Sitting at my desk, intent on making sure I placed the notes about children onto the right page of my Naughty & Nice List, I nearly jumped out of my red bib overalls and hit the ceiling! It happened when the intercom on my desk rang out, “Santa, your head elf Bernard needs to see you in the Digital Toy Shop right away.” The message came from Telsa in the communication office, and her voice seemed loud enough to be heard everywhere in our village.
Pressing the intercom button, I said “Telsa, you startled me! Now that I am back in my chair and you obviously have my attention, would you please repeat what you said a little softer?”
“I’m sorry Santa, I didn’t mean to startle you! Bernard is having an issue with the equipment in the Digital Toy shop and would like you to come down as soon as you can.”
“Tell Him I’ll be right there, and thank you for the message.” I said imagining her embarrassed face turning a bright red.
I quickly straightened the notes on my desk and placed a big glass reindeer paperweight on top of them. Moving around my desk, I grabbed my hat from the candy cane rack by the door and headed down the quiet, yellow-brick hallway towards the hefty double wooden doors that led to all the workshops. As I passed the kitchen, the sweet scent of hot chocolate and cookies distracted me. My stomach grumbled, and I decided Bernard could wait.
Hovering over a pot on the stove, Judy, an Elf assigned to the kitchen, meticulously measured the proper ingredients for her famous 1,200-year-old hot cocoa recipe. Her roommate Doheny, busied herself taking trays of cookies out of the oven, and replacing them with even more trays of unbaked cookies. Both the elves worked hard and sang “C is for Cookie,” like that blue monster on Sesame Street does.
Doheny opened the door to the oven and the scent of M&M cookies filled the room. Bending over a tray I took in the delicious smell and wondered if the scent would linger on my overalls. I knew that if MS Claus thought I had cookies she would not be happy.
I approached Doheny, and just as I was about to ask her if I could have a cookie, I heard the door to the kitchen squeak open. Before I could even turn to see who had just arrived, a chill went down my spine, as if something was about to go very wrong.
MS Claus, sounding firmly parental said, “Don’t you even think about it! I told you after our cookie and milk party with the elves on Christmas, that you were not bingeing on cookies any more until you lost some weight.”
Doheny and Judy turned to see what was going on, catching sight of me and MS` Claus by the partially opened door. They burst into laughter and turned back to their chores to hide their glowing faces.
In a sorrowful voice I replied, “I wasn’t going to get a cookie, I was . . . I was. . . I was just passing by the kitchen on my way to meet with Bernard, when my nose caught a whiff of the sweet smell, and I thought I would just pop in and say hi.”
“Do you think after all these years, that I am really going to believe that? I should not have to tell you how important it is to be healthy and fit for the Christmas season. You can have your one allotted cookie for today after dinner tonight and no more! Now, I suggest you get yourself down to the workshop and take care of business with Bernard,” MS Claus responded, giving me a gentle shove.
With my head down and chin resting on my chest, I slowly shuffled through the door. I heard giggles coming from behind me, and I instantly knew that it would only take a few minutes before every elf in the village would know I had been caught with my hand in the cookie jar. Squeezing through the kitchen door, still being held open by MS Claus, I whispered, “I’m sorry,” hoping to avoid her Naughty List.
As I walked into the workshop, I found Bernard to the right of the door connecting some wires to the machine that makes the Switch game modules. My body language and the look on my face must have told a story. Bernard looked right at me and, with a huge grin on his face, asked, “What did you do now?”
“Why does that not surprise me,” Bernard stated, as if he had already known. “Do you think you can forget about cookies long enough to help me with this control panel?”
After dinner, while enjoying my one cookie with some of Judy’s hot cocoa, I realized how lucky I am having so many looking after me. Especially Anya, MS Claus first name, who has been looking out for me ever since we got married.
Note from Santa: I hope you enjoyed today’s story. I will post another one next Monday. 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 . . .
Illustration by FireMane Studio