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First up on today's show, as the markets have been up in the U.S., we look at if this trend will continue into 2015. And we follow up on news that the CEO of Uber has been indicted by South Korea. Plus, ‘tis the season for Christmas trees. We profile a business that provides Christmas tree delivery service to residents ... by elves.
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Most of the year, Brandon Johnson makes a living as a lumberjack. He runs a business in Minneapolis, Minn. trimming and clearing trees. But cold and snow make it hard to scale trees in the winter.
So, Johnson came up with a side job for the holidays: delivering Christmas trees ... dressed as an elf.
“Essentially, I take all my guys from my tree business for the rest of the year and we just transition from lumberjacks to elves,” he says.
Johnson recently delivered a Christmas tree to a home in St. Paul. He was dressed in full elf attire: tight yellow pants and a green tunic.
“These were uniforms issued straight from the North Pole,” he says. “That's just what Santa requires for us elves.”
Johnson often blasts Christmas carols from the truck when he pulls up at a home. A big sign on the truck reads, "Santa's Tree Delivery."
Included in the standard $130 delivery package for a 7 foot Fraser fir is the chance for any children in the house to rub elbows with Santa's helper.
“How old is Santa Claus?” asked Ollie Koelb, the homeowner’s eight year-old granddaughter.
“I don’t know if anyone actually knows,” said Brandon the Elf. “He's getting up there. He's old.”
Johnson and two of his elf pals have delivered roughly 100 trees around the Minneapolis-St. Paul area this season. Johnson says the big trees are the most profitable. He can charge as much as $450 for a sixteen-footer.
Johnson hopes to ramp up the business next year with a big marketing campaign and more man — or elf — power to speed the deliveries, maybe even out of state.