Solar Eclipse

Solar Eclipse

“You would think it’s Christmas with all the elves cheering,” I told Ms. Claus as we climbed into my sleigh.

“Well, it is a rare day, Santa.”

“It certainly is.” I nodded and helped my wife settle into her seat in front. I watched Blanch, Bernard, Highstep, and Sophia take seats in the back of my sleigh.

“Thanks for taking us with you Santa,” Bernard began. “Even though a solar eclipse happens somewhere every 18 months, they never happen at the North Pole.”

“It’s a pleasure to do something special for my main elves who help make the Christmas season run smoothly. Now let’s enjoy the sights.”

Everyone waved while I guided the sleigh down the runway until the reindeer galloped toward the sky. Then I heard Sophia ask, “So where are we going to watch the eclipse?”

“I thought we’d start just outside of Indianapolis and watch the entire partial eclipse and the full eclipse. According to Cartson, my map maker, the best spot would be on the North side of Franklin, just south of Indianapolis.”

The elves shouted their approval and continued to talk with each other.

I put my hand on Anya’s knee and laughed. “Ready for the thrill of a lifetime?”

“Yessss! I’ve been waiting for this ever since you made plans after Christmas.” She slipped her arm through mine as we flew towards Franklin.

When we reached the area three hours later, I turned my sleigh to the Northeast, lining up with the path of the total eclipse that Cartson had mapped out for me on my sleigh’s location monitor. While descending, I warned everyone to be on the lookout for a place to land and watch. “Remember, I’d like to avoid anyone seeing the sleigh and reindeer.”

“Why?” the elves asked in unison, surprised at my decision.

“It would create too much attention,” Anya answered shaking her head. “Everyone would come over asking questions. Then we’d probably miss the eclipse. I agree with Santa. Let’s keep this private. OK?”

The elves agreed and continued to look for a place to land.

“Down to the right,” Sophia yelled. “Looks like a farm. We could land there just behind the tree line to hide the sleigh and walk out in the field to see everything.”

“Excellent!” I shouted and guided the reindeer to a smooth landing.

Once we were settled on the ground Ms. Claus put up her hand. “Don’t forget the blankets to sit on and be sure to keep your hoodies up over your head. If anyone wanders out into this field, we don’t want them seeing your ears.”

The elves pulled up their hoods and began jumping out of the sleigh.

“Santa, where’s your hoodie?” Bernard teased. “I think the kids may recognize you before our ears!”

I grinned. “That doesn’t happen. When Ms. Claus and I visit places, most people ignore me. On the rare occasion when someone thinks I look like Santa, they always ask if I ever ‘play Santa’, and tell me how much I look like him.”

“You mean they just think you’re one of your J.A.T.S. (Jolly Assistant To Santa)?” Blanch asked with a quizzical look.


All the elves shook their heads in amazement. Finally, Highstep shrugged. “If they only knew. Their loss.”

“Come on,” Blanch hollered, spreading out her blanket. “The partial eclipse is going to start in about 15 minutes. And Santa, don’t forget the picnic basket I packed.”

Anya and I grabbed the basket and a cooler of drinks. The elves laid out the rest of the blankets and settled down for the special solar event. Soon, I noticed several others joining us in the open field. In the distance, I saw cars parked along the road where people had pulled over to watch.

“It’s almost time. Don’t forget to wear your glasses when you look up,” my wife warned everyone.

“It looks like the bottom right of the sun is disappearing,” Highstep roared.

Later, Bernard laughed and pointed skyward. “Reminds me of the Pac Man character in the game we make.”

The afternoon grew cooler while the light faded. We laid back with our funny-looking glasses and watched as the sun shrank in size. When the field around us looked like twilight, I stopped hearing the sounds of birds, replaced by the Spring Peppers.

“I think it’s about to happen,” whispered Anya.

Putting my glasses back on, I looked up and watched as the moon covered the remaining portion of the sun. “Glasses off everyone!” I yelled.

We gazed at the moon and sun in wonder. There was only a glowing ring of light around the totally black moon, and in the farmer’s field it appeared that nighttime had descended upon us.

Everyone was quiet for the next three and a half minutes with an occasional ‘wow’ or ‘this is amazing’ being heard.

Suddenly, at the bottom right where the sun first began to disappear, a small dot of bright sun peaked out again. “Put your glasses back on,” Ms. Claus insisted.

As more and more of the sun re-emerged, Blanch turned towards Anya and me and smiled. “Thank you for bringing us. That was quite the experience. It’s a shame we can’t see it all happen again.”

“I’m glad you enjoyed it.”  Stroking my beard, I thought about what Blanch had said. “Wait a minute. Maybe we can see it again!”

The elves all looked at me as if I was crazy. “We won’t be able to watch the entire partial eclipse again,” I explained, “but if we hurry up and get in the sleigh, we can fly up to where the full eclipse is still happening and watch that part of it again.”

Before I finished, the elves and my wife were already climbing into the sleigh.

“Let’s do this,” I shouted as my team jumped into action.

We caught up with the full eclipse around Buffalo, New York and watched the whole thing again, only this time from the sleigh as we flew along with it.

“Awesome,” screamed Sophia. “We’re actually seeing this while flying in Santa’s sleigh.”

Bernard shook his head and watched in amazement. “It’s a total eclipse on the right and it’s night, while on the other side it’s still daylight.”

As we flew a little longer, Sophia said what we were all thinking. “It’s like everything is shifting from side to side. It’s now full eclipse on the left and dark while partial on the right with light.

When everyone was satisfied with seeing the eclipse from the sleigh, I guided the reindeer back to the North Pole. When we arrived, all the elves were there to welcome us. It felt like Christmas morning.

Once on the ground the reindeer wranglers took care of my team, and the four elves began sharing their stories of what they had seen. It wasn’t long when I heard all the elves laughing. Then Blanch yelled “Hey, do you ever play Santa?”

I looked at Anya and smiled. “I knew I shouldn’t have told them about the adults asking me that.”

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 May 4, 2024.  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 . . .

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One Reply to “Solar Eclipse”

  1. Another Awesome Santa and Crew story!! We SOO Enjoyed the Eclipse up in Dayton. We were worried about the weather, but alas, it cleared up 2 hours before – so, perfect viewing, and Woody even got the telescope (we had 2) in line!!! –until someone accidentally kicked the tripod, never to get inline again – smile!! Again, Thanks for another Great story!!

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