And here continues the Christmas Saga of 2020. Like the days of yore when newspapers published anxiously anticipated serialized stories, here is my annual version, Hidden within the words is a secret message. Find the secret and send an email to me at firstname.lastname@example.org with the subject line, MAGIC. First five to discover the secret wins a copy of every book I publish this year.
This story is as old as the legend of St. Nicholas, handed down over years and years. Told to Christmas Elves as they rested from their work, there is magic within if you’ve the heart and eyes to see it.
But don’t look for it, feel it in your heart. Speak the words to learn the secret
St. Nicholas—I knew since he was my boss—would not be happy if the reindeer wandered away in the night, so I locked the paddock and ran to catch up with Jedidiah.
Soon, I’d be full of pie and tucked away in my cozy, warm, if undersized, bed. Would anyone believe the story how I came to be here? Be the only person besides Mrs. Claus to live here with Santa and the Elves.
There was no better life for someone like me.
The idea I had, the one that started the staring contest, was to find out where I’d come from.
Children usually grow up with their families. Were there people out there, in the real world, who might be my family?
Nestled and snug in my bed, I dreamed of meeting my family, if I had one, before Santa found me all those years ago.
All those years ago, but I digress.
Snug might have been an understatement. In my bed, made for Elves, I slept more like a pretzel, but I was warm, dry, and, I knew, loved.
Their house, their home—Santa and Mrs. Claus—was my home for as long as I could remember.
Beds upon beds filled with all manner of elves surrounded me. While most slept in blissful silence, Jedidiah snored like a water buffalo.
Visions of having a room for my own filled my head. Of a place all to myself was a frequent dream. Sugar-plums—they were everywhere here as a favorite of the elves—adorned the walls where I wished for pictures of others like me.
Danced to exhaustion, some of the Elves who celebrated the end of each working day with a festival of Elvish dancing, trickled in and fell to sleep.
In a moment, the only sound was the nnnnark, hmmpph, grrpppoh, ahhhh of Jedidiah.
Their time asleep, in case you’ve never spent much time around elves, is not quiet all night. Heads will nod, then soft humming of Christmas songs begins. And within moments, every elf head is nodding in rhythm and they hum the entire list of their favorite songs.
Mamma Elf, Jedidiah’s great, great, great, times 100 grandmother (elves live a long, long, long time) leads the chorus and once she is satisfied the soothing (to them) tunes are well hummed, she guides them back to silence.
In spite of everything she’d tried, Jedidiah still snores.
Her efforts to teach him to hum the songs never took root with the hardworking Senior Reindeer Flight Instructor. Kerchief in hand, Mamma Elf would tut her way over the Jedidiah, gently tie it around his mouth to muffle the sounds so everyone could sleep.
And we all loved her for it. I often wondered why Mamma Elf tolerated the snoring Elf. In her own way, no matter how she might try to hide it, she loved him as her favorite though he differed from all the others, despite being undoubtedly an Elf.
My arrival seemed to give him someone also a little different, making him more comfortable around the others.
Cap that with our friendly, but non-stop rivalry over everything, and he and I were the best of friends
Had Jedidiah not been the odd ball he is, my life here would be so much different.
Just knowing he understood made things easier.
Part III tomorrow!