Fiction Friday Storytime

December 12, 2008

The doorbell rang. It was late evening and we weren’t expecting anybody. I looked curiously at my better half, who just shrugged and went to answer the door. I held the baby, who was all ready for bed in little Christmas pajamas from Grandma. I took a quick look around the house. It was a mess; the dished still needed to be done from dinner and baby toys were all over the floor. I hoped whoever was at the door wouldn’t want to come in. I looked over as the door opened.

A large man in a white fur-trimmed (real or faux I couldn’t help wondering) red-velvet suit stood on our doorstep. He wore a stocking cap that matched his outfit, large black boots and a belt with a buckle so big it could only have been bought in one of those tacky souvenir shops. He had a round bearded face with rosy cheeks from the chilly air outside and a big smile on his lips.  My husband just stared in disbelief.  My own eyes were wide in wonderment.

“Santa?” I asked.

“Ho ho ho!” He laughed. “Good evening, you two, or rather, three.” he grinned with a twinkle in his eye at the baby who just cooed and giggled.  That in itself was a miracle since she usually started screaming and wailing as soon as a stranger as much as looked at her.  “Yes, it’s me, Santa.  Now, I know this is unexpected. It’s not even Christmas eve, after all, but I’m stopping to see a few folks before the big night.” He looked in the door and glanced at the couch. “May I come in?” he asked.

“Uh.. oh. Of course. I’m sorry. Please, come in.  Make yourself comfortable. Would you like anything?” I asked in a rush, kicking myself for being rude to Santa.  I mean, Santa, of all people! He really existed and here I was leaving him out in the cold! He made his way inside and took off his gloves and coat, folding them neatly and placing them on the seat beside him as he sat down on our couch.

“No thank you, I’m just fine. Please, have a seat. I’d like to talk to you two if you have a moment?” he asked, looking at the baby in my arms. my husband shook himself out of his shock and closed the door, walking into the living room where we waited. He sat down on one of the chairs, still unable to believe what he was seeing.

“I’ll stand, if you don’t mind. SHe gets fussy sometimes if she’s not moving.” I smiled. “What do you want to talk to us about?” I asked curiously.

“Well,” he answered with a sigh, “As you know, the economy’s down all over the world it’s even hit us up at my workshop. A lot of my savings have flown the coop and all those toys and things for the kiddies don’t just pay for themselves. I’ve even had to lay off some of the elves and sold a few of the reindeer to zoos so stay afloat.”

“I’m sorry. I didn’t realize bad times affected you as much as the rest of us.  It’s not something you think about, quite honestly,” I replied. “But what can we do? Money’s tight for everyone right now.”

“Yes, I know.  ANd I’m not asking for much.  Just that you help me out and buy an extra present to go to some needy child this year. It doesn’t have to be big or fancy or expensive, just a little something for someone who would really appreciate a gift. I won’t be able to make it to everyone this year, so I could really use your help. And ask your friends, too.  If you tell people and they tell people, Then a lot of kids could get a special present under the tree. Can you do this for me?” he asked, a desperate note in his voice.

 My husband and I looked at each other. “Of course,” I responded. “That’s no trouble at all. In fact, it’s something  we can easily do every year.”

Santa looked relieved and stood up, gathering his things. “Oh, thank you,” he said, a grin on his face again as he put on his coat and gloves. “Remember to spread the word. I’ve got to go talk to other folks and get them to give, too.  Thank you again, so much.” he said as he walked to the door. We followed him and my husband help open the door for the jolly man. “Have a wonderful night and a very merry Christmas!” He grinned at us and tickled my daughter on her chin, eliciting a giggle. THen, he was gone without another word. My husband closed the door and we just stared at each other with dumbfounded grins.  A buzzer started going off and I turned to see what it could be that was so ruining the mood of this magical evening…

My eyes opened and I turned off the alarm clock.  Wow. What a dream.  Guess I’ll have to go shopping for a little gift.


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