A Christmas Tradition

Posted: December 23, 2012 in Writing
Tags: , , , , , , , , ,

The snowflake tickled the tip of Mary’s nose as it passed, landing on the sidewalk. She giggled and looked down. “Snow!” she squeaked excitedly. Mary turned her eyes toward the cloudy sky and watched as millions of snowflakes floated down all around her. She spread her arms out wide and spun around smiling.

Small Girl

It was December 23rd and Mary waited for her father who was haggling with the owner of a booth to buy the largest nutcracker she had ever seen.  Shopping for her mother’s gift at the open air Christmas market was a tradition her father had started when she was two. Now five, Mary treasured the yearly trip with her father. Having her father all to herself was the best part of the Christmas season, other than presents of course.

The snow began to fall faster and the wind picked up. Mary grabbed the hat out of her pocket and pulled it over her head, it was covered by snow in a minute. The wind picked up and began to swirl around her, faster and faster until she was lifted into the air and carried far away from the market. When she landed, a man with pointed ears, a green sweater and red tights greeted her, “Hello Mary, how are you? I am Kevin. Welcome to the North Pole.”

Mary looked around. She stood at the end of a street, elves hurried between buildings with carts full of wrapped packages. At the other end of the street in front of a large white and red castle was a large red sleigh.

“Please come with me,” said Kevin.

“What about my daddy?” asked Mary.

“You will be back to visit him very soon,” said Kevin, “Come along, Santa would like to talk to you.”

Kevin turned and walked down toward the castle. Mary stood still, remembering what her daddy had taught her. Don’t talk to or follow strangers. She looked around for a policeman but saw none. Kevin stopped and turned around. “Are you coming?” he asked.

“Ummmm,” Mary stammered as she continued to look around.

“O.K.” Kevin said, “Santa will come to you.” Kevin continued to walk down the street. When he reached the castle he knocked on the door. A large man with a long white beard, red velvet pants and jacket opened the door: Santa. He listened to Kevin, looked down the street at Mary, who stood still watching in awe. Santa disappeared then reappeared and began walking down the street with a small bucket in his hand. Mary took a step back. Santa was just the way she had imagined, a large round man with rosy cheeks and a belly that shook as he walked. He stopped a couple of feet in front of Mary. She looked up nervously.

Santa

“Ho, Ho, Ho” Santa laughed, “Mary, I need your help. You see the reindeer need to eat their magic flying oats. But they will only eat them if they are fed by a child. That’s why you are here; I need you to feed the reindeer.”

“Why me?” asked Mary.

“You have been a very good girl this year, so I thought you would like to help me get ready for Christmas,” stated Santa.

Mary smiled wide. “Yes!” She grabbed the bucket from Santa and looked around.

“Ho, ho, ho” laughed Santa, “The barn is over there.” Santa pointed to a smaller building on the left.

Mary ran to the barn. When she touched the doors they slowly opened. She looked around the barn; it was dark except for a reddish glow near the back of the barn. Reindeer began to poke their heads out of their stalls. She walked up to Dasher, grabbed a handful of oats and raised them above her head. Dasher leaned down and licked, chewed and swallowed the oats, then gave a grateful snort. Mary moved on to Dancer, then Prancer, and Vixen; Comet, Cupid, Donner, and Blitzen. As Mary finished feeding Rudolph the reindeer began to float above their stalls. Santa, who was standing at the barn door laughed, “Ho, Ho, Ho! Great Job Mary!! Now I can deliver presents to all the good boys and girls.”

Mary walked back over to Santa Claus and handed him the bucket. He looked down, patted her on the head and said, “It’s time to go home. Thank you for all of your help. Be good.” A broad smile spread across Santa’s face, “take care.”

The snow began to fall again and the wind swirled around Mary. Santa took a step back as Mary began to rise up into the air. “Goodbye Santa!!” she yelled as the snow carried her higher and higher. She came back to the ground and the snow and wind subsided. Mary looked around; she was back at the Christmas market in the same spot she stood before.

Her father walked out of the booth and leaned down to give Mary a kiss on the cheek. “Thanks for coming with me,” he said. Mary laughed. “What do you think of the nutcracker?” he asked. Mary looked the nutcracker up and down. “It’s the biggest one I’ve ever seen, I’m sure mommy will love it.” She said. “Me too,” said her father, “now let’s get home before the snow gets bad.”

“O.K. daddy”, said Mary, who couldn’t stop smiling.

They left the market, hand in hand as the snow began to stick to the sidewalk.

 

Copyright © 2012 J. Power

All rights reserved.

 

 

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Comments
  1. Cary Brown says:

    Aw! Lovely, Jim. Did you write this for the real Mary?

    • JT says:

      Thanks! But it’s not only for her. After some of the bad national news recently, I felt the need to write something happy and lighthearted. 🙂

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