Say hello again to a wee, green elf named Undlin Neldth. He serves as executive vice-president of publicity for North Pole Inc., which is owned and operated by Saint Nicholas Clause and his wife Jessica (they go Dutch in everything). If you read “My Interview with Santa” that appeared last year in this space, you will recall that Undlin was the dashing, pointy-eared publicist who put me together with Santa for an interesting and informative interview about economical ways to spend, save, and have fun during the holidays.
Sadly, and perhaps ironically, Undlin fell on hard financial times after the interview took place. I learned that the little elf, whose position pays very well, also has enjoyed a reputation for being a big spending, high flying single – perhaps even the most eligible bachelor elf in the Artic region. He’s given to extravagance, hard partying, womanizing, and too much drink. Unfortunately, his wild, profligate lifestyle caught up with him last year starting with an unfortunate incident at North Pole Inc.’s annual Christmas bash. Reports have it that Undlin was already plastered when he arrived at the event, having made the critical error of not eating anything before quaffing six rum and eggnogs in quick succession. According to eye witnesses, in a near stupor, the little firebrand completely lost control at the party. He made scandalous passes at several of Mr. and Mrs. Clause’s attractive, twenty-something cousins (female and male alike), before calling Santa “tubby” and retching all over the dessert section of a holiday buffet.
Needless to say, Undlin’s shocking behaviour held consequences. Many believed he would be fired summarily by Santa, but of course that is not in the celebrity saint’s nature since he is a good-hearted soul. No, in his understanding way, Santa simply recommended that Undlin take a year-long sabbatical to travel, pursue new interests, and above all take steps to re-evalute his life and seek help in relation to his drinking. Santa knew Undlin had plenty of savings, and that he could afford to take a year off. The CEO of North Pole Inc. assured Undlin his job would be waiting for him, and that upon his return he would even get a big raise if all went well.
Despite Santa’s care and assurances, though, Undlin did not respond well to the temporary leave, fair though it was under the circumstances. Instead of taking his bosses’ advice and cleaning up his act, Undlin fell into a terrible decline, drinking, partying, and throwing money around as never before. It was reported that in one night alone, shortly after his sabbatical began, he dropped more than $53,000 drinking and gambling with Blitzen (the reindeer being a bit of a party animal himself) at the Ice Palace Casino on Baffin Island, west of Greenland.
From here, matters only grew worse. Undlin swiftly slid into depression and regular bouts of uncontrolled drinking followed. Not surprisingly, his finances went south. In short order, his savings were gone and he took to maxing out his credit cards and extending his lines of credit. Soon, in irrational fashion, he was buying big swaths of lottery tickets thinking a cash bonanza would solve all his money problems.
With dwindling resources, and nary a drop of Tia Maria or Crème de Menthe to sustain him, Undlin was soon an emotional wreck in the throes of critical debt, with the wolves howling at the door to the shabby igloo into which he had been forced to relocate. According to friends whose advice and help he had refused to accept, Undlin was a tragic sight at this time. Santa’s once vibrant, well-heeled head of publicity had been reduced to a shadow of his former self. Where once he stood tall among elves at four feet two inches, he now was a hunched, bedraggled figure. His green skin had taken on a yellowish pallor, and he looked as sickly and ill fed as the Hobbit Golum, from Lord of the Rings.
Come the following spring, I got word of Undlin’s sorry circumstances through a gossip item appearing in an issue of The Arctic Enquirer. The item read as follows:
“Can you name the publicist elf at North Pole Inc. who fell on tough times after being put on sabbatical by Santa for being just too darn naughty? If you guessed Undlin Neldth, you’re bang on the money. Once one of the Arctic’s most eligible bachelor elves, poor Undlin is now all alone and way down in the dumps, according to reliable sources. The lesson here? Curb those Bacchanalian urges Mr. Publicist Elf, or you’ll be left with big holes in your Santa socks.”
Reading the item, my heart went out to Undlin. I decided instantly to set out to find my little friend and do what I could to help him come back to the world.
The story from here takes a big turn. Credit Canada Debt Solutions' able and supremely qualified credit counsellors got together with Undlin and in their customary, non-judgemental way provided him the all-important moral support and financial advice he needed. We encouraged him to go into detox and seek sustained support from health professionals for his substance abuse. At the same time, we provided financial guidance through what we call our Debt Management Program, with added support in financial literacy.
Thanks to the aid, Undlin is now in comeback mode. His health has been restored and he’s getting back on financial track by paying off debt through low monthly payments he can afford. In fact, we’ve consolidated his personal debts, and he’s looking at being debt free in the not-to-distant future. By negotiating with creditors on his behalf, we reduced his interest fee penalties, the result being that he’ll be saving thousands of dollars over time. As this simple monthly payment process moves forward, we’re also teaching Undlin ways to stay in control of his finances through budgeting and financial tracking tools.
I’m pleased to report that in the six months since Undlin joined us, he is now entirely off the booze. I understand he has even met a lovely elf named Malgelir, a polar bear trainer, and the romance is getting pretty serious. Hearing of Undlin’s comeback, Santa I’m told is delighted and can hardly wait to welcome his publicist back into the fold at North Pole Inc. For his part, Undlin is today a bright, green happy wee fellow again, though somewhat more subdued and humbled by his tribulations.
For all of us here at Credit Canada Debt Solutions, Undlin’s physical and financial rehabilitation is no small matter. It’s a very big accomplishment for any elf, and we’re wishing him a very Merry Christmas.