CHRISTMAS 2022 – It was a week before Christmas. Mrs. Claus looked at her husband who was enjoying his coffee and reading letters from children. She frowned and said gently, ” Santa, I think that maybe you have put on a bit of weight lately. What do you think”?
Santa laughed and said, ” If I have it is all your fault – all those delicious cookies and wonderful chocolate cake you bake. I used to have 3 cookies, now I have 4. But, yes, my jackets are a bit snug these days”.
“Well”, she said, “I think maybe we should get you a new heavier suit that you wear Christmas Eve that will fit better or you could put on the old one and we can see how it fits. My dressmaker could take out the seams , maybe, so you would be more comfortable”.
“Ok, I will go and put it on”.
And sure enough, he couldn’t close the jacket and the slacks were so tight. “Whew”, he said, “I ate more cookies than I thought”.
Mrs. Claus said, “I will take the suit to the seamstress and see what she can do.
But I am concerned about the chimneys- some are smaller than others. What if you took Joey with you and he could go down the smaller ones”?
” Are you worried I will get stuck or something?? Never!! And Joey? You mean my reindeer keeper”??
“Yes, he is slim and strong and we could dress him up in a Santa suit for the smaller chimneys and he could take the toys down for you. What do you think”? I don’t want to worry about you all night.”
“Ok, I will talk with him tomorrow. but I don’t think it is all that necessary “.
Joey was delighted to go with Santa. Christmas Eve they loaded the sleigh with two bags of toys and a spare bag so that there would be lots of room for Joey in the back of the sleigh. All set to go, Santa told his team, “Up and away , boys. We are off. And they flew through the air to bring toys to the children of the world.
On the trip there were some smaller chimneys that Santa asked Joey to go down just to give him a chance to do it and enjoy playing ‘Santa’.
On the roof of the last house in Coreville, Santa seemed to be stuck a bit in the chimney. Joey yanked and yanked at Santa’s jacket but couldn’t get him out.
Suddenly a voice from the ground yelled, “What’s going on up there. Lots of racket!!”
Joey called down, “Santa seems to be stuck in the chimney. Can you help?”
“Sure, I will get my ladder and be up in a sec.”
Soon, a man reached the chimney and seeing the dilemma, he tugged at Santa’s jacket and Santa instantly was free.
Joey couldn’t believe it. Then he said to himself, “This could be one of Santa’s ‘set ups’. He wants to meet this guy for some reason I bet. He wasn’t stuck at all.”.
“Thank you. Thank you,” said Santa.
“My name is Bill. Great to meet you.”
And I am Joey,” said the elf.
Santa gave a bag of toys to Joey and down the chimney Joey went. saying, “A tap of my nose, down the chimney I goes”.
“Bill,” Santa said, “would you be interested in joining us for a few hours? We would have you back by dawn. Just in case I get suck again?”
“Well, ” I could let my wife Amy know. My children, Joel, Jay and Paul are still asleep as far as I know. And yes, that would be great. “
“OK, we will meet you on the lawn.
Bill went down the ladder, put it away and ran into the house to tell is wife who couldn’t believe it. She was a amazed as Bill was.
Soon they were ready for flight and Bill’s wife and three kids who had wakened watched as the sleigh and reindeer flew up into the air and disappeared into the night sky.
As they flew Santa asked Bill how he enjoyed all the Christmas activities. Bill remarked, “I am a bit of a ‘Bah Humbug kind of guy.”
Santa asked him what he meant.
Well, Christmas is a lot of hype. All that shopping, money, decorations in and out of storage – just a lot of work.
That is what it means to you? “, Santa asked.
“Yes, lot of work.”
Well, I can tell you what it means to me.”, Santa said. “Many years ago in a land far way from here, Love came to our earth in the form of a Wee Babe. He laid in a manager and Shepherds sang hymns of joy. Three Magi came with Gifts for Him, Gifts of Love. And so my elves make toys for the children of the world as Gifts of Love. “
“Gifts of Love??” I never thought of it that way. That is beautiful. “
“And you are a Gift of Love tonight for us , helping us.”
“Whew”, Bill said. “…This is amazing…and wonderful. “
The time went by and only once did Bill have to help at all by suggesting that one chimney was really small. And that time Joey went down the chimney.
Soon they were back in Coreville on the lawn of Bill’s home. Just as he was getting out of the sleigh the reindeer seemed a bit anxious . In the distance he could hear a whimper. He went to the front of his house to see a little dog shivering in the cold. He picked it up and took it to show Santa and Joey.
“I think this is Charlie Brown, my neighbours’ dog. I will have to wake him.”
“OK, then we will get on our way. Merry Christmas Bill” , Santa said. ” Great meeting you.”
“Merry Christmas to you both and safe journey home. Thank you for everything. I now see Christmas in a whole new wonderful way. Thank you”.
And Santa gave his reindeers the ok and up they flew through the air.
Bill knocked on his neighbour Bob’s door. Soon a sleepy guy in house coat and slippers answered the door, surprised to see Bill.
“I have Charlie Brown here”, Bill said.
No, Charlie Brown is behind me. It must be a stray,” Bob said.
“OK, then if will see if the shelter has any report of a missing dog. Do you have any extra food I could give him? “
“Yes, I will bring some in and a new bed I bought for Charlie.”
Bill went into his home and tried to make the dog warm and comfortable until Bob arrived with the food.
Meanwhile, after some more deliveries and many miles, Santa and Joey arrived home. Mrs. Claus was glad to see them. Santa went to change into lighter clothes.
Joey said to Mrs. Clause, “I think he pulled another ‘set up’ tonight.”
She asked, “What did he do? “
He changed a Bah Humbug guy into who will now be a giver of Gifts of Love.”
Mrs. Claus laughed.” Yes, he loves to do that for sure.”
Santa arrived and the three went into the kitchen to make breakfast.
Santa said, I just heard from Bill. No one claimed the dog so he is keeping it. He is going to name it’ Joey’. Bill calls Joey a Gift of Love”.
Joey laughed.” I have been called a few things but never a dog”.
Santa said, ” A great ending for a great night. Merry Christmas, Momma he said as he hugged his precious wife and then a big hug for Joey.
” Thanks Joey. You were a wonderful help tonight and you made lots of kids happy today.”
“You too Santa. Every year you and all the elves make Christmas a big Gift of Love for so many. It is such a wonderful time of the year – a Gift of Love for us all.” “
Merry Christmas everyone, Dawn