Flying Elf

Walking through the courtyard on the way to her job in the kitchen, Doheny passed by Lyra, who had the biggest grin on her face. “Lyra, you look especially happy today. Is it your birthday?”

“No, but it sure feels like it. For some reason, I seem to be able to jump and leap higher than ever before. Watch this!” With very little effort, Lyra leaped into the air and must have jumped a good ten feet straight up.

“Wow! How did you do that? I’ve never seen any elf who was able to jump like that!”

“I don’t know. It just started after breakfast this morning. I don’t know how I do it, but I sure like it! It’s like being on a trampoline. See you later, I need to get to school,” Lyra said as she bounced her way across the courtyard away from Doheny.

Doheny opened the door to the administration building where the kitchen is, and started walking in while still staring back at Lyra leaping into the air.

“Whoa there Doheny,” I said as she bumped into me in the doorway.

“Santa, I’m glad I ran into you!”

“You sound a little upset. Is everything okay?”

“I’m a little worried about Lyra. Have you seen her lately?”

“Not since yesterday. Why?”

“I think that maybe she has eaten some jumping beans or something. When she walks, she bounces really high into the air. I’ve never seen an elf do that,” Doheny stated.

“She is probably just happy and . . .” I started when Doheny broke in.

“There, look on the other side of the courtyard. Can you see her between the dorms and the Elf University building?”

Looking over I could see Lyra jumping as high as the second floor of the dorms. “Oh my, I see what you mean. I better get Bernard and look into it.”

I immediately turned around and headed back to my office.

When I got there, I hit the button on the intercom, “Telsa, can you get Bernard to meet me in my office as soon as possible?”

“I’m on it Santa. I’ll let him know right away.”

“Thanks Telsa.”

I sat at my desk when Bernard came in and I told him what I had seen Lyra doing. Then noticing Bernard staring at the wall behind me and seeming to ignore me, I said, “Did you hear me? What are you looking at?”

“Did you spill some of the reindeer Fairy Dust?”

“Of course not. We both know how precious that dust is and I am always very careful when anyone handles it. That’s why I keep all the fairy dust we use for Christmas Magic in my safe.”

“Look at the top of your safe.”

Swiveling around in my chair, I saw a bag of red dust on top the safe. It had been opened and some of the dust had spilled out.

“Now how did that get there,” I wondered to myself.

Looking back at Bernard, “The fairies were supposed to make a delivery this morning, but they have the combination to the safe, so they can properly store it if I am not here.”

“Well it would appear they just set it on top today. Do you think Lyra got into the bag?”

“The elves know they are not allowed in my office if I am not here, but I suppose it is possible. Maybe we should get Lyra in here and ask some questions.”

“I agree. I scheduled her for some training over at the University today. I’ll call over to the school and have her sent over here right away.”

Bernard and I were sitting on my couch talking about the day’s schedule, when Lyra walked in, “Afternoon Santa, Bernard. You wanted to see me?”

“Yes, we did.” I pointed to the corner safe and asked, “I don’t suppose you know anything about this do you?”

Lyra’s face turned a bright red, as she responded, “I umm . . . umm. I may have made a mistake.”

“Can you tell me what happened?” I asked.

“Well, I had just finished breakfast and was walking down the hallway to head over to school when I noticed a couple fairies fly into your office with a small bag. Looking into the office, I saw them try to open the safe and then just leave the bag on top of it.”

Looking a bit relieved to be telling her story, she continued, “When they left, I just had to see what was in the bag. Opening the bag, I saw what I thought was red sprinkles, and loving sprinkles, I took a taste.” Twisting her mouth into a sour look, “Boy was I wrong. I found out right away it was not what I thought, and I left,” she continued.

“That bag was my new supply of Red Fairy Dust for the reindeer. It is what Highstep, the elf in charge of the reindeer, and I use to make them fly.”

“I guess that explains why I bounced when I walked.”

Bernard with a slight grin, responded, “Lyra, now that we know what happened, the effects of the dust should wear off in a few hours, but I sincerely hope you do not go into any of our offices again without our permission.”

“You can count on that. I have definitely learned a lesson today!”

Notes From Santa

I hope you enjoyed today’s story. I will post another one June 1, 2022. 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 next week . . .

Read more about the Snow Fairies:

Lost Fairy Dust – May 11, 2020
Meeting Queen Gwendolen – May 25, 2020
Christmas Movies – January 18, 2021
Land of the Mystic – March 29, 2021
Fairy Dust Shortage – July 26, 2021

Find Cincy Santa (@CincySanta) on:

Facebook – Twitter – Instagram

Illustration by FireMane Studio

Ways To Communicate

Ms. Claus and I were sitting around the campfire in the courtyard one night as the elves made their favorite snack, s’mores.  “It’s always fun watching them roast their marshmallows,” I said turning to face my wife.  “But it never fails to turn into a contest of making the best. Now I prefer mine…”

Smiling, Anya put up her hand. “Lightly toasted where the center is so soft, it’s almost liquid,” she finished.

Laughing loudly, I watched Lyle, one of my newest elves as he came over and offered Anya and me each a toasted marshmallow. Even though mine was a little burnt on one side, I smiled and thanked him. As I was eating it, he asked, “Santa, I know you deliver all over the world, but I was wondering…” Hesitating as if thinking, he finally finished. “Do you know all the different languages spoken around the world?”

“I do know several, but have to confess, I do not know all of them.” Watching him scratch his head, he looked a bit confused, so I continued. “See the elf wearing an orange-colored, French Beret, instead of the traditional elf hat,” I said pointing in the direction for him to look. Once he nodded, I added, “Well that’s Babble. During his vast travels, he has learned the dialect from many different countries. His knack for learning languages is phenomenal.”

“So, he interprets for you?”

“Yes, he does. I don’t know what I would do without him in some places.”

Rubbing his chin, the young elf asked, “What do you do if the child cannot speak or is deaf?”

“That’s an excellent question,” Anya said. “There are many children with hearing issues who cannot communicate with words like us. Some are able to read lips,” she explained while lightly brushing my beard and mustache, “but as you can see, that would be hard with Santa.”

“Very funny dear,” I responded. Looking back toward Lyle, I added, “Most hearing-impaired people use sign language to communicate. I know a lot of the basics, and usually the parents will help interpret for me if I don’t understand.”

Ms. Claus leaned over toward the elf, who had sat on the ground in front of us. “Did you know all living things have ways of communicating with each other. For instance, the different sounds the birds make all have meaning to other birds.”

“So even the roar of a tiger or bear is just them communicating?” Lyle wondered aloud.

“Exactly!” Anya exclaimed. “Their roars vary slightly to mean different things to other tigers or bears.”

“I never thought about that before,” the elf responded.

“You know it is not just creatures that have a way of communicating,” I informed him. When both Anya and Lyle looked at me like I was crazy, I smiled and explained, “Some plants and trees have been known to communicate with each other.”

“Is this another one of your silly stories?” Anya demanded to know.

“Ho, Ho, Ho, do you really think I would make that up?”

“Well, of course,” Anya responded as Lyle giggled.

“I was visiting some of my J.A.T.S. (Jolly Assistants to Santa) recently, and the wife of one of them, Dr. Suzanne Simard, who has been studying trees for some time, told us about tree communication. According to her, trees transmit messages by sending chemical, hormonal, and even slow-pulsing electrical signals to each other.”

Several of the elves must have overheard what I was saying and began sitting and standing around Lyle. “According to Suzanne, trees have a sense of touch, smell, and hearing.”

“I think you’re making this up, Santa,” Peppermint hollered from the crowd of elves.

“I am dead serious!” I insisted. “For example, if a pine tree is cut or injured, the tree senses that and immediately sends sap to the affected area to begin the healing process. It’s similar to the way our bodies react to an injury.”

“How do they hear?” asked another elf.

“Though scientists are not sure exactly how, Dr. Simard explained that trees emit and detect sounds through their roots at a certain frequency. According to her studies, a tree’s roots grow toward the sound of running water, and certain flowering plants make their nectar sweeter when they hear the buzzing of a bee’s wings.”

“That all sounds fascinating, but what about smelling? How does she know they can smell?” Anya wanted to know.

“I found that to be the most interesting thing I learned from the doctor. Trees and plants apparently smell through their leaves. For example, she told us that the Acacia tree, whose leaves giraffes love to eat, will produce some sort of gas when the leaves are being eaten. When the neighboring trees pick up the scent, they begin pumping tannins into their leaves.”

“What’s tannins, Santa?” Lyle asked.

It’s like a poison, and if a giraffe eats enough of it, they will get sick and can even die from it.”

Shocked by what I just said, Ms. Claus shook her head declaring, “That’s terrible! I love giraffes. How do they survive if that’s their favorite source of food?”

“I was just as stunned and asked her the same question.”

When I hesitated, several elves shouted, “Well what did she tell you?”

“Apparently, the giraffes are smarter than you might think. Seems they figured out that if they eat from the trees facing the wind, the trees won’t smell the warning gas, or if they eat from trees at least 100 yards from the others, the gas won’t reach them.”

When I finished, the elves nodded their heads and began talking quietly while returning to the fire to make more s’mores. Hugging my arm, Anya remarked, “Thanks for sharing that. I find it amazing how many levels of communication there are in this world. Who knew that trees communicated with each other.”

“Yes, it shows you just how connected everyone and everything is in our world,” I replied, standing up. “Now let’s go over and talk one of the elves into making me the perfect s’more.”

“I know,” groaned Anya smiling “Lightly toasted with a center so soft it could melt in your mouth.”

“You know me so well, my dear!”

Notes From Santa

I hope you enjoyed today’s story. I will post another one on May 15, 2022. 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 next week . . .

To read more about Trees Communicating please check out:

Let’s Talk Trees

To read more about Babble and Communication please check out:

Translating Letters For Santa – August 19, 2019
What Did You Say? –  April 19, 2021

To read more about Elf parties and celebrations please check out:

Magic Beans – June 21, 2021
Let The Games Begin – August 16, 2021
Elfkin Festival – November 1, 2021
Visiting Korvatunturi Mountain – February 15, 2022
Dance Party – April 15, 2022

Find Cincy Santa (@CincySanta) on:

Facebook – Twitter – Instagram

Picture from Luxe Adventure Travel

Dance Party

The dining hall was filled with chatter as Ms. Claus and I sat at our favorite table near the fireplace. I nudged Anya and said, “I think this little dance party you have set up after dinner is going to be a big hit!”

“I hope so. The elves need to have some fun before production schedules limit their free time.”

“Well, based on the buzz around here, this evening will be one to remember!” I exclaimed while waving Doheny over to take our order.

Approaching the table, she shouted, “Great idea, Ms. Claus. Wait till you see me do the Irish Jig.”

Hanna, who was at the next table taking an order, overheard Doheny and yelled, “Good luck with that dance. I’m doing the Jitterbug with Bernard.”

After giving our order, I took Anya’s hand and looked around the room. “I wonder if there will be more traditional dances or those modern ones that everyone does on the TikTok app all the kids watch.”

“I have no idea, but I am curious what dance you will do tonight?” Anya asked as she sat back in her chair grinning from ear to ear.

“Me? Dance? You know I’m a terrible dancer.”

“But dear, the elves will be expecting you to join in the fun. There has to be one dance you can do.”

Squirming in my seat, I asked, “You wouldn’t want me to ruin the night for everyone now, would you?”

As Ms. Claus began nodding her head in agreement, I felt confident I would be able to get out of dancing. Then she suddenly stood up. “Can I have your attention please?” When the room went silent, she continued, “How many of you would like Santa to participate in the dance party after dinner?”

The room erupted in cheers. When the elves chanted, ‘Santa! Santa!’ I felt my face turning red with embarrassment. “Thanks, dear,” I muttered while nodding to let everyone know I would dance tonight.

Looking at Anya as she sat down, I smiled and remarked, “You know I will need a partner.”

“I thought you’d never ask,” she responded with a laugh while Doheny brought our dinner to the table.

When the elves finished their dinner, they made their way over to the Community Hall and began playing some tunes. “Lottery” by K Camp was blaring over the speakers when the Kitchen Elves arrived after cleaning the dining hall. A crowd soon encircled Peppermint, Syrup, Eli, and Rose as they did the Renegade.

Walking into the crowded center, I leaned over to talk directly into Ms. Claus’s ear so she could hear me. “Looks like we are starting with the modern TikTok dances.”

Anya gave me a thumbs up, and grabbing my hand she rushed over to get a better view pulling me with her. “I love these new dances!”

After the girls danced, the boys decided it was their turn. Babble and Booker took to the floor as Blanco Brown’s “The Git Up” began playing. The duo danced the Git Up Challenge, a quirky dance with a country background.

The elves kept taking turns doing several modern dances when all of a sudden there was a shift. I seized Anya’s hand as Chubby Checkers’ “The Twist” came on. “Come on, I know this one!”

I think I surprised the elves as I twisted my hips from right to left and back again. When I shifted my weight forward and backward, they began hooting and hollering.  Once the dance tune came to an end, Anya and I took a bow and headed back to our table when “Do the Funky Chicken” by Rufus Thomas blared through the loudspeaker.

Stopping in mid step, we returned to the dance floor and began imitating a strutting chicken. As we curled our arms to make wings, we squatted and made clucking sounds. It did not take long before all the elves joined us. When the song finished, I looked at Ms. Claus and said, “That’s it, I’ve done my bit, and now I need to sit.”

Anya smiled at me saying, “I understand. You don’t mind if I keep dancing, do you?”

“Of course not,” I responded giving her a kiss on the cheek.

As the night went on just about every type of dance was performed including some line dancing, the Charleston, Polka, Salsa, Tango, and Jitterbug. Then when the dance party was about to come to an end, Hanna took the microphone and announced, “Could I have your attention please.” As the elves turned toward her to listen, she continued, “I know this was a party for the elves, but one dance has not been performed yet. So, let’s give it up for Dancer and his performance of the “Dance of the Sugar Plum Fairy” from The Nutcracker Suite!”

Giving Dancer a rousing applause, the elves made a path for him when he approached the dance floor. While the music started, Dancer began his ballet routine on pointe. Displaying unusual grace for a reindeer, Dancer made his turns elegantly.  As the music came close to the end, he attempted a big Sauté (jump). However, when his left rear hoof hit the floor, it slipped out from under him. With each leg pointed in a different direction, he slid across the floor and hit the wall. As the music concluded, poor Dancer landed upside down with his backside against the wall.

While the elves began laughing aloud, Anya looked at me and said, “This is not good Santa. Will Dancer be okay with everyone laughing at him like that?”

Suddenly, Dancer began snorting and laughing along with the elves. When the hall erupted into applause, everyone cheered loudly.

“How did you know he would not be upset?” Ms. Claus asked.

“That’s why I picked him. I figured any reindeer that is as cool-headed and even-tempered as he is, belonged on my team.”

As all the elves started leaving the meeting hall, I gave Anya a big hug and told her, “I’m glad you put this together. I think the elves are now ready to begin production for Christmas 2022.”

 Notes From Santa

I hope you enjoyed today’s story. I will post another one on May 1st. 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 next week . . .

To read more about Elf parties and celebrations please check out:

Magic Beans – June 21, 2021
Let The Games Begin – August 16, 2021
Elfkin Festival – November 1, 2021
Visiting Korvatunturi Mountain – February 15, 2022

Find Cincy Santa (@CincySanta) on:

Facebook – Twitter – Instagram

 

Illustration from Envato Market

Goofing Off

Entering my office, Bernard saw a blanket stretched over my table and sofa with a small light underneath. “Santa?” he called out. When he heard no answer, he scratched his head and walked over towards the makeshift tent.

Lifting up a corner of the blanket, I looked out to see a dumbfounded Bernard standing there. “Ho, Ho, Ho! Bernard, come in and join me.”

Unsure what to do, Bernard got on his knees and crawled under the blanket. “Why are you wearing your reindeer pajamas?” he asked, startled by my appearance, “and what are you doing in here? Are you OK?”

“Of course, why wouldn’t I be? Have a cookie?” I asked holding a plate out for him.

“Uh sure, I guess,” Bernard responded a little surprised.

“What can I do for you today?”

“Well, I came by to remind you about the meeting with all the workshop supervisors to discuss production start-up for 2022.”

“I totally forgot. We should get going,” I said as I finished my cookie and crawled out of the tent.

“Are you going like that?”

“Sure, why not. I’m comfortable, don’t you like them?”

“They’re nice,” he answered while we made our way down the hall.

Passing several elves, I noticed their strange stares as they gave Bernard weird looks.

“What’s up with Santa?” they whispered. Though I pretended not to notice, Bernard shrugged his shoulders while he continued to follow me.

Reaching the conference room, I opened the door and announced, “Welcome everyone. It’s nice to see everyone.” Keeping a serious face, I watched as the supervisors began to laugh.  Holding a finger to his lips, I noticed Bernard shake his head. Suddenly, all of them sat down in silence, watching me as if they didn’t know who I was.

“Let’s have some fun!” I exclaimed, sitting in my chair. I began removing my shoes and socks, and tried not to smile. “Today we need to relax, so let’s begin by doing away with shoes and socks,” I declared.

Looking at each other strangely, the elves shrugged their shoulders and did what I asked.

“Santa I’m not sure . . ..” began Bernard.

I immediately cut him off as I threw my socks on the table, “Come on now. Everyone get those socks off and throw them in the middle of the table.”

“OK, if that’s what you want Santa,” Bernard replied giving me a confused stare, while the pile continued to grow.

Once the elves had their socks off, I stood and motioned for all of them to stand as well. “On the count of three, everyone grab a sock and put it on your right foot, then grab another and put that one on over the other one. We will keep going until all the socks are gone and the elf with the most socks on wins.”

Being fun-loving elves, their faces turned from confusion to excitement as they prepared for the competition.

While they wiggled to get an advantage over those next to them, I yelled, “One, Two, Three, Go!!”

Scrambling to grab a purple sock, Patches screamed, “Remember, one sock at a time!” when Fizzlepop tried to steal two.

Everyone laughed and shouted when getting one sock on over another became more challenging. Finally, Clunker grabbed the last sock from the table.

“You have to be able to get it on for it to count,” I informed him.

Once Clunker pulled on the last sock, I shouted, “Okay, take the socks off and count how many you have.”

Several elves hollered out ‘Three’ as they took them off. Then Needler roared, “I’ve got four!” After a few seconds, Parlor yelled, “I got that beat,” and held up five socks.

“Looks like we have a winner, thanks for playing,” I responded. The elves began gathering their own socks to put them back on when I announced, “Today I think we just need to have some fun. Take the day off and we will meet here tomorrow to discuss production.” I then left the room before they could say anything.

From there I headed to the dining hall. When I sat at my favorite table by the fireplace, Hannah came up and asked, “What can I get you for lunch Santa?”

“A large bowl of snow, a scoop of vanilla ice cream, and some cherry syrup.” After a slight pause I added, “Oh and an extra bowl and spoon.”

“What?” Hannah muttered.

“A large bowl of snow, a scoop of ice cream . . .”

“I heard what you said. I just don’t understand why you want that.”

“You’ll see.”

When Hannah returned, she placed all the items on the table. Sitting down, she watched as I scooped half the snow into the empty bowl. Adding the ice cream, I covered it with the rest of the snow. After packing the snow tightly around the ice cream with my spoon, I poured cherry syrup over it and began eating.

“Have you ever had an ice ball with ice cream?” I asked Hannah. As she shook her head, I pushed the bowl in front of her and handed her the spoon. “Make sure you get some of the ice cream.”

Hannah slowly took a spoon full of the concoction and placed it in her mouth. Her frown quickly turned to a big smile. “Oh my! That’s wonderful!”

“I knew you’d like it. One of my J.A.T.S. (Jolly Assistants to Santa) from Kentucky told me about this.”

“I have to tell Blanch. Maybe we can have this as dessert for everyone!” Before I could respond, Hannah disappeared into the kitchen.

Finishing my sweet treat, I got up and turned to leave and found Ms. Claus standing behind my chair. “Hi dear,” I said giving her a hug. “Didn’t see you there. I was just on my way to take a ride on Blitzen.”

“In your night clothes,” Anya asked.

Looking down at my pajamas, I smiled. “Why not. Times a ‘wasting,” I said politely and walked around my wife.

While Ms. Claus watched her husband head towards the reindeer barn, Bernard, Clunker, and Wheelie approached her. “What’s up with Santa?” Bernard remarked. “He’s not making any sense today.”

“Yeah, he’s acting really strange,” Clunker added.

“Besides,” Wheelie wanted to know, “why is he still in his pajamas?”

Ms. Claus giggled. “Seems he read something about today being National Goof-Off Day in America,” she replied, “so he decided he should celebrate.”

“That explains it,” laughed Bernard. “We’re used to him taking the business of the North Pole seriously and forgot that Santa has a fun-loving side.”

“I guess he deserves a break,” chuckled Wheelie, “to let that Jolly Old Elf out.”

“Good thing today only happens once a year,” Ms. Claus said motioning for Hannah to return to the table. “In the spirit of goofing off, why don’t you join me and have an ice cream snow ball?!”

“YEAH!!” the three elves yelled. “Now you’re talking!”

Notes From Santa

I hope you enjoyed today’s story. I will post another one on April 15th. 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 next week . . .

To read more about J.A.T.S. please check out:

Santa’s Summer Exploration – August 5, 2019
 J.A.T.S. Training – March 2, 2020
The White Feather – May 18, 2020
The Real Santa – August 17, 2020
Is Santa Retiring – April 26, 2021

Find Cincy Santa (@CincySanta) on:

Facebook – Twitter Instagram

Illustration from Deviant Art by zombiegoon

Wearing of the Green

“Top of the Morning to you, Blanch,” remarked Anya as she slipped quietly into the kitchen.

“You look grand in your green including those shamrock stockings, Ms. Claus.”

“Thank you,” Anya responded smiling as she walked to the stove. “If we want this Irish breakfast to be a surprise, everything needs to be ready on time, so put me to work. Can’t wait to see the looks on the faces of the elves and Santa.”

Looking around the kitchen, Blanch explained, “With the soda bread cooling on the racks and boxty (Irish potato pancakes) in the warming dishes, you and Hannah can fry the sausages, mushrooms and tomatoes. When I’ve finished making the drisheen (black and white pudding), I’ll come over and help.”

“Even though I’m proud of my Irish ancestry, Blanch, I’m not sure about the pudding,” Ms. Claus responded as she dumped the mushrooms into a large skillet, but I’ll try some.”

They both laughed and continued to prepare the special breakfast. Knowing that Santa and the elves would soon arrive, they worked quickly and finished with time to spare. While Blanch directed the kitchen staff to bring out the food, Hannah and Ms. Claus opened the dining hall doors promptly at 8:00 AM. “Top of the morning to you,” they announced.

“What’s this?” I exclaimed, dazed by the garlands of shamrocks draped around the hall.

As the elves pushed past me, they stared at the images of leprechauns, fairies, small cottages, and green fields that decorated the walls. “Welcome my friends to a little bit of Ireland in the North Pole, Happy St. Patrick’s Day. Now find your places quickly,” Blanch announced chuckling.

“This way, Santa,” I heard Anya say as she led me to our special table by the fireplace.

“Amazing, I never expected this,” I remarked giving my wife a kiss.

Taking our places, we soon enjoyed the taste of fried eggs and sausage as well as the other food on the table. “I realize you don’t know much about St. Patrick,” Anya explained after finishing her breakfast, “but he was kind and caring like you Santa. He wanted the best for the Celts, the Irish people, and according to legend, he banished the snakes from Ireland. Slithering into the sea, they all drowned. To this day, there are no snakes in Ireland.”

Shaking my head, I gave Anya a doubtful look and took a piece of soda bread. “I’m sure the fairies must have helped because I’ve never known a human to have that kind of magic.”

Laughing, Ms. Claus remarked, “He used a power called ‘feth fiada’ (a magical mist or veil) to transform himself and his companion into wild deer so that they could escape an ambush on their way to preach at the Hill of Tara. When the enemy arrived, all they saw was a deer with a fawn walking across the fields. No fairies were involved in either situation.”

Before I could answer, the lights began to dim as Blanch stepped on a raised platform. “Did you enjoy the breakfast?” Thunderous applause and loud cheering rolled across the room. Waiting for the elves to settle down, Blanch smiled. “I knew you would,” she stated, rubbing her hands together in excitement. “Now Ms. Claus has a story to share.”

After loud hoots and shouting, the room went silent, for the elves loved a good story.

“Long ago in Ireland, the Banshee, unusual fairy women, flew freely through the air, especially at night.” As Ms. Claus continued, she described their dark flowing hair, sunken eyes, pale skin and red robes. “Their powerful screams made everyone afraid, for they predicted death.”

Waiting for the room to settle down, Anya continued. “On a December night, young Rowan, one of my ancestors, heard a horrible sound, and curious, he opened the window to see the awful sight of a Banshee. Determined to save his family, Rowan knew that a weapon of pure gold could hurt a Banshee and went to the shed for the three golden arrows that his grandfather had made for just that reason. Unsure what to do, he lifted the bow, placed an arrow against the string and walked outside. The piercing wails grew louder as he turned to face the Banshee. The first arrow went wide and missed the mark. Taking aim again, Rowan pointed the second arrow directly at the Banshee and fired.” Stopping the story, Anya looked around the room but said nothing.

Finally, one of the elves yelled, “What happened?”

While the others demanded an explanation, Anya smiled. “I might not be here today if it weren’t for Rowan,” she proclaimed proudly, “so of course his arrow found its mark. That Banshee didn’t stand a chance.”

As the elves stood up to cheer, I clapped my hands. “FANTASTIC,” I yelled. After my wife took a bow, she returned to our table. “I knew there was something I liked about you. What a story!”

After the cheering died down, a loud bang at the door was heard. Turning, everyone watched as an older man dressed in green and about the height of the elves suddenly appeared. “Top of the morning to you!” he called out lifting his hat. “And Ms. Claus, you tell a grand story, but we can’t be leaving these fine folk believing that only scary things happen in Ireland.”

“Anya,” I whispered, “Who or what is that?”

“Don’t worry. He may be a trickster, but he is harmless.” As my wife stood up to welcome the stranger, she declared, “This is a leprechaun. And I think he has come to spread some Irish cheer.”

Bowing, he tipped his hat. “Right you are Ms. Claus. Though you are supposed to find this pot of gold,” he said pointing to what was in front of him, “at the end of a rainbow, that can’t happen with your long days of darkness. However, I decided to bring my pot with me.” Reaching down, he grabbed the gold coins and began throwing them in the direction of the elves. “Happy St. Patrick’s Day!” he exclaimed.

The elves ran around the hall scooping up as many gold pieces as possible while the wily leprechaun continued to walk and toss the coins. “If you grab him,” screamed Blanch, “he has to grant you a wish.”

Looking in the direction of the little man in green, several elves scampered towards the door to trap him, but before they could reach it, the sly leprechaun laughed loudly. “That will never happen.” As a huge ball of smoke surrounded him, the man disappeared.

Startled, the elves tried to look for him once the smoke had faded. Then they heard Lyra yell, “These aren’t gold coins; they are chocolate.”

“CHOCOLATE!” exclaimed my wife as she peeled off the foil. “So much better than real gold coins. What a delicious way to end our Irish breakfast.”

“Well, my dear, you should know,” I remarked grinning. “You’re not called the Queen of Chocolate for nothing.” Giving her a hug, I sat down to enjoy this special treat. “Who knew that St Patrick’s Day could be so much fun.”

Notes From Santa

I hope you enjoyed today’s story. I will post another one on December 15th. 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 next week . . .

To read more about cookies or the North Pole kitchen please check out:

With a Little Help From My Friends – July 1, 2019
Not All Candy Canes Are The Same – July 22, 2019
The Great Cookie Bakeoff – July 6, 2020
Elf Secrets – November 30, 2020
Cookie Problems – December 1, 2021

Find Cincy Santa (@CincySanta) on:

Facebook – Twitter – Instagram 

Modern Christmas Deliveries

Awakening from my usual nap before leaving to make my Christmas deliveries, I got out of bed, excited for my journey to begin. Entering the changing room, I pressed a button. As a cylinder slowly lowered, I waited patiently while it spun around me. When it raised back up, I was dressed for the day in my best suit.

Leaving my room, I stepped on my Flutter Disk, a flat, green saucer that hovered above the ground for transportation. “Dining Hall,” I commanded. After the floating device slowly rose a foot above the floor, it began moving towards the hall as I balanced myself on top of it.

Arriving quickly, I commanded, “Table 15,” and was deposited immediately at my favorite spot by the fireplace. Stepping off, I sat in a chair which automatically scooted me up to the table. Speaking quietly, I ordered, “Eight cheese coneys, fries, and strawberry milk.” A few seconds later the center of the table rose up about eight inches exposing a tray with my piping hot meal on it. “Got to love these modern devices,” I murmured as I slid the tray in front of me.

Finishing my delicious meal, I once again got on the Flutter Disk and announced, “List Room.” Moving toward the area where my Nice List was kept, I thought about how much easier Christmas had become.

“Good evening, Santa,” Carter stated, holding out a small Iridium stick that looked like a mini candy cane. “Here’s your List Stick. Just insert it into your sleigh’s instrument panel and you’re good to go. The names of the children and their wishes are all in the order of delivery, as you requested.”

“Great! Thanks for getting it all together for me,” I replied taking the stick from Carter. Returning to my transportation disk, I cried, “Sleigh barn.” The saucer immediately rose and began its trip.

When I arrived, I saw the Helio-Rocket 200 at the end of the barn. Unlike my old sleigh, the runners had been replaced with a series of small nozzles, like those on the bottom of a rocket. These would propel the sleigh like a jet. The nozzles also could swivel downward allowing me to land and take off vertically like a helicopter, instead of horizontally like a plane.

I shook my head and thought how much I missed my reindeer. “Sometimes,” I said aloud sadly, “I miss the old days.”

“I understand what you mean,” Sledge, the manager of transportation, replied. “But you have to admit, this is a more efficient way to travel.”

“Though I agree, I miss the excitement of watching the reindeer fly while directing them. Are we on schedule?” I asked. “Don’t want to be late for the children.”

Sledge, turned toward me and gave a thumbs up. Going back to work, he informed me, “I’m almost finished with the final adjustments. You should be right on time for your first deliveries on Christmas Island, Santa. Do you have the List Stick?” Handing it to Sledge I watched him insert it at the top of the instrument panel.

A few minutes later Sledge climbed out of the Helio-Rocket 200 and announced with a bow, “The sleigh is ready for your Christmas deliveries, Santa. You remember how everything works, don’t you?”.”

“Of course, I do!” I exclaimed. “Do you have the . . .”

“Remote?” Sledge finished my question. “Right here.” The sleigh elf pulled a small green box from a pouch on his belt, and handed it to me. “Be sure to put it on your belt so you can get back to the sleigh from inside the homes.”

“I’ve got it all under control. Now, if you don’t mind, I believe it’s time to begin my deliveries.”

Sledge stepped aside and I climbed into my sleigh. After strapping on my seat belt, I hit the ‘Start’ knob and flipped on the Auto Pilot. Pressing the ‘Assent’ button, the sleigh rose upward. Just as I hit ‘Next’ to go to my first stop, I hollered, “Tell Ms. Claus I will be home in time for breakfast.”

Arriving at the Christmas Islands, I began making my deliveries. Everything was going like clockwork. My sleigh’s efficiency soon put me ahead of schedule when I arrived at Quoddy Head in Lubec, Maine, my first stop in the United States.

Hovering downward to settle the sleigh on the rooftop, I pressed the ‘Gift’ switch, and the presents were transported from the North Pole into my bag. Once my bag was full, I hit ‘House’ and was instantly transported into the home.

After arranging all the gifts under the tree, I sat in a comfortable chair near the fireplace to enjoy the cookies the family had left me. This was one of my favorite sites since they provided Egg Nog instead of milk. Savoring the last drop, I reached for the remote, but it was not there.

Grabbing my belt, I searched but still could not find it. Panicked, I hunted among the gifts I had laid out, and could not find the remote. Since I no longer carried the Yellow Magic Fairy Dust to get up the chimney, I grew flustered and paced the floor in front of the fireplace.

Wondering how I was going to return to my sleigh, I screamed into my walkie-talkie, “HELP! Will someone please help me?” over and over again trying to reach one of the elves at the North Pole.

“Santa – Santa! Wake up!” Ms. Claus shouted as she shook me.

“Anya, you have to help me…PLEASE!!” I yelled.

“Calm down Santa. Nothing is wrong. I think you were having a bad dream,” Ms. Claus explained.

Relieved, I sat up in bed and looked at Anya. “Thank you, my dear. That dream was too real. After explaining what had happened, I asked, “Now why would I be so worried about delivering toys to children? It’s only the beginning of March, and we have 10 months before Christmas.”

“You know realistic dreams like that are not uncommon. Could it be those eight cheese coneys one of the elves brought home from his visit to America that led to this nightmare?” Anya questioned while giving me the evil eye.

“They were great,” I said, shaking my head, “but maybe eating them late at night with the strawberry milk was a bad decision.”

As Anya turned to face me, she smiled. “I think if you follow your own advice, you might not have these bad dreams.” Ms. Claus paused for a moment then added, “Everyone knows how magical Christmas is, but I’m not sure it will ever be as magical as in the dream you had tonight.”

While we both laughed, Anya and I slipped under the covers and laid back down to finish our long winter’s nap.

Notes From Santa

I hope you enjoyed today’s story. I will post another one March 15th. 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 next week . . .

To read more about Christmas Deliveries please check out:

Stories From Santa & Ms. Claus on Vacation (Part 3) – October 7, 2019
The Last Deliveries – January 6, 2020
Santa’s Improved Sleigh – March 16, 2020
Christmas Deliveries – December 28, 2020

Find Cincy Santa (@CincySanta) on:

Facebook – Twitter Instagram

Illustration by Dr. Mathias’s Miniature Extravaganza 

Visiting Korvatunturi

Walking hand in hand through the courtyard, I watched as Ms. Claus stopped and shook her head. Looking around she commented, “It is strange not to hear the elves running around and working. This silence is eerie after many of them leave to return to their homeland in January.”

“Doesn’t seem the same, does it?” I asked without expecting an answer. “It will be like this until April, when they return to begin production for next Christmas.”

“It must be a beautiful, peaceful, and fun place,” my wife wondered aloud as we continued our walk.

“You mean Korvatunturi Mountain in Lapland?” As Anya nodded her head, I continued, “You would love it, I’m sure. After all, that’s where I first met the elves and asked for their help.”

Reaching the Administration Building, I let go of her hand to open the door and noticed a sad look on her face. “Would you like to visit with the elves?” I asked.

Almost knocking me over, Anya exclaimed, “Thank you, Santa!” and hugged me. “When can we go?”

Startled, I responded, “Would tomorrow work?”

“PERFECT!” Anya yelled as she clapped her hands.

“First I need to contact Mythanthar to let him know we will be coming. Then I’ll walk over to the barn and inform Highstep about our trip. Meanwhile, let Blanche in the kitchen know about our change of plans. Finally, my dear, I think you should begin packing.”

Throwing her arms around my neck, Anya kissed me on the cheek and smiled. “Adventures with you are always exciting.”

The following day, Highstep guided Ms. Claus’s sleigh, the Dulcet, outside, and Bernard helped us load our luggage. “Enjoy yourselves,” he said, “and don’t stay too long. It’s lonely enough without the elves.”

As the sleigh lifted into the air, I steered Olive and Shadrack in the direction of Korvatunturi Mountain, home to most of my elves. Flying over parts of Lapland in Finland, I settled back and told Anya about this special place. “Ages ago, I visited friends in Pokka, Finland,” I began. “At that time my gifting to those in need was becoming more demanding, so I told them I needed help. They suggested I visit the Tonttu who lived in a village on Korvatunturi Mountain.”

“Tonttu?”

“That’s what the Finns call the elves.”

“So did they take you to the village?”

“The existence of the Tonttu village was a story handed down through the years. They explained that many had set out to find the village, but only a very few ever succeeded.”

“What did you do?” Anya demanded to know.

“My friends gave me the directions to where the Finns thought the village was, but warned me that according to the story, it could only be found if you truly believed it existed.”

“And you believed.”

Snapping the sleigh’s reins, I responded, “I believed in what I was doing to help those in need, and believed there had to be a way to keep it going, so believing in the magical village of Elfkoti was easy.”

“And the rest is history,” Ms. Claus chuckled.

Shifting to look at Anya, I grinned, “Yes, the rest is history.” I then reached across Anya and pointed, “Do you see it?”

Anya leaned over the side of the sleigh and exclaimed, “So beautiful! I love the colorful buildings.” Turning, she grabbed my right arm and laid her head on my shoulder. “This is going to be so much fun!”

When Olive and Shadrack brought the Dulcet down, a large crowd gathered, cheering our arrival. Once the sleigh had stopped, we both stood and waved to the elves.

AS Anya began to exit the Dulcet, Mythanthar walked over and gave her a hand. “Welcome to Elfkoti Ms. Claus. We are pleased that you came to visit. Several things have been planned in your honor.”

“Thank you,” responded Anya. “Since Santa has told me about this place, I can’t wait to share in your festivities.”

Joining Ms. Claus and Mythanthar, I opened my arms to the crowd. “Though we did not expect all this, I can assure you that we will enjoy whatever you have planned.”

As the elves cheered loudly, Mythanthar lifted his arms for silence. While the crowd grew quiet, he announced, “Tonight, we will celebrate the unique visit of both Santa and Ms. Claus and begin with a feast at the Gathering Hall followed by an evening of song and dance. I hear that Ms. Claus is light on her feet and loves to dance.”

Blushing, Anya grabbed my hand while Mythanthar led us down Dreamwic Lane. Waving to the cheering elves standing along the street, I marveled at the village decorations, as if it was Christmas Day.

Arriving at the Gathering Hall, we walked up the four steps and entered the double doors held open by two elves. Stopping, Anya gazed around the room. “It’s so huge and beautiful!!” she exclaimed. “I love all the oversized wooden toys hanging from the ceiling and the twinkling lights peeking out from amid the pine branches circling the wooden posts.”

Once seated, Anya and I were immediately served several Finnish classic dishes: Poronkaristys, sauteed caribou; Leipajuusto, squeaky cheese; Lohikeitto, creamy salmon soup; Karjalanpiirakka, Karelian pasties/pies; and Salmiakki, salty liquorice. “I hope you enjoy this feast. It’s some of the most interesting cuisine I have ever tasted,” I explained, “and you know how I enjoy food.”

As Anya nodded, I noticed the many tables of elves seated before us. Recognizing several of them from the North Pole, Anya and I returned their waves as everyone in the hall enjoyed the feast. Once finished, we followed Mythanthar to a large dance floor where the elves waited for Ms. Claus and me to lead the first dance of the evening: the foxtrot. Ms. Claus turned toward me and asked, “Shall we?”

“Certainly, my dear,” I responded. As the music played, we fell into the slow-slow-quick-quick steps of the dance and enjoyed ourselves. After we returned to our seats, several elves took their places on the floor and performed the Vepsalainen Katrill a traditional Finnish folk dance.

Several hours flew by as we sang and danced. Though I tried to keep up, I knew when to quit. “Go on Anya,” I called out while leaving the dance floor. “You are having too much fun dancing to stop now.”

Later when Anya finally had enough, she joined me. “I haven’t danced like that for years!” she exclaimed. “I can’t imagine what my feet will feel like tomorrow.”

“You’ll survive. I’m sure,” I chuckled. While we walked around the hall, the music and dancing continued as I introduced my lovely wife to all my old friends in Elfkoti.

When the music stopped, all the elves took their places around the dance floor to listen to the story-tellers share tales about reindeer. As Anya and I listened, she whispered, “I never dreamed that I would have such a wonderful time in this special place. I can’t wait till tomorrow when we can explore Elfkoti and do some cross-country skiing.”

Slipping my arm across Anya’s shoulders, I answered quietly, “Since the elves are so much a part of our lives in the North Pole, it’s fun to discover more about them through their songs, food, dance and stories. I think we should visit together more often.”

“I could not agree more, Santa,” Anya responded,

Notes From Santa

I hope you enjoyed today’s story. I will post another one on March 1st. 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 next week . . .

To read more about the Elves and Korvatunturi Mountain please check out:

Land of the Mystic – March 29, 2021
Elfkin Festival – November 1, 2021

Find Cincy Santa (@CincySanta) on:

Facebook – TwitterInstagram

 

Dazzling Sky

Late one evening, Anya, Bernard, and I went outside the West entrance of Christmas Village to do some stargazing. “This must be our lucky day!” Ms. Claus exclaimed as we sat on an ice ledge.

“What do you mean,” I began. Then as I looked up, I shouted, “WOW!! This does not happen very often!”

“Yeah, ordinarily we don’t get to see both the Northern Lights and the Milky Way at the same time,” a voice from behind us stated.

Startled, we turned to find our friends Polar Pete and Nippy taking a seat behind us. “Didn’t expect to see you two tonight,” I explained.

“There was no way we were going to miss this,” Nippy, Frosty the Snowman’s cousin, stated. “We figured some of the elves or you and Ms. C would not miss it either.”

“So, we decided to view it from here,” Pete, the best tracking polar bear in the Arctic, added.

“Well, it certainly is a nice surprise,” Ms. Claus said smiling at the two friends. “I’m glad to be able to enjoy this beautiful sky with you. It’s not often we get to see so many of the stars in the Milky Way at the same time as the Aurora Borealis.”

“Since Earth is part of the Milky Way,” Bernard began, “aren’t all the stars we see the Milky Way?”

“That’s true Bernard,” Ms. Claus responded. “But what we are seeing now is the outer edge of our galaxy looking from the inside. The edge can only be seen like this when it is very dark.”

“I find the Northern Lights more interesting, especially some of the stories associated with them,” Nippy remarked, as he and Pete moved closer to us.

“What do you mean?” Ms. Claus responded.

Straightening his red plaid hat with his hockey stick arms, Nippy explained, “Both the Eskimo tribes and Cree Indians believed that the lights were a way to communicate with their ancestors. They also believed that the lights represented those who had passed on, as their way of keeping an eye on them.”

Looking at Nippy I added, “I have also heard that when dogs barked at the lights, it was because they recognized their lost companions.”

“True, but don’t forget the beliefs of the Menominee Indians from Wisconsin,” Anya remarked. Noticing all of us looking at her, she resumed, “They thought that a race of giants, who were great fishermen and hunters, lived in the North. They imagined that the lights came from the torches they used while fishing and hunting at night.”

“What!? That can’t be real,” Polar Pete snapped. “If there were giants living up here fishing and hunting, I would have found them by now!”

I gave Pete a pat on the back and half laughing, told him, “Of course not. Those were all beliefs held by people who did not have the knowledge we have today to explain the puzzling circumstances in Nature. Nodding my head, I continued, “You know hundreds of years ago, when I first met the elves, there was another myth about the lights.”

“That was in Finland, right?” Pete asked.

“It was. I was on Korvatunturi Mountain in Lapland, and the Finns called the Northern Lights ‘Revontulet’, which translates to fox fires.”

“No one better start a fire around me!” Nippy shouted.

“Ho, Ho, Ho, I don’t think you have to worry about that Nippy. It’s a mythical creature.”

Polar Pete sighed. “Not another one.”

“Relax, Pete,” Anya began, “People often made things up in an attempt to explain why something happened. Today scientific knowledge helps to describe things that we often don’t understand.”

“That’s right,” I agreed. “Instead of the sparks from a Firefox’s fiery tail supposedly causing the Northern Lights, we now know that they are created when energized particles from the sun slam into Earth’s upper atmosphere at speeds up to 45 million mph and Earth’s magnetic field redirects the particles toward both the North and South poles.”

“I’m sure glad this Firefox is just a myth.,” responded Nippy as he nervously looked around him. “I wouldn’t want to run into one and have him melt me into water.”

“I don’t think we have anything to worry about, little buddy, since all of us know those are just stories. But I can’t help imagine what it would be like to have a bunch of giants running all over the place,” Pete insisted. “It would be like living with dinosaurs that could just crush everything in their way.”

“I’d probably have to move to the South Pole, wouldn’t I?” I asked grinning from ear to ear.

“And then you’d have a friend named Penguin Pete instead of me,” Pete said as we all laughed.

Ms. Claus put her fingers to her lips, then gently laid her head on my shoulder. Sitting in silence for the longest time, all of us gazed upward and marveled at Mother Nature’s light show. A night to remember.

Notes From Santa

I hope you enjoyed today’s story. I will post another one February 15th. 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 next week . . .

To read more about Nippy and Polar Pete 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
Surprise Dinner Guest – August 2, 2021

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

Picture by Sylvan Buckley  via Dynamic Scotland Photography

Sad Santa

Lyra, one of the sweetest elves at the North Pole, walked into Bernard’s office and placed her hands on her hips. The head elf looked up and said in a sympathetic voice, “I know, I know.”

“Well, we have to do something!” Lyra demanded.

“Lyra you know this happens every year after Christmas. You just have to give him some time.”

Just then Doheny, the North Pole’s best cookie baker, came into the office. “I took him some cookies, and he just had me put them on the table. Any other time he would have eaten them right away.”

“What do you want me to do? If anyone knows how to get him over this, it would be Ms. Claus,” Bernard said leaning back in his chair.

Lyra looked at Doheny, and said, “He’s right. If anyone should know how to get Santa out of the doldrums, it’s Ms. C.”

“I just saw her in the kitchen. Let’s go see if she is still there,” Doheny responded as she walked out the door.

When the elves arrived at the kitchen, they found Ms. Claus sitting at a table enjoying her morning cup of tea. As they approached, Lyra asked, “Do you mind if we join you?”

“I’d love that.” As Lyra and Doheny pulled chairs out to sit, Ms. Claus continued, “Maybe you two can help me with something.”

Lyra looked at Doheny with raised eyebrows, then back at Anya and said, “We’d love to. How can we help?”

“Well, you know Santa did not see many people last year because of the pandemic, and then this year he was busier than he has ever been with visits.”

“We could see his excitement during the season,” Doheny responded. “He seemed so happy.”

“He was,” Anya said as she held her cup with both hands and sipped her tea. “But now that the season is over . . .”

“He is a bit out of sorts!” Lyra blurted out.

Surprised by the quick response, Anya continued. “So, you noticed it too. I’m used to this happening, but it has never been this bad or lasted this long before. I was hoping maybe you could help me get him out of the blues.”

“That’s why we came to see you. We were hoping you could give us some ideas on how to do that,” Doheny stated as she placed her hand on Anya’s. “Maybe if we put our heads together, we can come up with something.”

“What about a party?” Lyra asked.

“He would make up some excuse not to go to a party,” Ms. Claus said in a sad voice as she played with her cup. “Especially if he thought it was for him.”

“What if it was a surprise?” Doheny wondered aloud.

“I don’t know how you could do that. I can rarely surprise him with anything.” Shaking her head, Anya continued, “It’s just his nature to know what’s going on . . . All the time!”

The elves nodded in agreement and thought about how they could pull a surprise off. Suddenly, Lyra sat up straight and grinned from ear to ear. “I think I have it!” Slowly shaking her index finger, she continued. “You know many of the elves will be going home to the Korvatunturi Mountains in Lapland soon, to visit with their relatives before we begin gearing up for next Christmas.”

“So? They always do that,” Doheny responded.

“That’s right, but Smokey, Santa’s oldest elf, has mentioned that he may retire this year and stay in Lapland.”

“We could tell Santa it is a surprise party for Smokey!” Anya exclaimed. “That’s perfect!”

“But what would we do at the party to get Santa to drop his gloomy attitude and have fun?” Doheny asked.

“That’s easy,” Ms. Claus began. “We need to watch his two favorite movies. He loves The Miracle on 34th Street because it is centered on believing and good will. Then we could view The Boy Called Christmas. That one reminds him of how he found the elves to help him with his mission.”

“Movies always make him feel good, but we should do more than that,” Doheny added.

“Maybe in between the movies we can have a cookie eating contest!” Lyra insisted. “Nothing gets the Big Guy more excited than showing he is the champ at eating cookies.”

“What about a dance contest?” Doheny said as she began dancing in her chair. “He fancies himself the best and fastest at the Reindeer Macarena!”

“Sounds like we have a plan,” Anya stated as she leaned back in her chair. “The elves will be leaving this weekend. Can we get this organized by Friday?”

Lyra and Doheny looked at each other, nodded and then turned to Ms. Claus and said, “No problem!” in unison.

“Can you two tell the elves? Also, remind them to keep it a secret because Santa can sniff out a surprise quicker than a polar bear can find his dinner?” Anya stated grinning.

Giving a thumbs up, Lyra said, “He’s being so cranky, most of the elves are avoiding him, so that should not be a problem.”

“I’ll take care of making sure we have enough cookies for the contest,” Doheny added.

“Then I’ll take care of making sure Santa gets to the party,” Anya said, as she pushed her chair back to get up. “Let’s get to work.”

*     *     *     *     *

Friday afternoon, Anya found me sitting in front of the fire. “How’s your day going?”

“Okay, I guess,” I responded without looking up.

“You know many of the elves will be leaving this weekend to visit with their families. Are you planning on saying good-bye to them?”

“Haven’t really thought about it.”

“Smokey is thinking about retiring, and he may not return for the next season. Some of the elves are getting together in the meeting hall for a little party for him. Would you be interested in going?”

“I guess. Let me get my coat.”

As we walked toward the hall, Anya looped her arm through mine and said, “Santa, you need to shake off your blues. The elves see how you are and it’s making them sad.”

“I know,” I responded nodding. “It’s just that after visiting with so many children and their parents, and seeing the happiness on their faces, it’s hard to suddenly be cut off from that.”

“Maybe this little party will help,” Anya insisted.

“I hope so.”

As we approached the building, I opened the door for Ms. Claus. After she entered, I followed and was greeted with a chorus of “Surprise” from all the elves, who then began singing, “For he’s a jolly good fellow.”

Dumbfounded, I stood speechless and stared at everyone. Finally, I turned to Anya and gave her a big hug.

Anya whispered in my ear, “Everyone is worried about you, and they decided to do this to help you get back to being yourself.”

As I let go of Anya, I moved through the crowd of elves. One by one, all of them gave me hugs and thanked me for what I had accomplished to make Christmas such a success. As tears welled in my eyes, I realized how gloomy I had been since Christmas. Though it was over, that did not mean that the love and good feelings I had received during the season ended.

Clapping my hands for silence, I looked at the roomful of elves and announced, “Thank you, my dear friends for all the work you have done. This surprise has made me realize that the fondness we share for one another does not stop on the big day; it remains. We just need to open our eyes, ears, and hearts to the affection that is around us all year long. Happy New Year!”

Looking back at a smiling Anya, I blew her a kiss and mouthed, “Thank you!” and joined in with the singing and celebrating with my North Pole family.

Notes From Santa

I hope you enjoyed today’s story. I will post another one February 1, 2022. 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 next week . . .

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

Illustration by Chip Bok – Downloaded from ClipArts.co

A Letter From Santa

Dear Children,

After missing my visits with all my little friends last year because of the pandemic, it was good to be able to visit with many of you again this year. I have more fun listening to you tell me your Christmas wishes than reading them in my office at the North Pole. In fact, I have found that many of you prefer to tell me rather than write to me, even though many of you complain when I ask you again after you already told me what you want. Hopefully those children who do that understand I am “checking my list twice”, just in case you changed your mind.

Your wishes also surprised me this year. Of course, there were the usual requests for things like PS 5’s, Nintendo Switches, and all things Barbie. Yet many of you were asking for toys I often delivered in the past. Rubik Cubes, YoYos, stuffed animals, and Lava Lamps were in high demand this year. I’m sure many of your parents shared stories about how much fun they had after finding them under the tree.

One request I always love to hear, though, was made by more children this year than in the past. My heart filled with joy and tears began to well up in my eyes every time one of you told me that you didn’t need anything and just wanted everyone to be happy and love each other. After all, Christmas is the time to give, and so many of you seem to have already learned that lesson.

Most of you have figured out by now that my life has been dedicated to giving. First, I was known as Nicholas of Myra, and later I became known as Sinterklass, which eventually became Santa Claus. In the beginning I gave children things they needed: clothing, shoes, food, and when necessary, money that I had inherited. Over time, I began adding toys but still made decisions based on your needs.

Long ago, there was a man who had lost all his money. He had three daughters who were old enough to get married. Back then, young women had to have money, livestock, or property, called a ‘dowry’ in order to get married. This was used to help the new family get started. If women didn’t have dowry money, they didn’t get married.

This man felt sad for his daughters didn’t have a dowry. He knew that they wouldn’t be able to have families of their own and would face the likelihood of becoming old maids, working for others their entire life.

One night, the oldest daughter washed her stockings and hung them in front of the fire to dry. Then the father and his three daughters went to sleep.

In the morning the daughter saw a lump in her stocking. Reaching in, she found a small, heavy bag. It had gold inside, enough to provide food for the family and money for her dowry. The next morning, another bag with gold was found. Excited, the father hugged his daughters, for he knew all three would be able to marry.

The following night, the father stayed awake to find out who was helping his daughters. He dozed off, but awoke when he heard a small ‘clink’ as another bag landed in the room. Quickly he jumped up and ran out the door and saw me. I made him promise not to tell anyone who helped his family out. He kept that promise, and his daughters eventually married.

Much has changed since then. Today I don’t leave presents of money or gift cards. If you or someone you know receives such gifts, or gets so much more than others, the reason is simple. Some parents want to give their children more than I can leave. So, they buy lots of gifts, and place them under the tree letting their children believe that I left them.

I recommend that if you are one who gets all the extra gifts, think about donating your old toys to someone who would appreciate them. On the other hand, if you are one who gets just a few things, know that I have left you what I think you need, and that your parents are doing everything they can to make sure you are taken care of.

To end, I want to wish you Merry Christmas and Good Tidings one last time. So as the new year begins, I hope that you have no worries or stress and continue to grow and flourish.

Until we meet again . . .

Love,

Notes From Santa

I hope you enjoyed today’s story. I will post another one January 15th. 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 next week . . .

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Photo by Stacey Kutish