Monday, December 25, 2006

a christmas story

When I was younger, Santa used to leave me the most fantastic notes about adventures in the North Pole and the mischievous dark elves. How delighted I was to see, upon reading his letter to my daughter this morning, that the tradition continues!

December 24, 2006...I could have used a smart girl like you at the North Pole this year! We had quite a lick of trouble! Have I told you about the dark elves? Well, they are super mischievous and always trying to ruin Christmas. And to add to the difficulty, they give Polar Bear such a hard time, I wind up having to take care of him, too, on top of saving Christmas. Well, I am getting ahead of myself. LetÂ’s see, where to begin?

After last year's’ catastrophe, Mrs. Claus and I thought we would take Polar Bear down to Antarctica for some respite. You know it'’s summer down there when we are having winter? Not that you would know it from the cold, but hey, it's not the North Pole and there are no dark elves there!! So, we thought it would be a good trip. And, it was.

While we were down there, though, the dark elves got into Polar Bear's home and wrecked his lego set. They also painted the walls with finger-paints. The worst was that they used his favorite collection of herbal tea in an all-night game of mushy cushy! We were gone for a month. When we returned home in February ready to begin preparing for this year'’s Christmas, we found a huge mess, instead. Polar Bear, besides being devastated, was also quite mad, as you can imagine. He began to plot revenge.

Well, this was quite a mess for us at the North Pole because, as you probably know, we depend on Polar Bear to do all of the heavy lifting in the Workshop. He is also useful in getting things off of the high shelves. Without Polar Bear, much of the elves'’ work comes to a stop.

Of course the other job of great importance is that Polar Bear stands guard at the Workshop to keep the dark elves from stealing everyone'’s toys! With Polar Bear indisposed, putting his house back in order, the dark elves could raid Santa'’s workshop as often as the wanted. Each night when the last elf left his toy work, the dark elves would sneak in. They would steal toys or paint them off colors or mix up parts. Each morning when my Santa elves returned, they would have to start all over again. We were getting nowhere!

I decided to pay Polar Bear a call at his house. I asked as politely as I could for Polar Bear to come back and do his duty as guard of the workshop. But he refused. He wanted all of his time to plan his attack on the dark elves. I begged and pleaded with him to come. Finally I demanded he stop his nonsense and SHOW UP! A few hours later a very pouty Polar Bear was back at the door of the workshop, and the visits from the dark elves stopped for a while.

Things were calm for all of us at the North Pole until one day in June when one of our elves, the chief elf, in fact, came to me to tell me that the Northern lights were missing! If you know that the Northern Lights are, you know that it is no small matter for them to be missing. Sure enough that night when I went to inspect, there was nothing but darkness where they used to be. The Northern Lights serve a particularly important function for us at the North Pole. For, they are the outlet of children'’s energy from all over the world. Children'’s laughter, their restlessness and even their frustration and anger all filter through the earth'’s crust to the vast ice fields of the North Pole where we all see them as beautiful rays of green purple and blue shimmering over the top of the world. The workshop is fed by this energy. So, too are the elves and even my sleigh fueled by the energy from the Northern Lights. Without the Lights, we can make it for a few days, but not much longer. We looked every where for them. Soon we were sure that we were doomed!

In the meantime, Polar Bear also came to me with problems of his own. I had little patience for his personal complaints, but listened anyway as Polar Bear read to me a list of all the items missing from his house since the dark elves'’ raid last January. Among the stolen items were 1200 barrels of finger paint (Polar bear likes to finger paint a lot) The interesting thing about this was the color. That is, the finger paint the dark elves had absconded with was all black and blue.

Polar bear was very sulky without his paint. One night, feeling especially sulky, he went out for a walk on the ice cap. He looked into the sky and there noticed what seemed to be a crack in the sky. It was an unusual thing, but it did seem to be a crack and growing wider and wider. Polar Bear had nothing better to do, so he walked to the horizon to check it out. There on the edge of the world, he reached out to the sky and scratched at it with his paw. At first his scratch removed only a chip, but second and third scratches revealed the truth of the matter. The Northern Lights weren'’t missing; they had been covered with tons of blue and black finger paint. Oh, those dastardly dark elves!

Polar Bear came trotting home with his good news. I congratulated him and sent him right back out, of course, with a bucket of soapy water and a sponge! It must have taken him a few days of scrubbing--made more tedious because he often had to return home to thaw out frozen buckets--to finally clean up the dark elves’ mess. By this time it was early August and we had only a few short months before we would have to start packing the sleigh!

Thanks to Polar Bear, though, we got the Workshop up and running and free from dark elf mischief. Once again this year, we have toys and clothes and food for boys and girlsrls everywhere. I'’ll have to think of somewhere nice to take Polar Bear this year. Quechee seems like a nice place. Perhaps we could stay at the Woodstock Inn. Do you think they take Polar Bears?

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