A Christmas Tale by Dawn Ford – instead of Seniors’ Situation Room Edition 9


The Tipsy Elf

© Dawn Ford

I was watching TV the other night when a soft knock came to my door. It was so gentle that it did not rouse my sleeping old dog. I have brand new hearing aids so I was able to hear it. I opened the door to see a cute little Elf smiling at me. He was all dressed in velvety green and had a long green velvety toque with a shiny bell at the end – just like you see in the movies. He asked if he could come in because it was very cold outside. I told him to come right in and get warm. I asked him if he would like some hot coffee or tea but he told me that the trip from the North Pole had been so cold he had stopped at a few pubs along the way to warm up.

With the distinct aroma of sweet wine in the room, I could tell he indeed had had a few. I asked him his name and he told me his name was Albert although most Elves and Santa called him Bert. I told him I liked his velvet outfit and that I also like to wear velvet when I go out. He told me that I had good taste. I could see that we were going to get along just fine.

I asked him what I could do for him which is, I think , what you do at Christmas time when an Elf shows up at your door. He was so glad I had asked. He told me he was on a special mission from Santa. Apparently there was a wonderful person named Trevor who was very unhappy this Christmas because he could not give any presents to anyone. He had been out of work and times were tough. Santa was very touched to see a human who wanted so much to give and was not worrying about what he was going to get himself. Santa knew Trevor had given generously of his time, energy and talents to others all year which made him a kind and loving soul with the Spirit of the Magi. What to do, was Santa’s dilemma. If Santa gave Trevor a few toys, he would miss all the fun of choosing them, of wrapping and giving from the heart exactly what he had chosen for some little one. So Santa had sent Bert in Santa’s big sleigh with all his Reindeer on this special mission to give Trevor ‘a little something ‘so that he could buy some gifts.

Bert went on to explain he had kind of ‘goofed up’ a bit because once he had stopped at that last pub where it was so jolly and festive and everyone was singing, well…he had lost a bit of time. And then to boot , he had realized once he was on his way, that he had left Trevor’s’ address at the pub. So…, of course, Bert had to go back and when he got there, the whole pub was singing his favorite song “Feliz Navadad”. He had to join in and sing in his best Spanish. Bert explained that this all took time because everyone at the pub loved his singing so much they begged him to sing a few more songs. What could he do? So he stayed and sang some more songs. But, someone had spiked his egg nog . Now, he had said, he was here on my doorstep with the mission unaccomplished , a bit too tipsy to show-up at Trevor’s house and maybe give Elves a bad reputation . Bert thought since there was a possibility that I knew the gentleman in question, I might finish Santa’s mission for him and then Santa might never need to know that Bert had ‘goofed up’, so to speak.

It was true. I did know Trevor. That crafty Elf knew exactly whose door to knock on. I didn’t want to take over his responsibilities for him. I thought this must be what my brother Ed and Sherlock Holmes call a ‘two pipe problem’. Then I suddenly realized the solution was quite simple after all. The happiness of Trevor and the faith of Santa in his Elves’ special missions were the important issues here. Bert and I did not really matter. I decided to help him.

“I’m sure you would be trustworthy”, he said to me. “I would” , I replied. “And you could give this little package to the gentleman?”, he asked. “I could”, I said. “Oh, you have made me a happy Elf”, he cried as he grabbed me and gave me big smelly kiss on the cheek. He handed me a small little white package with a wee shiny bell on it. What a wonderful gift , I thought straight, well sort of straight from Santa himself. I asked him, “Are you driving?” He was a bit tipsy-dipsy, you know.

” Well, he said, “I leave all the driving to the Reindeer. I just kind of sit back and sing. Wow, I think if we get going now that pub might still be open, just in case we need to warm up. Thank you and good-bye”. And he was gone.

With my brand new hearing aids I could hear the tinkle of the little bell at the end of his green velvety toque. I peeked out the window and saw a beautiful sleigh and a magnificent team of Reindeer, one of them had a shiny nose. Rudolph! I would have loved to have gone with Bert in that sleigh to the pub and sing “Feliz Navadad in my best Spanish . I’d have loved to hug those Reindeer. Well, if he comes back next year, I thought, I’m going!

Then I had a wonderful idea. I grabbed my coat and the little white package and ran outside. I turned down my brand new hearing aids so that I wouldn’t blast myself out into orbit like a comet and yelled as loud as I could, “Bert, Bert, wait for me. We could deliver the package Santa’s style – down the chimney. Wait for me”.

The Reindeer had just started their climb but they heard me and slowly turning around, down they came. I hopped into the sleigh. “What a great idea”, said Bert. “By the way, do you like to sing”? “I love to sing”. I said. “Won’t you be cold”, he asked? “I am Canadian”, I said. He laughed and I laughed too. What a night it was going to be.

” Then away we go”, Bert said. And with a tug on the reins, a whistle to the team, upward we soared into the night sky.

It wasn’t long before the Reindeer landed perfectly on the roof of Trevor’s house. As Bert started to get out of the sleigh, a thought suddenly dawned on me. I asked him how in the world he was going to get down that chimney safely. With an Elfish grin he said,” Santa taught me. Tap the side of my nose, down the chimney I goes.” And he leaped into the chimney and was gone.

As I waited in wonder, the Reindeer snorting now and then in the cold air, I looked at the enormous heavenly sky above me, so much closer than ever before. Orion was majestic over my head: the Dippers showing me the North Star. Many constellations of stars dancing before my eyes. Only a Master Artist could have lovingly created such beauty.

Soon Bert leaped up from the chimney and into the sleigh. “How did you get up the chimney?” I asked in wonderment. “Tap the side of my nose. Up the chimney I goes’, Bert laughed. ” By the way, I left the gift under Trevor’s Christmas tree. What a nice surprise for him in the morning.

And now, my beautiful friends,” he said to the team of Reindeer, ” let us be off”. He gave a tug of the reins, then a little whistle and up into the sky we flew once more.

Over the valleys that night, anyone with very good hearing or brand new hearing aids could hear the melodic jingle of the Reindeer’s sleigh bells which sounded much like “Feliz Navadad” and hear two very happy voices merrily singing in our best Spanish as we flew in the cold crisp air on our way to the pub having completed Santa’s special mission of Love.

Merry, Merry Christmas. Feliz Navadad .

The End


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