Alabaster is quite a character. He's the only elf at the North Pole with a university degree. From Oxford no less. He's a good fellow, but is definitely in an intellectual world of his own. It figures that Santa Claus has entrusted one of the most important jobs in the Village to Alabaster.
Shinny is the leader of the all the Elves and Santa’s oldest and most trusted friend. In fact, he co-founded the Magic Workshop with him! Everyone puts up with his moodiness because without the old Shinny Upatree, there wouldn’t be a Village, Workshop, Christmas and maybe not even Santa.