Mrs. Claus was a little worried. Her husband normally started to get pretty tired at this time of year. Not surprising, considering all the letters coming in with gift requests ...
BY PETER PICKERSGILL
Mrs. Claus was a little worried. Her husband normally started to get pretty tired at this time of year.
Not surprising, considering all the letters coming in with gift requests, work shifts flat out 24/7 in the toy factory, and keeping the elves’ noses to the grindstone and out of the egg nog.
But tonight he seemed more than just tired. A little bit down. Very un-Santa-like. Hardly a Ho! Ho! Ho! out of him for days.
Maybe he needed a little shot of the egg nog she was keeping hidden from the elves. Not too much now, just a wee drop. She poured a small cup, popped it into the micro wave for 20 seconds and walked over to where he was slumped in his chair staring at a pile of letters on the floor.
“Here you go Nicky, have a little swally of this” she chirped, holding the cup under his nose.
At times like this she often called him ‘Nicky’, after his great uncle St. Nicholas whom he admired very much. It rarely failed to get a smile out of him, but this evening not a Ho!
He looked up at her. His brow was crowded with wrinkles but his eyes were twinkle-free.
“Come on Krissy” she soothed.
When all else failed she could always raise his spirits by calling him after his other great uncle Kris Kringle, his absolute favourite.
“It’s not as bad as all that. Down the hatch and tell me what’s the matter.”
The tiniest of smiles, barely visible below his mountainous white moustache, flickered across his lips and faded away as quickly as it had come.
He reached out and took the cup from her. A frugal sip and he looked up, gratitude igniting a mini-twinkle in his left, then his right eye.
“Thanks Maid, this is delicious.”
A large swallow, then another produced a small burp, and suddenly a broad smile escaped from beneath his moustache. The grin rolled like a wave left and right across his face until it splashed up on each of his cheeks spreading a warm pink glow.
“Best kind my love,” he breathed, wrapping his arms around her and squeezing hard.
“I’m just a foolish old Santa,” he breathed into her ear.
“I shouldn’t let these Lord Jeezely letters get to me, but some of them ... well ... I’m earning my stamps this season I guarantee you.
“Here’s one from a fella named Sullivan.”
I’d like a GPS to guide my ships full of Newfoundland fish to China. I have been nice all year.
“He says he’s been nice all year but leaves out that little bit of naughtiness where he closed two fish plants and put 400 people out of work.
“Here’s another from a Minister Mackay.”
I’ve been nice as can be all year and would like a helicopter. Some people are being mean to me. They say I shouldn’t borrow their helicopter anymore, so can you please bring me one of my own?
P.S. If you had one of those graphite fly rods kicking around, I wouldn’t say no.
“And another from someone who calls herself Premier Kathy Dunderdale.”
All his friends are telling my pet Muskrat ‘Nalcor’ that he is not cool. They laugh at him. I would like you to bring me a diamond studded collar for him. Then maybe people will stop throwing snowballs at us when I take him for a walk on his leash.
Best wishes going forward.
P.S. I have lost the key to my office and the door is locked. Nobody’s been able to get in since last fall. Could you leave me a new key under the tree please? No rush.
Mrs. Claus took the three letters from her husband, crumpled them into a ball and threw them into the fireplace. The roaring blaze consumed them in an instant.
“There” she said “That takes care of that.
“Now Kris, my dearest Santa husband, let’s not forget rule number one. Any letter typed by computer on government or big business letterhead goes directly into the fire.
“Christmas is for children. Kids don’t usually have their own letterhead.
“Here’s one I think you’ll like. Listen to this.”
How are your reindeer? I hope they are well. My sister’s favourite is Dancer. I like Blitzen, but all reindeer are nice.
I hope they won’t have any trouble finding our house. From the North Pole just come south across Labrador and ours is the fourth bay on the right. On the point there are two houses. Ours is the one on the left. It’s the two storey house at the end of the beach. It is white. My parents said they would leave the porch light on. Please be careful parking your sleigh, there is ice on the roof.
I hope you and the reindeer enjoy the gift my sister and I made for you. You will see that it is painted in two colours. I wanted blue. She wanted green. My sisters says teacher told her all boys are colour blind anyway, so what odds?
I hope you enjoy your visit to our village Santa.
Please give Mrs. Claus a hug from us.
Kevin and Maisie
Mrs. Claus looked up to find her husband’s eyes were twinkling at last. The twinkling ran down his cheeks and dripped off the end of his beard.
“Merry Christmas my dear,” he whispered.
She reached up and brushed the tears from his cheek.
“And to all a good night.”