They show up each year in malls and department stores like clockwork, seemingly eager to hear every child's Christmas wish list and pose, broadly smiling for photos. And, of course, there's that unmistakably hearty "Ho, ho, ho!" that signals that the holiday season -- and Santa Claus, himself -- has arrived.
But what's it really like being the chief elf? How much can you earn, and how are the working conditions?