Story Of Tinsel

Decorating our Christmas Village was in full swing when Ms. Claus and I arrived that morning. Lights were being strung on all the buildings and the trees. Stars and snowflakes were hung on light posts. Gold and silver tinsel was placed on the surrounding trees.

“Beautiful job!”  I told the elves as Anya and I stepped into the gazebo in the center of the town square. “This is putting us all in the Christmas Spirit.”

“Thanks Santa,” Lyra responded as she placed another strand of gold tinsel on a tree.

Carter gave me a quizzical look. “Santa, Lyra and I wondered why people put tinsel on Christmas trees.”

“Hmm,” I murmured as I stroked my beard. “I thought everyone knew.”

“Knew what?” Lyra demanded. “Elves know a lot. Is there something you’re keeping from us?”

When the elves overheard Lyra, they came over to the gazebo. “You never keep anything from us, Santa. What’s up?” yelled Carter.

I chuckled and led Ms. Claus over to a bench. “You’re right, I don’t keep things from you.”

I stood up and rubbed my hands together. “You know how I like stories, but this one I’ve never shared. So, gather round and let me tell you about the Christmas Spider, an old Eastern European folktale.”

*     *     *     *     *     *     *

A long time ago, there was a mother with two children, a boy and a girl. They always helped their mother and tried to do what was right. Unfortunately, this family was very poor. They lived in a small hut with dirt floors.

One Spring the children were running in and out of the house when they started yelling, “Mama, Mama, look!”

When their mother came over, they pointed to a small pine tree growing in the corner of their house.

“Oh my! I’ll get something to dig that up right away.”

“NO!” both children shouted. “Can we keep it?”

The mother thought for a moment. Since she was unable to give them much, she decided they could keep it.

Spring led to Summer and then Fall. On December 21st, the first day of Winter, the pine was a full-grown tree.

The weather was cold and snowy outside as the children played around the tree on Christmas Eve. “Look!” the boy said and pointed to a small brown spot on the tree. His sister smiled and together they called out, “Mama, Mama look, there is a spider in the tree!”

The mother inspected the pine and found the spider crawling back and forth across the tree. “I hate spiders!” she responded and grabbed the broom to get the spider out of the tree.

“No Mama, can we please keep it? The spider’s webs look beautiful on our Christmas tree.”

She thought about it for a while and agreed. “Alright my little spider. This Christmas Eve you get a pardon. Stay in this tree and don’t go anywhere else.”

The spider did not pause and kept weaving beautiful webs while the children watched until it was time for bed.

On Christmas morning, the mother got up, and put a log on the fire to warm the house. She started heating water to make breakfast and turned to look at the tree. The morning sun shone through the window and cast a beautiful glow on the Christmas tree.

“How lovely,” she murmured. “The morning light is making the spider webs look like gold and silver threads.” She smiled and turned to prepare a warm breakfast for her children.

A little while later, the mother heard her children yell, “Merry Christmas Mama!”

As she turned to greet them, she saw her children’s eyes grow large. “Mama, look at the tree,” they shouted. “There’s gold and silver thread on it.”

The mother slipped her arms around the children and gave them hugs. “No darlings,” she explained, “that’s just the light shining on the spider webs.”

The children shook their heads, “No Mama, look closer!”

When their mother examined the pine, she gasped at the sight of beautiful silver and gold threads adorning the tree. “It’s a Christmas miracle!” she shouted. “The spider has rewarded us for your thoughtfulness.”

The three of them gazed at the tree in wonder and felt the magic of Christmas fill their hearts with love.

The mother smiled at her son and daughter. “Together we’ll gather some of the thread and exchange it at the market today for food and more wood. After Christmas, I will weave and spin the silver and gold thread and buy warm clothes for the winter and perhaps a tasty treat for all of us.”

The children laughed and hugged their mother. Together the three held hands and danced around the glistening tree. When the spider peeked out from behind a pine branch, they cheered.

“Thank you for your kindness” the mother announced. “You are always welcomed in our home.”

The next year on Christmas Eve the spider returned and wove its magical webbing around the tree. The beautiful silver and gold thread again shone brightly on Christmas morning. The family was never poor or hungry again.

*     *     *     *     *     *     *

“But what does this have to do with tinsel?” several elves hollered.

“Well, you see other people heard about this magical Christmas Spider, and they tried to get Christmas spiders of their own. They would take ordinary spiders and put them in their trees. But things did not go as they expected. None of the spiders were magical Christmas Spiders.”

“But they liked the idea of the Christmas Spiders and the beauty of their webs so much,” Ms. Claus explained, “that they began hanging artificial webs in their trees. “

“I bet that’s why we have tinsel today!” an elf shouted from the back.

“That’s right,” Anya responded. “Also, in many countries, like Ukraine and Germany, they make beautiful beaded Christmas Spiders and hide them in their trees. Traditionally, the first person to find the spider will have good luck throughout the year.”

I grabbed Anya’s hand to help her up. “So, there you have it. You now know why people hang tinsel on their trees.”

As the elves all began to go back to work decorating the village, I could hear several of them talking about hiding spiders in the trees for Christmas.

“You do realize, Santa,” Anya whispered as we watched the elves working and singing carols, “they don’t need Christmas Spiders. The elves bring all the magic we’ll ever need to our village every year.”

Notes From Santa

I hope you enjoyed today’s story. Stories are posted on the 1st and 3rd Saturday of each month, except December. Santa’s next story will be posted on Saturday January 6, 2024, unless Ms. Claus decides to write a story.  If you have any comments or if there is something you would like me to tell you about, please feel free to leave me a comment. Until the next time . . .

To read more stories told at the North Pole please check out:

The Nutcracker – November 25, 2019
The Christmas Goat – July 13, 2020
Magic Beans – June 21, 2021
I Think We Can – February 1, 2021
The Gingerbread Girl – January 21, 2023
Polar Pete’s Tail – September 16, 2023

Find Cincy Santa (@CincySanta) on:

Facebook – Instagram – Threads Twitter

 Sleigh Day

“Here come Santa and Ms. Claus,” announced Lyra.

Several elves left their tables in the dining hall and gathered at the two doorways.

“What time do things get started?” Skippy asked.

“Sledge will open the storage barn when Santa arrives,” Geordie responded and finished his muffin.

Anya and I could hear the cheering begin as the entire dining hall began to empty into the passageway. It was Sleigh Day and all of us were excited.

Approaching the barn, we watched Sledge swing the door open. Cheering increased when Anya and I waved to the elves.

While my sleigh glided from the barn, everyone went quiet. I walked over and slid my hand along the polished wood amazed at its beauty. The plush red seat was trimmed in green satin. Burnished copper buttons secured the cloth. Solid brass knobs stood on either side of my seat and glistened in the light. The elves oohed and aahed. Ms. Claus tucked her hand in mine and murmured, “Always beautiful.”

Sledge stood and helped me step into the sleigh. “Check out the updates to the dash and controls.”

I scratched my head as my eyes examined the dashboard. “Hmm, looks like you’ve been busy since last Christmas. What does the extra screen do?”

“The one screen is the same, and shows the list of upcoming homes you will be visiting. The new screen makes use of GPS and reveals a map with a pin where you are currently.” My elf in charge of sleighs then flipped a switch and both screens lit up in color.

“Wow! The lettering is bigger, and the map actually shows you everything like it’s a picture from above!”

“It is Santa. We decided to use satellite images for the mapping, and the larger type is to help you read it quickly while keeping your eyes on where you are going. Hope you like it.”

“I do!” I then pointed to an opening in the dash, “What’s this for?”

“Remember the extra cookies you collect to send back to the North Pole to share with the elves on Christmas morning?”

“HO, HO, HO. Of course I do.”

“Well, now all you have to do is put the cookies in that slot. They are then bagged, and just the right amount of magic green fairy dust is added automatically to tele-transport the cookies back to us. With the number of homes growing each year, we figured this will save you a lot of time,” Sledge explained.

“That’s genius! No more messing around with that bag of magic dust. What about this big green lever?”

Excited, Sledge rubbed his hands together. “This is my favorite improvement. It will also save you time.”

“As well as keep you dry!” Sachi, Dasher’s caretaker, shouted.

I shrugged my shoulders, not understanding what the elves were talking about.

“Let me explain. If we could reduce some of the wind when you cross the oceans or make your way over mountains, you would gain more time. Pull the lever and see what happens,” the sleigh elf insisted.

I did, and a clear, glass bubble covered the entire top of the sleigh.

“Look, it’s Snow Globe Santa!” an elf in the crowd called out. The elves broke into laughter.

I stared at Sledge, who was giggling at the remark. “I do feel a bit silly in this bubble, but I can see how it will improve my speed.” I pushed the lever back up to remove the dome and asked, “Is there anything else?”

“No. I think it’s time to hitch up your team for the real test.”

Highstep signaled the handlers to begin lining up the reindeer for their pre-Christmas tests.”

Once my team was hooked up, Highstep stood back and announced, “The first test will be how quickly the team can get you off the ground. Are you ready Santa?”

“All set,” I hollered back.

Highstep looked at his stop-watch and held his hand in the air. “Ready, Set, GO!”

I snapped the reigns, and shouted, “Now Dasher, Now Dancer, Now Prancer, and Vixen. On Comet, On Cupid, On Donner, and Blitzen. To the top of the porch to the top of the wall! Now dash away, dash away, dash away all.” The reindeer responded and rose toward the Northern Lights.

Highstep shouted, “A new record, 2.2 seconds!!”

The elves exploded in cheers.

After liftoff, I ran the reindeer through their paces, turning right, then left, going up and down, until I was satisfied that my team met my requirements. Now for the big test.

I shouted to Vixen, “Are you ready?” It was her skill in guiding the team on where and how to land that was most important. When she turned her head and nodded, I picked out one of the buildings in Christmas Village and began steering the reindeer in that direction.

As the sleigh approached, I let up on the reins and let Vixen take control. While she communicated directions, the reindeer guided the sleigh to a soft landing. “Let’s try a couple more,” I directed.

With each landing I could hear the elves on the ground scream approval. Then I clicked on my elf communicator. “Highstep, now that the sun has set, let’s test Rudolph’s nose.”

“Roger that, Santa.” Highstep nodded to Quinten, who began flipping switches. With each click, lights went out in the village until it was completely dark.

I steered the sleigh over the pasture where all the elves were. A red glow descended over them allowing me to see them clearly. “My first pass looks good Highstep. I’ll circle around for another one while you start the fog machines.”

The elf raised his arm over his head and began twirling his hand in a circular motion. Several elves turned on the machines, and fog filled the sky.

As I turned the sleigh back toward the elves, I shouted, “You ready Rudolph?”

With a loud grunt, Rudolph nodded. The further the team soared, the thicker the fog got. Yet, I could still see everything. Even the wires strung between poles were in plain sight, thanks to Rudolph’s bright, red nose.

I circled back and landed at the same spot from where we had started. The elves roared their approval. As I stepped down from the sleigh, the handlers removed the harness and led the reindeer into the barn. “I think we are prepared for Christmas deliveries!” I shouted and gave Highstep and Sledge high fives.

Ms. Claus ran over and hugged me. “Congrats Santa! Your team looked fantastic. They are ready for Christmas.”

“They’ve done an incredible job. And with the improvements to the sleigh, I think we need to celebrate.”

Everyone cheered and headed toward Elfkin Hall as the elves sang, “It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas, everywhere you go.”

“Best time of the year,” I yelled and slipped my arm across Anya’s shoulders.

Notes From Santa

I hope you enjoyed today’s story. Stories are posted on the 1st and 3rd Saturday of each month, except December. Santa’s next story will be posted on Saturday November 18, 2023.  If you have any comments or if there is something you would like me to tell you about, please feel free to leave me a comment. Until the next time . . .

To read more about the Reindeer and Santa’s Sleigh, please check out:

How Dasher Became Part of Santas Team – October 28, 2019
Reiney Meets Cupid – February 10, 2020
Santa’s Improved Sleigh – March 16, 2020
Virus Threatens Santa’s Reindeer – March 30, 2020
Reindeer vs Technology – June 1, 2020
Blitzen Loses Race – August 31, 2020
Donner To The Rescue – November 16, 2020
Sleigh Problems – January 4, 2021
Reindeer Games – September, 6, 2021
Modern Christmas Deliveries – March 1, 2022
Broccoli Cookies – July 15, 2023
Reindeer Secrets – September 2, 2023

Find Cincy Santa (@CincySanta) on:

Facebook – Instagram – Threads X (Twitter)

Illustration by Glow Blogs





I decided to surprise Ms. Claus with a visit to the Mail Room after lunch. When I entered, I found the elves huddled around my wife.

“Is there a problem?” I asked.

Carter, the head elf of the mail room, spoke up, “We have been discussing all the letters from children asking that their parents have the chance to go back to work.”

Confused, I asked, “How can that be a problem? The number of unemployed people in most parts of the world has dropped.”

“That may be true, Santa, but from the letters we are receiving,” Ms. Claus explained, “many people are not working because their Unions are on strike.”

“What’s a Union?” an elf shouted.

“And what does it mean to go on strike!” another mail handler added.

“I see,” I said as I rubbed my beard. “You have to understand that making things in the world are a little different than here at the North Pole.”

“How’s that?” Booker asked.

“For instance,” I began, “in the rest of the world companies have owners, share-holders, managers, and workers, who actually . . .”

“Wait a minute,” Booker interrupted. “You and Ms. Claus are the owners, Bernard and others are managers, and the rest of us are workers. But what’s a shareholder?”

Anya smiled. “Actually, all of us at the North Pole are shareholders because we share the same belief in the magic of Christmas. As a result, everyone here works together to solve problems or make improvements.”

I clapped my hands. “Well said, Anya” Turning to face everyone, I added. “Elves have the uncanny ability to resolve their differences. In your home town of Elfkoti, the Finnish call it ‘konfliktinratkaisu’ or solving conflicts. Ms. Claus and I shortened it to ‘konflikra’.

The elves grinned and nodded. “You mean like our version of the World Cup Soccer Match,” Stamper explained, “where we solve disagreements on the field together rather than using referees.”

“EXACTLY!” I shouted.

“And when there is a problem here in the mailroom,” Ms. Claus said, “you come up with solutions.”

“Like that time about all the sensitive letters we were getting,” Carter replied.

“That’s right,” my wife responded. “All the mail elves realized there was a delay in getting them to Santa fast enough. Together we solved the difficulty.”

“And you let us implement it right away,” one elf shouted as all the others agreed.

Carter, scratched his head, and asked, “You mean that’s not how it works everywhere else?”

“Unfortunately, not.” I took a seat on a stool and continued. “You see, in many places, managers and owners are more concerned about making money, instead of the best and safest way for the workers to do their job.”

Stamper folded his arms on his chest, “That makes no sense. The workers are the ones doing the actual work, so they should have a say in how it’s done.

“I remember my cousin telling me about a toy-making problem last year. Bernard and Houser noticed a glitch in the system between the workshops and the warehouses. They worked with the elves and created a series of colored slides and conveyors to connect the workshops to the warehouses.”

“YES! Those slides and conveyors made a big difference. But having ideas to improve things is not the only issue people face at work. Many times, companies don’t pay their workers a fair wage or provide benefits.”

“You mean, when they need something, they can’t just ask for it like we do?” Stamper asked.

“Sadly, it doesn’t work that way,” Anya chimed in. “And when workers feel that their employers are not treating them fairly or not meeting their demands, they sometimes go on ‘strike,’ which means they stop working until their worries are taken care of.”

The elves all looked at each other, then Carter asked, “So, you mean workers in some places stop making toys like we do here when they’re not happy with their jobs?”

I nodded. “But remember, here at the North Pole, we work together and are dedicated to the spirit of Christmas. We don’t have the same issues that workers in other parts of the world might face.”

Booker, still curious, asked, “So, Santa, what can we do to help those children who want their parents to go back to work?”

I patted Booker on the back. “Keep spreading joy and happiness through the toys and gifts you create. That’s our way of making the world a better place. Eventually, those on strike and the companies they work for will find a way to resolve their differences and return to their jobs. In the meantime, we’ll do the best we can to make sure everyone has a wonderful Christmas.”

The elves grinned. “Thanks Santa and Ms. Claus. You’re the best.”

As the group went back to their work in the mailroom, Anya turned to face me. “I will always be thankful for what we have,” she said and slipped her arm through mine. “Maybe someday, the world of owners, managers, and labor will work in harmony as we do at the North Pole.”

I wrapped my arms around my wife and gave her a big hug. “Me too!”

Notes From Santa

I hope you enjoyed today’s story. Stories are posted on the 1st and 3rd Saturday of each month, except December. Santa’s next story will be posted on Saturday November 4, 2023.  If you have any comments or if there is something you would like me to tell you about, please feel free to leave me a comment. Until the next time . . .

To read more about the Sensitive Letter please check out:

A Little Bit of Elf Magic – April 20, 2020

To read more about the Colored Slides & Conveyors please check out:

Workshop Improvements – August 23, 2021

To read more about the elves World Cup Games please check out:

International Games – August 5, 2023

Find Cincy Santa (@CincySanta) on:

Facebook – Instagram – Threads – X (Twitter)

Illustration from Glow Blogs

Heads Up

“Eating a chocolate chip cookie is the perfect way to begin the afternoon,” I mused and shook the crumbs from my beard as I headed towards my office door.

Suddenly Patches pushed it open. Her eyes brightened when she saw me. “Glad I found you, Santa. Gotta come quick,” she panted. “Bernard needs you right away! There’s a big problem on the doll line.”

“Well, let’s go!” I shouted and shut the door behind me.

When Patches and I arrived, we found Bernard with his head inside an opening of the production line.

“What’s going on Bernard?”

He pulled his head out of the machine, and his head lamp shone in our eyes. “Turn that darn thing off; it’s blinding me,” I cried.

I heard a click and the light faded. “Sorry Santa,” Bernard remarked and shut the door to the interior of the machine. “It’s this doll baby line. Somehow heads are getting mixed up.”

“What? That shouldn’t happen. We just had all the machinery examined and tested a month ago.”

Bernard waved for me to follow him. When we reached the end of the line, he grabbed a doll and handed it to me.

I looked at it and the rest of the figures in the box. “Why do all these dolls have Teddy Bear heads?”

“Don’t know.” Bernard shook his head as we walked towards the front of the production line. “Everything has been loaded properly and the equipment seems to be working right.”

“Santa,” Patches interrupted, “I called the Stuffed Animal Shop, and they’re having the same problem. Hulta told me that the Teddy Bears are coming off the assembly line with dolls’ heads. What are we going to do?”

The two elves looked at me for direction.

“Tell Hulta I’ll be there as soon as we fix this problem.”

Patches nodded and made the call while I told Bernard, “Good thing this isn’t the week before Christmas.”

He chuckled but his eyes were serious. “I think the problem may be related, Santa.”

I nodded and stroked my beard. “You’ve been looking at this line, have you found or noticed anything?”

“Not really. I did detect a faint odor like something was overheating, but I haven’t located it yet.”

“Okay, I think that is where we need to start. Bernard, why don’t you see if you can locate where the scent is coming from here, and I will go over and check Hulta’s line to see if I can find anything there. Come over to the stuffed Animal Workshop after you’re finished.”

When I arrived, Hulta was waiting at the door for me. “Santa, everything was fine before lunch. Then when we came back, I kept getting this.” The elf held up a Teddy Bear with a doll’s head on it.

“Have you noticed anything unusual?” I asked as we walked toward the production line.

“I just checked to see that the right parts were being put in, and then called you.”

We approached the end of the equipment, where the completed bears popped out. “Hulta, you walk down that side, and I’ll take this side. Check that everything is tightened and where it should be. Let me know if you find anything that does not look right.”

I grabbed, pushed, and poked at everything, but nothing was broken or out of place. I was close to the end when I heard Hulta scream. “That’s disgusting!”

“What is it?” I yelled and rushed to the other side.

“That odor! Can’t you smell it? It is so foul and revolting!!”

When I got close to where Hulta was standing, I could not mistake that stench. The stink of dirt and Sulphur dominated the area. “Malodor!” I roared.

“Malodor?” Hulta asked.

“Yes, the smell could only mean that the Gremlin, Malodor, has been here.”

“You think he did this?”

“I know he did. He’s never forgiven me for choosing Elves over Gremlins to work here at the North Pole. Would you please call over to the Doll House and just tell Bernard that it’s ‘Malodor.’”

“That’s all?”

“Yes, he will know what to do.”

When Hulta left to call Bernard, I found where the stench was the strongest and opened the machine up. Taking a quick look, I climbed inside to see what Malodor had done. When I came out, Bernard and Hulta were standing there.

“Did you find overlapping conveyors, interrupting the flow of heads?” Bernard asked.

“As a matter of fact, I did. And you?”

“Same,” Bernard replied. “You got to hand it to Malodor; his stunt was pretty creative.”

“Do you think this Gremlin will ever figure out that his scent leads us to the problem every time he decides to disrupt the North Pole?” I asked.

“Or that sometimes, he is really helping us?” Bernard added.

Hulta and I stared at my head elf and wondered what he meant.

Bernard grinned. “Yeah. Malodor and his tricks may be a nuisance, but sometimes, like this one, we can learn something new from his tricks.”

“Can you explain what you mean?”

“Well, we have that new toy with interchangeable parts, and I think Malodor’s trick gave me the solution for putting it together. So, you see, he may be a pest, but he just solved my problem.”

“If Malodor’s trickery can lead to a good outcome, I guess that Gremlin has something to offer the North Pole, even if he doesn’t realize it.”

“You got that right Santa!” The elves and I high-fived one another and left the room.

“The only problem, is how to get the stink out of our clothes,” I chuckled.  “Ms. Claus isn’t going to like it. Not one bit.”

The three of us giggled and headed for the laundry room.

 Notes From Santa

I hope you enjoyed today’s story. Stories are posted on the 1st and 3rd Saturday of each month, except December. Santa’s next story will be posted on Saturday October 21, 2023.  If you have any comments or if there is something you would like me to tell you about, please feel free to leave me a comment. Until the next time . . .

To read other adventures of Malodor please check out:

Sleigh Problems – January 4, 2021
Cookie Problems – December 1, 2021
False Alarm – July 15, 2022

Find Cincy Santa (@CincySanta) on:

Facebook – Instagram – Threads – X (Twitter)

Polar Pete’s Tail

The freshly fallen snow looked tempting, so Ms. Claus and I slipped on warm clothes and took a walk. In the distance we saw Polar Pete, one of our North Pole friends. “Hey Pete,” I yelled, as Anya and I waved.

Turning, he stood on his hind legs and called out, “Santa, Ms. Claus, it’s so nice to see you.”

Making our way towards him, we heard him scream, “Isn’t this snow wonderful?”

“It’s dazzling,” my wife panted as she reached the bear. “Care to join us on a walk?”

“You bet!”

Polar Pete went first and made a path through the accumulating snow for Anya and me. The large polar bear lumbered along, and we followed. I was always surprised that Pete’s tail was so short, so I thought this was a good time to ask the question. “No disrespect Pete, but why doesn’t a polar bear have a long tail like some of the other animals?”

“Santa!” Anya shouted. “don’t you think that’s kind of personal?”

“It’s okay Ms. Claus,” the bear said as he sat down. “To be honest, polar bears did have long, white, bushy tails that sparkled in the light, but that was ages ago.”

“I never knew that,” Anya replied, surprised at Pete’s answer.

“What happened?” I asked. “Or is this just another one of your tall tales.”

Pete gave me a serious look. “Well, according to the story that has been handed down through the centuries in my family, an Arctic Fox caused the problem.”

“A fox?!” Anya and I exclaimed in unison. The three of us leaned against a snow bank while Pete focused on his story.

*     *     *     *     *     *     *

It was a cold winter and food was scarce. Desperate for something to eat, a polar bear decided to go down to the lake. There he found an Arctic Fox feasting on the fish he had caught in the lake. “How did you catch all those fish?” the hungry bear asked.

The sly fox looked up at the bear and decided to have some fun with him. “Why, I used my tail,” he explained. The fox showed the bear a hole he had clawed in the ice. “All I do is drop my tail into the hole, and when I feel a fish bite, I pull it out quickly and enjoy my meal.”

The bear, anxious to get something to eat, trudged over to the hole and dropped his tail into the ice-cold water. At first, he moved his backside in a circle, making his tail swirl in the water. When that didn’t work, he pulled his tail in and out of the water over and over again, but had no luck.

After a while, the fox noticed the bear’s dark eyes close, pop open, then close again. Finally, the bear’s head dropped, and he dozed off.

Grinning, the fox went back to his meal of fish. When he returned to check on the bear, he found him sound asleep. Looking closer, the fox noticed that the water had frozen solid around the bear’s tail. He shrieked with laughter and danced around the slumbering bear.

“Bear, hey bear,” he finally yelled. “You caught a fish!

The polar bear woke with a snort. There was a loud SNAP as he jumped up quickly with all his strength.

“OW!!” he screamed. He swiveled his head around and stared at his backside. “OH NO!! he wailed. “MY TAIL! MY BEAUTIFUL TAIL!” The bear ran around what had been a fishing hole. Now his frozen tail stuck straight up, pointing to the sky.

“Fox, I’m going to get you for this!”

The Fox, still laughing, was faster than the bear and ran away.

*     *     *     *     *     *     *

“So, to this day, bears no longer have tails, and if you ever hear a bear moaning, it’s probably because he remembers the trick the fox played on the bear long ago.”

“Come on Pete, do you expect Anya and I to believe that?”

“Maybe not,” the bear snickered, “but it does show that playing tricks can have lasting and bad effects.”

“Santa, this may be a fun story to tell the children,” my wife said and put her hand on my shoulder.

“You’re right. ‘A Tale of the Tail’. I like that.”

The three of us howled as we hiked back towards the village.

Notes From Santa

I hope you enjoyed today’s story. Stories are posted on the 1st and 3rd Saturday of each month, except December. Santa’s next story will be posted on Saturday October 7, 2023.  If you have any comments or if there is something you would like me to tell you about, please feel free to leave me a comment. Until the next time . . .

To read more about Santa’s friends please check out

Santa’s Newest Friends – July 8 2019
Wiggle and Waddle Meet Polar Pete – July 15, 2019
A Visit From Jack Frost – January 20, 2020
The Lost Elves – February 3, 2020
Homesick Penguins – June 8, 2020
Nippy Falls Apart – March 8, 2021
Wiggle and Waddle Go Home – May 31, 2021
Missing Friends – July 1, 2022
Polar Pete’s New Friend – April 15, 2023

Find Cincy Santa (@CincySanta) on:

Facebook – Twitter – Instagram

Illustration from Pinterest 

Reindeer Secrets

When Ms. Claus came into my office, she found me with my head in my hands and my elbows on my desk. “Is something bothering you dear?”

I slowly looked up while keeping my hands on my face. “Yes!”

“Well how can I help?”

“I’m not sure you can.” Leaning back in my chair, I continued, “You know how I am always talking to children about being good?”

“Of course! That’s part of your job to help children know the difference between right and wrong and to grow up as good and kind adults.”

“Well, maybe I’m not the best role model,” I answered and sat next to my wife on the sofa.

Ms. Claus reached over and took my hand in hers. “What’s on your mind dear? It can’t be that bad.”

“Maybe not. But I’m afraid that if I correct the problem, the children and their parents might not think of me in the same way anymore. Who could ever trust a liar?”

“You!? I’ve never known you to lie! That’s crazy?”

“Well, it isn’t exactly a lie, more like information that wasn’t exactly true.” I turned to face my wife and explained. “You know that I have allowed everyone to think all my reindeer are boys when they are actually girls.”

Ms. Claus nodded.

“Over the years people have written stories about me and the reindeer,” I continued. “They gave them boys names and what many believe are manly characteristics of men like strongest or fastest. Eventually, everyone assumed they were all male.” I chuckled, “If people only knew the truth.”

Anya shook her head. “Imagine what would happen if they found out that male reindeer shed their antlers in early December, and females keep theirs all winter long.”

“That’s true,” I said and started to walk around my office. “I wonder what would happen if people also discovered that female reindeer are better adapted to the sub-zero weather we have during the Christmas season, than the males.”

“Well…. our elves know this,” Anya mentioned, “but I’m not sure the general public does.”

I stopped. “Exactly, but what if everyone around the world discovered these things. How would they feel? I plopped down on the sofa and stared at my wife. “What would they think about me,” I whispered and dropped my head into my hands.

Ms. Claus slid her arm around my shoulder and gave my arm a squeeze. “I understand that you’re feeling troubled about this,” she said gently. “But let’s look at this a little differently. First of all, it’s important to remember that your intentions have always been good. You spread joy, kindness, and goodwill among children and families all around the world. That’s just who you are.”

She took my hands in hers. “As for the gender of the reindeer, it’s not as if you intentionally misled anyone. Misunderstandings can arise over time, and correcting them is a natural part of growth and learning.”

“You’re right,” I answered and gave her a hug. “Besides, since I know the truth about my reindeer, I can share it anytime someone asks me a question about my team.”

I sat back and began to think about the reindeer. “Hum, there is a lot of reindeer information out there that is either wrong or hasn’t been shared.”

Anya slipped her arm through mine and cut into my thoughts. “If you do share details about the reindeer why not tell people why you picked them to pull your sleigh?”

“That’s easy, their eyesight. Since Christmas is in the winter and the sun sits lower on the horizon, the reindeer are able to see more ultraviolet light that humans can’t see, and their night vision is exceptional.”

“Is that true of both the males and females?” Anya snickered, giving me a punch on the arm.

“Very funny.”

“I thought so,” she laughed. “Besides, dear, people usually understand that things happen. They’ll likely appreciate your honesty and openness in setting the record straight.”

I sighed, feeling a bit relieved. “You’re right, Anya. I just want the spirit of Christmas to continue and that I remain a positive influence for children.”

My wife gave me a big hug. “And you will, dear. The magic of Christmas is in the love, joy, and kindness you share. You’re allowed to make mistakes, as long as you take responsibility for them.”

I felt encouraged and smiled. “Thank you, Anya. I needed someone to talk to about this.”

She grinned. “That’s what friends are for, even during the busiest times of the year. Now, what about developing a list of reindeer characteristics and maybe include why you chose each of the reindeer on your team.”

“I like that. I could even put pictures of them on my elf communicator to show the children. Yeah, I think this is going to work.”

Notes From Santa

I hope you enjoyed today’s story. Stories are posted on the 1st and 3rd Saturday of each month, except December. Santa’s next story will be posted on Saturday September 16, 2023.  If you have any comments or if there is something you would like me to tell you about, please feel free to leave me a comment. Until the next time . . .

To read more about Reindeer please check out:

How Rudolph Got His Red Nose – September 2, 2019
Dasher Becomes Part of Santas Team – October 28, 2019

Reiney Meets Cupid – February 10, 2020
Virus Threatens Santa’s Reindeer – March 30, 2020
Reindeer vs Technology – June 1, 2020
Blitzen Loses Race – August 31, 2020
Donner To The Rescue – November 16, 2020
Reindeer Games – September, 6, 2021

Find Cincy Santa (@CincySanta) on:

Facebook – Twitter – Instagram

Spotting Santa

The campground had settled down for the night as Ms. Claus and I roasted marshmallows over an open fire.

“Santa, I love living at the North Pole, but the beauty of the trees, the different wildlife and the blue skies in this area are a feast for the eyes,” Anya began while putting together her s’more. “I am so glad we have the use of this camper. Driving around Virginia has been fantastic.”

I nodded and took a bite out of a s’more. “These things are great,” I mumbled as I wiped the crumbs from my beard. “So, what would you like to do tomorrow?” I asked when finished.

“I thought we’d start with the five-mile hike up to Humpback Rocks.”

“Testing me to see if I’m in shape, aren’t you?”

Ms. Claus giggled. “You’ve been working out, so I thought you would be up for some hiking.”

“We’ll see what tomorrow brings,” I replied with a smile. Then the two of us leaned back to enjoy the fire.

In the morning, Ms. Claus and I had a quick breakfast and packed two lunches. “The hike will be challenging Santa,” Anya warned. “But the view will be spectacular once we reach the summit.”

“You don’t say,” I remarked. “Hope I’m up to the challenge.”

When we arrived at the parking lot, we looked at the map, chose our route, and began the five-mile trudge. Ms. Claus and I took our time huffing and puffing our way to Humpback Rocks. Two hours later, we reached the summit and were overwhelmed by the view.

Anya scampered up the rocks to one of the high points, and I carefully followed. Soon I heard, “Hey look, it’s Santa.” Turning around, I saw a group of young adults waving. “Do you mind if I get a selfie with you,” one of the girls called out. “Me too,” another exclaimed.

Anya stood up and suggested that she take a picture of the entire group with me.

“Too cool.” one of the teens commented. “Must be fun playing Santa.”

“Playing? Who says I’m playing?” I replied and winked.

“Good one,” he laughed. “Where are you from?”

“The North Pole of course,” I replied

“Yeah, right. Gotta admit, you really look like Santa.”

Accepting his phone from Anya, he and his friends waved. “Thanks for the pictures,” the group yelled and scurried onto another outcropping of rocks.

“You’re welcome,” I said and motioned for Anya to meet me on the path.

“Does that bother you when people don’t see you as the real Santa?” Anya remarked while we made our way down the trail.

I tried to make a joke but finally admitted that it did. “When children grow up, they stop believing in me and Christmas magic. That makes me sad.”

The rest of the hike was quiet as we maneuvered over the rocks and roots of the steep path. Reaching the parking lot, I asked my wife to grab our lunch and sat down at a picnic table on a small bluff overlooking low-lying mountains.

Anya nodded and walked towards the back end of the truck.

“I bet you’re Mrs. Claus,” a voice said.

Startled, Anya turned and saw a young girl staring at her. “How did you guess?”

“Well, I wasn’t sure at first because you don’t look anything like Mrs. Claus. Then I saw you talking to Santa on the trail, so I kinda thought you were.”

Anya chuckled. “So how am I supposed to look?” she asked.

“I just thought you’d be bigger and have gray hair, like Santa” The girl dropped her head. “Sorry, I shouldn’t have said that.”

Anya saw how embarrassed the girl was. “Don’t worry. I get that a lot from people who don’t know me. It’s OK. Let’s go over and see Santa,” Anya suggested and grabbed the cooler.

“YESSS.” The girl clapped her hands and spun around. “Thanks Mrs. Claus or is it Ms. Claus?”

“The elves call me Ms. Claus,” Anya explained, “so you can too.”

I had been watching my wife and the little girl talking with one another. When they approached the table, I knew who she was. “Well if it isn’t Carrie Walling from Virginia.”

“Santa, I knew you’d remember me,” she cried and rushed over to sit on the bench next to me.

“How are you doing young lady?” I asked and gave her a hug. “If I remember, in your letter to me, you were pretty worried about your mom.”

The girl nodded. “It took a while, but Mom finally got better.”

While the three of us talked about Carrie’s family and what she wanted for Christmas, I noticed a blonde-haired woman in hiking boots make her way toward us. “Carrie,” she cried, “how many times have I warned you about wandering away and pestering people.”

“But Mom, it’s Santa. He doesn’t mind.”

“Young lady, how do you know this is Santa?” the woman chuckled. “Sorry, but there isn’t a person my daughter won’t talk to wherever we go.”

“Mom, you always said that I’d know Santa when I saw him, and I….”

“Yes, but what I meant was…”

“NO! He’s the real deal.”

“Ms. Claus and I are glad to hear you’re feeling better now. Carrie was really worried.”

Mrs. Walling gave me a strange look as I took out four Santa stickers. I gave one to Carrie and handed the other three to her mom. “These are for you, your husband Frank, and your son Tommy,” I explained and pointed to a little boy nestled in his dad’s backpack.

“But… Ah… How did you…?”

“Told you Mom.” Carrie reached over and gave me a hug. Then she slipped her arms around Anya. “Thanks Ms. Claus. Even if you don’t look like what I thought Mrs. Claus should look like, I think you’re great.”

After the two left, Anya looked at me. “Feeling a little happier now.”

“Leave it up to children to make the day brighter,” I answered giving my wife a huge hug.

Notes From Santa

I hope you enjoyed today’s story. Stories are posted on the 1st and 3rd Saturday of each month, except December. Santa’s next story will be posted on Saturday September 2, 2023.  If you have any comments or if there is something you would like me to tell you about, please feel free to leave me a comment. Until the next time . . .

To read more about the adventures of Santa & Ms. Claus,  please check out

Santa’s Waterpark Adventure – September 9, 2019
Santa and Ms. Claus Go On Vacation – September 16, 2019
Stories From Santa & Ms. Claus on Vacation (Part 1) – September 23, 2019
Stories From Santa & Ms. Claus on Vacation (Part 2) – September 30, 2029
Stories From Santa & Ms. Claus on Vacation (Part 3) – October 7, 2019
Amusement Park Adventure – July 27, 2020
The Adventure Begins – July 5, 2021
Jack and Addie – August 9, 2021
Visiting Korvatunturi Mountain – February 15, 2022
Paradise Island – September 1, 2022

Find Cincy Santa (@CincySanta) on:

Facebook – Twitter – Instagram

International Games

“Fantastic! What an opening,” I yelled when the final whistle blew over the television.

“Both were delightful games to watch, especially since the host countries, Australia and New Zealand, won!” Ms. Claus clapped her hands and danced around the room. “World Cup games are so exciting.”

“This time the Women’s World Cup has been expanded to 32 teams. Should be interesting to see if the US becomes the first team ever, men or women, to win three world championships in a row. We’re looking at a thrilling July and August!” I shouted and joined Ms. Claus in her happy dance.

“So does this mean FIFA, the world governing body for football, is off your Naughty List?” Anya asked with a giggle when she and I sat down to catch our breath.

“The way I see it,” I snapped, “when FIFA held the Men’s World Cup during December last year, I had no time to watch the games.” I gave my wife a little glare then continued, “But they can get off the Naughty List when men and women soccer players are equally paid. Women work just as hard, if not harder, than the men do, and deserve the same pay.”

“I agree.” Anya smiled and settled into her chair to finish reading over the list of suggestions to improve mailroom efficiency. “Well, you better get back to work. The elves might think you’re goofing off.”

Closing our door behind me, I made my way to the kitchen for some cookies. When I entered, I heard Hanna singing as she cleared off the tables. “Well, you seem exceptionally happy.”

“Good morning, Santa!” she cried. “Who wouldn’t be. The Women’s World Cup started today, and you know how much elves love Jalkapallo!”

“You know we all speak English, you don’t have to use the Finnish word for football.”

“I know, but it seems appropriate since I am from Korvatunturi Mountain in Lapland, Finland. After all, elves began playing long before the rest of the world did, and called it Tyalie,” Hanna proudly announced and looked at her watch. “Sorry, Santa, but I need to finish and get to my game.”

“What game?”

“All the female elves have decided to create our own World Cup, while the real one is going on, and I’m on the US team.”

“That sounds like fun! Ms. Claus and I will come watch.”

“Great, but remember, we are playing by Tyalie rules, so sit by an elf who can help you understand Elven soccer.” Hanna grinned and rushed out through the kitchen.

“Hmm, I thought all soccer was played by the same rules,” I murmured, picked up the phone and tapped in Ms. Claus’s number. “Meet me outside by the western corral. You and I are about to see the Elven women play soccer.”

Anya put aside her work, slipped on her coat and made her way to the western exit. Spotting me, she called out, “This better be good,” and took a seat next to me. Focusing on the game taking place in front of us, she shook her head in confusion. “Wait a minute why are there only nine players on a side?”

“Hi Ms. Claus.” Bernard turned around and smiled. “You and Santa are about to learn the differences between Tyalie and world soccer. First of all, since the elves are smaller, there are only nine players. Secondly, the field size is reduced,” he explained.

My wife gave me a bewildered look. I shrugged my shoulders and whispered, “Don’t know anymore than you, so let’s just watch.”

Anya nodded. Together we turned to continue watching the elves play Tyalie.

Soon we were cheering on Hanna as she moved the ball towards the goal. “Bernard,” I shouted and jumped up to point at the field. “Someone forgot to mark the penalty box.”

“Calm down, Santa,” Bernard responded laughing. “There is no penalty box.”

I felt relieved. “That’s certainly different, and would eliminate all the arguing over whether a foul should be a penalty kick.”

“You and Ms. Claus will also notice that the goal box is larger and only the goalkeeper is allowed in it.”

“So, all the changes have to do with the field?” asked Anya.

“Not exactly….” Bernard began and then started to cheer when the US elves caused the ball to go out of bounds. “Watch this.”

Ms. Claus and I noticed that Lyra on the Finnish team kicked rather than threw the ball back into play. Another Finnish player took possession, dribbled the ball down field, and passed it to another player.

“You see, at least two players from the same team,” Bernard continued, “have to touch the ball on the attacking side of the field, before anyone can take a shot.”

Both Anya and I nodded. “OK, I get that, but where’s the referee?” Ms. Claus asked.


“Well yes. You need a neutral person to make sure the game is played fairly.”

“Santa? Ms. Claus? How long have you been working with elves?”

Confused, both of us looked at one another. “Centuries,” I replied, not sure what point Bernard was trying to make.

“When have you ever known us to cheat or argue with each other? Yes, we bicker, but we avoid serious arguments. It’s just not the Elven way.”

Anya groaned as I tried to apologize. “Of course, sorry about that.” Embarrassed, I changed the subject. “So, you don’t even have fouls?”

“Of course, we do.” Bernard shook his head. “Santa, you know that elves can make mistakes. In Tyalie, we just admit it and the other team gets a free kick. Now can we just watch the game.”

I could tell that Bernard was starting to lose patience, so Anya and I turned to enjoy the game, saving any questions for later.

When the game ended in a 2-2 tie, I shouted, “Well played. Congratulations!!!”

“We enjoyed the game,” Ms. Claus hollered over the loud cheering, “and love how all of you worked through your disagreements on the field.”

“No wonder I choose elves to work with us at the North Pole.” I held up my hands for silence. “Your honesty, hard work, and willingness to settle problems has made the North Pole a wonderful place to work and live.”

While the elves applauded, Bernard reminded them of the celebration in the dining hall where Blanche and her staff were serving hot chocolate and cookies.

Ms. Claus and I let the roaring crowd march down the hallway ahead of us while we followed. “I do wish children could see what it looks like when the elves work things out.” I sighed and shook my head.

“Santa, you know as well as I do that children are not like the elves. They have to make mistakes so they learn from them,” Anya remarked. “Then they can improve and grow up to become good adults.”

“You’re right.” I stopped and gave my wife a hug. “I always remind the children that one bad thing does not get you on the Naughty List.” Then I dropped my head and murmured, “But I still feel bad for not understanding why elves didn’t need a referee.”

“Don’t worry about that Santa and appreciate what we got to see, our first Tyalie game.” Anya chuckled and slid her arm through mine. “Besides, even Santa can learn from his mistakes.”

Notes From Santa

I hope you enjoyed today’s story. Stories are posted on the 1st and 3rd Saturday of each month, except December. Santa’s next story will be posted on Saturday August 19, 2023.  If you have any comments or if there is something you would like me to tell you about, please feel free to leave me a comment. Until the next time . . .

To read about why Association Football is called Soccer in the U.S. please check out

Why Do Americans Call It Soccer Instead of Football? Blame England

Find Cincy Santa (@CincySanta) on:
 – Twitter – Instagram

Broccoli Cookies

Gaucho, one of my reindeer herders, had finished his lunch, when Hanna came by with a platter of cookies. “Would you like to try these?”

“Of course. I couldn’t be a North Pole Elf if I didn’t like cookies,” he responded and took one from the platter. “These look a bit different. What’s the green stuff?”

“Since Ms. Claus always talks about how great it would be if cookies could be a healthy snack,” she explained, “I made these with broccoli so that she wouldn’t have to worry about Santa eating too many.”

A sour look came over Gaucho’s face, and he slid the cookie back onto the platter.

“What’s wrong?” Hanna asked. “You like broccoli, so why not in a cookie? Just give it a try.”

The reindeer herder hesitated, picked up a cookie, and took a small nibble. Not wanting to hurt Hanna’s feelings, Gaucho nodded. “You’re right. They aren’t as bad as I thought.”

“See I told you. Please, take some back to the reindeer barns and share with the other herders. I made too many.”

Still not wanting to hurt Hanna’s feelings, Gaucho agreed to take the extra cookies, and went back to work. When he arrived at the barn, it was time for Fireball and Cletus to be fed.

While getting their oats and grains, the elf wondered if the reindeer would eat the cookies if he crumbled them up in their feed. He checked to see if anyone was watching and then added the cookies. When he set the buckets down in the stall, the reindeer gobbled up the new concoction.

“Wow! You two are either hungry or like those cookies. Better that you eat them than me,” chuckled Gaucho as he hand fed them the remaining ones.

When Gaucho heard footsteps in the barn, he turned to see Bernard strolling in his direction. “Have you fed these two?”

“Just finished,” Gaucho responded, relieved that Bernard had not seen what he had done.

“Good. Santa and Ms. Claus have decided to go for a ride, so I need you to harness Fireball and Cletus up to Ms. Claus’s sleigh, the Dulcet.”

“No problem, I’ll get right on it.” Twenty minutes later, the elf had the Dulcet ready just as Ms. Claus and Santa arrived.

“Good afternoon, Gaucho. Are we all set for a ride?” Rubbing my hands together, I smiled. “Can’t wait to get this sleigh in the air. We have been looking forward to this day trip.”

“Absolutely Santa,” the elf responded as he offered his hand to help Ms. Claus into the sleigh.

“Tell Bernard we should be back before dinner,” I informed him as I grabbed the reins.

While the reindeer and sleigh rose into the sky, Anya pulled a blanket over our laps and placed her head on my shoulder. “I love it when we get to take a ride like this.”

“I could not agree more. Should we fly over Elfkoti to see what the Elves are up to?”

“I’d love that. Korvatuntori Mountain should be beautiful this time of year.”

The ride was delightful but short-lived when the sound of a loud “braaap” was heard.

Anya was quick to give me a little shove. “Santa, really?!”

“What? That wasn’t me.”

No sooner had I said that than another, louder “braaap” blasted the air.

“I’m serious Anya. I’m not farting!”

When a disgusting smell overtook Ms. Claus and I, we pinched our noses. “I think it’s the reindeer,” I hollered.

The farts became louder and longer as if the reindeer were competing against one another.

Before the last “braaaaaaap” ended, Anya pleaded, “We need to go back! The smell is too much.”

Without responding, I pulled on the left rein to turn the team around and headed back to the North Pole village.

When we landed, Bernard came running out, “Is something wrong? I didn’t expect you back for hours.”

Both Ms. Claus and I scrambled to get out of the sleigh as quickly as possible.

Bernard reached it just as Cletus and Fireball let out loud, long farts at the same time. “Whoa!!!” he screamed. “What is that horrible smell?”

“It’s the reindeer!” I exclaimed. “What did the herders feed them?”

Bernard didn’t know what to say. Seeing Gaucho standing by the barn door, he motioned for him.

With his head down, the elf wandered toward the group. “Yes,” he mumbled sheepishly.

“I know you fed these reindeer before you hitched them up,” Bernard began. When Fireball and Cletus let out more farts, Bernard backed away. “Holy cow, what did you feed them?”

“Well, I ah . . .” Gaucho began and shuffled his feet.

“I think you need to tell us everything you fed the reindeer,” I commanded and watched the elf continue to avoid looking at us.

“I’m sorry,” Gaucho whined, “but Hanna had these broccoli . . .”

“Don’t tell me you fed them broccoli?!” I interrupted in a loud voice.

“Um …. not exactly.”

“What’s that supposed to mean?” Bernard demanded.

“They were broccoli cookies that Hanna gave me.”

“WHAT?” the three of us exclaimed together.

Bernard shook his finger at the elf. “You have been doing this long enough to know that broccoli gives the reindeer gas!”

“I thought that since it was in a cookie, it wouldn’t be the same,” Gaucho tried to explain. “Besides, isn’t broccoli supposed to be good for you?”

“It is good for you, just not reindeer,” Anya explained and clapped her hands. “I love, however, what Hanna tried to do. Hmmm, broccoli might not work, but I wonder if she tried to create carrot or pumpkin spice cookies.”

“Now you’re going to put me on a diet of healthy cookies. I’m not sure I like that idea,” I grumbled.

“If that’s the way you will eat more vegetables, then I think that’s a great solution. How about you, Bernard?” Anya grinned and turned to my head elf for support.

“I’ve been around too long and know that when it comes to Santa and cookies, I stay out of it. After all, I want to keep my job,” he laughed.

“Smart answer,” I announced and patted him on the back. “Always knew you were a wise elf.”

Notes From Santa

I hope you enjoyed today’s story. Stories are posted on the 1st and 3rd Saturday of each month, except December. Santa’s next story will be posted on Saturday August 5, 2023.  If you have any comments or if there is something you would like me to tell you about, please feel free to leave me a comment. Until the next time . . .

To read more about Santa’s reindeer please check out

How Rudolph Got His Red Nose – September 2, 2019
Dasher Becomes Part of Santas Team – October 28, 2019
Reiney Meets Cupid – February 10, 2020
Virus Threatens Santa’s Reindeer – March 30, 2020
Reindeer vs Technology – June 1, 2020
Blitzen Loses Race – August 31, 2020
False Alarm – July 15, 2022

Find Cincy Santa (@CincySanta) on:

Facebook – Twitter – Instagram

Image from Dishin’ Nutrition 

Nosing Around

Ms. Claus and I were out for a stroll in the new fallen snow, when we heard a loud roar. “That sounded like a scared polar bear!”

“What could possibly scare a Polar Bear?” asked Anya.

As soon as Ms. Claus finished her question, Polar Pete came running around a big mound of snow. Stopping suddenly, Pete took a deep breath. “Ms. Claus, Santa, I’m glad I found you! It’s Nippy! I just saw him down by the ice pond and he just stood there. I tried talking to him, but it was as if I wasn’t even there.”

“Santa, we need to do something!” Anya exclaimed. “Pete, can you take us to him.”

Pete quickly walked in the direction where he came from, and the two of us followed. Ms. Claus grabbed my hand and squeezed it tightly. I gave it a little shake to let her know it would all be okay. When we came to the crest of a hill, the large polar bear stood on his hind legs and pointed in the direction of the ice pond. “See! He hasn’t moved since I saw him before.”

At the bottom of the hill, the snowman stood with his back to us. I could tell it was Nippy because of his red plaid hat with ear flaps hanging down on the side of his head. The hockey stick rejects from my sports shop, which served as his arms, were lifeless.

“Come on, let’s get down there and help him,” Anya urged.

“Nippy! Hey NIPPY!” we yelled while walking toward him.

The three of us heard nothing nor noticed any movement. When we finally reached the snowman, I looked into Nippy’s face and was shocked.

“What is it, Santa? What’s wrong?” Anya shouted.

I straightened up and stepped away from the water. “I know what the problem is. Nippy has lost his nose.”

Ms. Claus and Polar Pete shook their heads and shrugged their shoulders.

I smiled. “Let me explain. Both of you know that Nippy’s cousin, Frosty, got his life from his old silk top hat, right?” As they nodded, I continued, “Well, Nippy’s yellow squash nose that turns down to the ground like a parrot’s beak is what gives him life, but that’s missing.”

My wife and favorite polar bear gasped and started searching for the squash.

“I don’t think you’re going to find it,” I said sadly. “Since Nippy is standing so close to the pond, I fear it fell off and floated away.”

“Well, hello. What brings the four of you out here on this snowy day?”

Surprised at the sound of a voice without a body, we watched as Onni, the Artic Fox, got up from his resting place. His white fur had hidden him from view.

“Our friend Nippy seems to have lost his nose, which is where he gets his life,” Pete explained. “We’re afraid it may have floated away.”

“That is a definite problem,” Onni replied. “How can I help?”

Without hesitating, I gave everyone an area to search. “Pete, you’re a good swimmer, check the pond. Anya, you and I will go in the opposite direction from one another around the pond to see if Nippy’s nose washed up on the bank. Onni, search around the area where Nippy is standing.”

Pete dove into the pond and began swimming every inch of the water. Anya walked to the left of Nippy, and I headed in the opposite direction scouring the bank as we went.

Onni watched as the search began. “If Nippy’s nose didn’t fall into the water,” he murmured to himself, “how could it possibly fall anywhere but right in front of him.” Then he suddenly scampered away to begin his hunt.

When Ms. Claus and I met up on the opposite side of the pond, we both looked at each other’s empty hands. I put my arm around Anya to comfort her. “I’m sure Pete will find it.”

Soon, Polar Pete climbed out of the pond. Shaking his entire body to get as much water off as he could, I couldn’t help but notice he didn’t have the lost nose. “No squash?”

“I’m sorry Santa,” Pete answered hanging his head in disappointment.

“Let’s hope that Onni found it.”

The three of us hiked slowly back to where Nippy was standing, feeling like we had let him down, when voices in the distance surprised us.  “Who could that be?” I asked my partners.

“Call me crazy,” Polar Pete began, “but I think that sounds like Nippy.”

“I agree!” Anya exclaimed. “Come on let’s hurry.”

Approaching the voices, we stopped dead in our tracks. “I don’t believe it!”

Seeing Nippy and Onni standing there talking to each other, we raced over to give them both hugs.

“How did you find Nippy’s nose?” I asked.

“After all of you left, I got to thinking,” the Arctic Fox began. “Nippy’s nose had to either be in the pond or on the ground right in front of him. While watching Pete, I noticed an Artic Hare, scramble across the snow.”

Impatient, Pete slammed his paw down. “We want to know how you found his nose, not about some hare!”

“Can everyone just settle down and let Onni tell his story,” Ms. Claus said in a calm voice. “Go on Onni.”

“Thanks Ms. Claus. You see, I wondered if the hare might have seen the nose and carted it off for food. So, I followed him to his burrow and . . .”

“You found my nose? Thank you so much!” Nippy shouted.

“I’ll be!” I exclaimed. “I guess there is something to that phrase ‘Crazy Like a Fox.’”

“I know I’m just a polar bear, Santa, but I don’t understand what you mean.”

“What Onni did, seemed to be nonsensical to us, but was actually very clever.”

Pete reached over and patted Onni on the back. “My friend, you can be crazy any time you want if it always produces good results like this.”

Notes From Santa

I hope you enjoyed today’s story. Stories are posted on the 1st and 3rd Saturday of each month, except December. Santa’s next story will be posted on Saturday June 15, 2023.  If you have any comments or if there is something you would like me to tell you about, please feel free to leave me a comment. Until the next time . . .

To read more about Santa’s friends please check out

Santa’s Newest Friends – July 8 2019
Wiggle and Waddle Meet Polar Pete – July 15, 2019
A Visit From Jack Frost – January 20, 2020
The Lost Elves – February 3, 2020
Homesick Penguins – June 8, 2020
Nippy Falls Apart – March 8, 2021
Wiggle and Waddle Go Home – May 31, 2021
Missing Friends – July 1, 2022
Pete’s New Friend – April 15, 2023

Find Cincy Santa (@CincySanta) on:

Facebook – Twitter – Instagram

Illustration by FireMane Studio