DECEMBER 17, 2023 –    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



     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

By Dawn Ford – All Rights Reserved ©