, the original name for Hermey the Elf was supposed to be “Herbie” in honor of a childhood friend. Clarice (Rudolph’s girlfriend) was named after the future bride of another friend.
- Yukon Cornelius has a diverse dog sled team. Instead of Siberian Huskies or Alaskan Malamutes, his mixed team of pooches includes a Poodle, a Cocker Spaniel, a Saint Bernard, a Dachshund and a Collie.
- The animators also created the character –narrator of Sam the Snowman to look like Burl Ives, who was the voice for that part.
- In the original script, while Rudolph, Hermey and Yukon Cornelius promise to visit the Island of Misfit Toys and bring them back, they never do so. After the show first aired, Rankin-Bass, the production company, were inundated with letters from concerned kids demanding that the Misfit Toys be rescued. To console the children, they produced a short scene where Rudolph, Santa, and the rest of the reindeer arrive on the Island and deliver the Misfits to new homes. This scene has shown on TV since 1965. Kids rule!!
- The original puppets of Santa Claus and the younger Rudolph were eventually purchased by a new owner after going on tour in 2007. Since they were in absolutely horrible condition– Santa had half of his mustache missing while Rudolph was missing his famous nose — the new owner spent $4,000 for them to be restored to mint condition by stop-motion animation studio Screen Novelties International.
Even though we are celebrating Hermey, DDG’s achievements there are other notable elves that we should visit. Who remembers the Elf on the Shelf?
Elf on a shelf is a special “spy” elf. This elf was sent from the North Pole to help Santa Claus manage his naughty and nice lists. After the elf arrives and is named, the scout elf receives its Christmas magic and can fly to the North Pole each night to tell Santa Claus about all of the day’s adventures. You definitely want to stay on this elf’s good side! The next day the scout elf returns to its family and sits in a different place to watch the fun. Children love to wake up and race around the house looking for their scout elf each morning. Some came offering candy, like a chocolate sampler box.
Finally, the serious elves. Some believe that Santa employs six elves. Some think that there are as many as 13 elves living with Santa to help him. Elves are the children of Gryla and Leppaludi and are very clever. They help Santa to design toys and process requests of children that are sent to them through snail mail or emails. The popular Western names of the Christmas elves helping Santa Claus are:
- Alabaster Snowball (Administrator of the Naughty & Nice list)
- Bushy Evergreen (Inventor of the magic toy-making machine).
- Pepper Minstix (Guardian of the secret of where Father Christmas’ village is located).
- Shinny Upatree (The oldest friend of Santa and the cofounder of the secret village in Lapland).
- Sugarplum Mary (Head of the Sweat Treats, she is also known as Mary Christmas. She is an assistant to Mrs. Claus and helps her in the kitchen).
- Wunorse Openslae (Designer of Father Christmas’s sleigh and responsible for its maintenance. He also looks after the reindeers and it is believed that his reindeers reach speeds faster than Christmas tree lights.).
Now, you know more than any of your family members about those mysterious elves! The ambitious Hermey. The “Traditional”, like Elf on the Shelf and the “Real” (?), like Santa’s Helpers. Add them to your celebrations and may you remain forever young this holiday season.
Poria Dokhanchi, DDS
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San Francisco, CA 94123
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