DERRY — It's all in a day's work for busy elves this time of year at the North Pole as they scurry around to assist Santa Claus as he readies for his big Christmas Eve ride.
And Derry Public Library wanted to give children their own opportunity to see what it takes to be a perfect elf.
The library once again hosted its annual series of elf-training workshops, aimed at teaching children all about being the best elf — from wearing the proper headgear to learning all the fine points of singing, dancing and decorating cookies.
The popular event started about six years ago and has grown to multiple training sessions — three held on Dec. 5 — drawing in about 50 would-be elves per session.
Children were able to create an elf hat, make crafts and hear stories about elves and their work.
Other training for would-be elves included learning all about having fun with Santa and being part of his team, also learning all about his reindeer and the powerful sleigh they pull through the Christmas Eve skies every year.
Upon arrival, elf trainees signed in and started with making an official elf hat, complete with paper ears and name written on the front.
Skills on the list also included being able to listen well during a story and being a good friend. Another required skill is to learn to sing fun, holiday songs.
Eileen Dugal offered music on her guitar while teaching children some new reindeer games and songs. On the walls, large screens displayed festive yule log fires burning.
Children's department head Ray Fontaine said elves had to learn many things.
"They have to be helpers, help children," he said.
Children's librarian Michelle Bellavance said the elf-training workshops are her favorite time of year at the library. She said to be the perfect elf, children need to have a lot of holiday spirit.
Logan Parrott, 7, sported his elf hat with some extra sentiments written about being the No. 1 elf.
He pointed out a few specifics when it came to being the best elf.
"Lots of candy canes," he said, "and reindeer."