Inside a gestalt dream state instilled by the dream crabs, Ian was an elf and one of Santa Claus' helpers. He and his colleague the Wolf followed Santa in his sleigh on the way to deliver presents to children all over the world on during Christmas.
He followed Santa to the North Pole to help out during the dream state of the Twelfth Doctor, Clara and four others being attacked by dream crabs, and later when Santa revealed that they were all dreaming. (TV: Last Christmas) Ian was told of his own fictionality by Santa, and that he had been based on Shona McCullough's recent watching of Santa Claus: The Movie. Ian then let himself fade away, his part in the dream being played out. (PROSE: Ian the Elf)