In keeping with an old tradition, I bring you Part 1 of the serialized story of The Day After Christmas.
Millions of years ago, when dinosaurs roamed the earth, the Pawtucket Times would publish a story over the two weeks leading up to Christmas.
I, along with many others, anxiously awaited the arrival of each new chapter, culminating in the ending on Christmas Eve. So, over the past few years, I have started my own version beginning with today’s opening segment. We will read this story together as I have no idea where it will go or how it will end. My only advantage is I will read it as it is born, while you my dear friends, will see it just moments after its arrival.
Growing up in Cumberland, Rhode Island back then seems, at least in my memories, to have been a place of magic; making those Christmas seasons, and the spirit that infused them, all the more special.
I will just tell the story, like Charlie Brown and Linus, of something worth holding onto. Let it take us where it will…Merry Christmas!
The Day After Christmas
December 26th is the slowest, and laziest, day in the North Pole. Everyone, I mean almost EVERYONE, sleeps until noon. But for one tiny—even by elf standards—elf, the day after Christmas is the busiest day of the year for her.
Emily Louise Frazier—her family is famous for growing the Frazier Pine one of the most popular Christmas trees in the world—held a critical, if almost completely unknown, position within Elfdom…she was the Monitor of the Christmas Spirit. Or as she liked to call herself, Santa’s accountant. And not just any ordinary add the numbers and balance the checkbook accountant. On no, she was the Christmas Spirit Accountant.
He job was to track the level and growth of the spirit of Christmas, for that spirit wasn’t just something one felt as Christmas day grew near. It was something that lived among the people all the year round. Bringing the joy of giving to others, the pleasure of spending time with your family, and the warmth of a good heart to all the world.
But Emily Louise Frazier was worried. More worried than she had ever been in her entire life. She stared at her little Elf laptop and shook her head. Numbers never lie. The trend was not good and now, on the day when all of Christmas Town enjoyed their one day of uninterrupted rest, she had to rouse them from their slumber and give them the bad news.
Christmas spirit was dying, a slow yet undeniable descent to a level never before seen in the history of the world and she had no idea how to fix it, or even if it could be fixed.
Making her way to the main house, she stood trembling at the door trying to force herself to ring the bell and bring such terrible news to the nicest people on the planet, Santa and Mrs. Claus.
Reaching up on her tiptoes, she managed to reach the lower of the two bells, the one placed for the elves. The opening notes of Charlie Brown’s Christmas Theme (Mrs. Claus is a big jazz music fan) echoed throughout the house.
Soon footsteps followed, coming closer, and for a moment, Emily thought of running away. But she had a responsibility and prepared herself. The door swung open and Santa and Mrs. Claus stood there, rubbing their eyes trying to focus, looking over Emily to the vast, yet sleepy town outside the door.
“Down here, Santa,” said Emily.
Santa and Mrs. Claus looked down at the now shaking little Elf.
“Emily, my dear,” said Mrs. Claus, “come inside dear, you’re freezing out there. Come in, come in.”
Emily hesitated a moment, then stepped inside. “I’m not cold, Mrs. Claus. But I have some terrible news I need to share.”
Santa closed the door behind her, then knelt down to bring his smiling face to Emily’s level.
“No worries, Emily. There’s nothing you can say that we can’t fix. Now what is so terrible that you had to wake us on our one day off?”
Emily swallowed hard, took a deep breath, then said, “Santa, I’ve been studying the charts, going over all the data, looking at the trends, and it’s clear that Christmas Spirit is in decline. The usual burst of spirit just before Christmas fizzled. I’m afraid it will fade completely over the next few months and be gone by next Christmas.”