Tommy Holl is the self-appointed Head of Public Relations for the North Pole’s Midwest Division of Holiday Cheer. That’s a mouthful, so you can simply call him “The Real Elf” as he travels around the Chicago region spreading the Christmas spirit, doing “Random Acts of Christmas,” and making sure everyone is on Santa’s “Nice” list.
Tommy parlayed his degree from Columbia College Chicago in Broadcast Journalism into an exciting work history that included intern at NBC5 News, production assistant for Harpo Productions (Oprah’s company) and for Wanda Sykes, casting coordinator for The Carbonaro Effect, and manager of the Saturday Night Live Experience, where visitors interact with the sets, props and costumes used on SNL over 40 years. They can even do the news from the Weekend Update desk. All fine uses of his talents, but Tommy did not come into his own until, at a Christmas party, friends told him he looked like the Elf on the Shelf! And so he donned a red onesie, seasonal socks to use for gloves, a handmade felt collar, and a Santa hat he had around the house and began his mission to remind everyone he encounters that it’s the most wonderful time of the year. If we could remember how exciting it was when we were children, we could avoid all the stress that drains the holiday of enjoyment.
You might find Tommy on television shows and at corporate events and private parties. He loves doing photo shoots—whenever you see him, ask him for an Elfie! You can also send a loved one an Elf Gram: Tommy will personalize a video message and send it via Google Drive. Tommy’s appearances include:
- Tree Lighting for Make-A-Wish Illinois
- Yorktown Center Tree Lighting Ceremony
- Lurie Children’s Hospital
- Chicago Dept. of Aviation at O’Hare Airport
- Bartlett Fire Hall Holiday Breakfast
- KISS FM’s Jingle Ball
- AIDS Foundation of Chicago 30th Anniversary Gala
- Rush University Medical Center
The Real Elf Is Also a Imerman Angel
Tommy has a special connection to the Rush University Medical Center. When he was a teenager, he was treated there for a rare form of cancer that manifests as tumors on the fingers and toes and can only be treated by amputation. He’s well today but missing a little finger.
During his treatment and recovery, Tommy was matched with a “Imerman Angel” from a volunteer organization that provides support for cancer patients and their caregivers. Since his recovery, Tommy has been an Imerman Angel himself. He especially enjoys spreading holiday cheer to pediatric patients and their families. He loves putting smiles on their faces and appreciates the position he is in to raise awareness of cancer and raise funds.