It was a starry night on 25th December, last Christmas. Peter and his little sister Mary were running around the house in frantic. They snuck under the bed. They pulled out every drawer they could possibly reach. Peter had their dad hold out his hands while Mary was enthusiastically searching his pockets. People who had a silly wish to enter the house were investigated closely by those two little evil “detectives.” In their minds, a word was shining like stars twinkling in the cloudless sky: Presents. Not just anybody’s presents. Santa Claus’ presents.
“Where’s Santa?” cried Mary.
“He’d come if you two could just keep quiet for a second,” their dad snapped. His eyes narrowed. He was beaming through the foggy window as though waiting for some miracle to come to get his two “angels” to bed. More patiently, their mom promised the arrival of, in her own words, “the old weirdo with white beard” under one condition: they might not produce another word or the magic would be gone. Wearily, Peter and Mary looked at each other, deciding.
“We want Santa to come,” declared the two, trying to look guilty and cute. A hint of excitement was showing on their faces. From that point forward, they didn’t speak to each other or to anyone else. They carefully followed their mom’s instruction and hung their Christmas stockings over the fireplace. They sat in the living room for another two hours until Mary felt her eyelids trying to find their ways back to each other and Peter dreamily whispered “Santa… Santa…”
Their mom led them to bed in the relief of their father who put down his dog-eared newspaper and became lively again. They soon fell asleep, hands spreading over the tiny bed, snoring steadily.
At that very moment, Santa was riding his sleigh very fast high above. Over his shoulder was a large bag of beautifully-wrapped presents. In his hand was the “Good Kids” list with their names and addresses written neatly in an old yellow parchment. Next up, “Peter and Mary, 122 Kidney Street.”
“Now that’s a good name for a street,” Santa laughed to himself. Moments later, he regretted those words as Kidney Street became, in fact, as dark as a kidney. He held out a thin, long stick and muttered “Lumos.” Nothing changed.
“Dammit! Who am I kidding? I’m not Harry Potter. And this is not even a wand. I’m just Santa! With a broken tree branch,” said Santa scathingly.
“Whoa! I’m not sure if Santa is allowed to swear,” barked the sleigh on which he was riding. It was enjoying itself at having made Santa more miserable.
“Alright, alright!” snarled Santa blazingly. “Now, if you would just help me find the place.”
The sleigh ran around several blocks, its eyes gleaming in the dark. It took some effort before Santa and the sleigh finally arrived at the roof of the house number 122. Steamy air with golden sparkles was rising out the chimney on the rooftop. Santa held a finger over his mouth to silent the sleigh, who was laughing at its own secret joke. Skillfully, he got himself into the smoking chimney.
“Uh oh…” muttered Santa.
His belly was stuck. His legs hung inside the chimney while his head was up in the air.
“I shouldn’t have gulped down those apple pies,” said Santa reproachfully. He could feel his drum-sized belly protest in despair.
“Could you just give me a hand?” he glanced over at his sleigh, who was laughing so hard it sounded like a scream. The sleigh stooped to lick his long, pearly white beard, picked the “Good Kids” list falling next to the chimney, then set up into the darkness carrying all the presents.
“Merry Christmas, Santa!” yelled the sleigh joyfully, disappearing into the starry sky.