North Pole Surprise!

Elvira rolled out folding stairs for our group to climb into her sleigh. Porter was amazed that he ascended 10 steps before he was able to climb into the gigantic sleigh and sit on the most comfortable, red velour covered seat, that he had ever sat upon! Behind him was his buddy Steve who told him that he felt like Charlie McCarthy’s buddy…Mortimer Snerd. Up came Parker and Chet and Chet had a sly grin on his face. Last to board the sleigh was Neva who was laughing like Porter had never seen before. Steve pulled out a humongous roasted turkey leg…from his trench coat pocket. As he munched away the wonderful odor of the bird captivated the travelers. The rate of climb of the North Pole conveyance…rivaled a 747 jet plane…but they sat safe and secure in the plush seats as they had sunk down about a foot in them. When Parker looked over the side of the sleigh she was amazed at the panoply of fields and forests and cities and villages that whisked by below her!

Suddenly…they were landed before a nondescript log cabin. Elvira’s assistant folded out the staircase and the group descended. The cabin appeared to be a four room structure…but when they entered it was a mansion of unending rooms and brilliant Christmas lights and Bing Crosby singing, ‘I am Dreaming of a White Christmas,’ broadcast throughout the building! Parker asked Elvira if they soon would be able to meet St. Nicholas…and she replied that first they must eat and get some rest. For dinner they had potted meat sandwiches and pickles…and smoked herring. For their beverages there was either water or weak and unsweetened tea. Chet inquired as to where the hot chocolate and candy canes and Turkish delight were…and Elvira responded…budget cuts… After their Spartan dinner it was time for bed. Elvira opened a massive ornate door and out cascaded several sleeping bags and hard pillows. Chet said…’What, no beds?’ Elvira explained that although they still had the wonderful sleigh and Rudolph along with 3 Tiny Reindeer…and the hidden opulence of St.Nicholas Castle…that was creatively hidden from the tax collector as a four room log cabin…they had fallen on hard times and that it was directly the result of the hateful manner that men and women and boys and girls treated each other! Elvira went on to say that problems had begun to develop several years ago when the receiving of Christmas gifts had become the preeminent obsession of people…and not the giving of gifts. Two thirds of the elves had been laid off and St. Nicholas had begun to suffer from Seasonal affective disorder. Where he was formally, ‘A jolly old elf that laughed when he thought of Christmas…in spite of himself.’ he had become sullen and solitary and had lost a considerable amount of weight… Mrs. Claus had been the driving force behind the success of Christmas…for the past 20 years or more! And, that is what Elvira had asked the group to come to the North Pole. They not only needed help manufacturing the toys…although the demand was down 33%…they also needed ideas regarding a solution to the precipitous decline of Santa Claus and his yearly mission…

Chet asked when they could meet Santa? Elvira noted that he was difficult to coax out of his bedroom…but that she would attempt to do so with the assistance of Carol. Parker inquired…’Who is Carol?’ ‘Why Carol Claus…of course,’ Elvira replied. Out came some pixies…or at least some tiny happy dancers. They sang in unison, ‘You better watch out…you better not cry…you better not pout…I am telling you why…Santa Claus is coming to town!’ After the pixies…came the Harlequins…in their checkered costumes… Finally were the children…who had been invited to live at the North Pole with Santa and CC…as they had been taken from the type of children depicted in Charles Dickens famous Christmas story, ‘A Christmas Carol.’ These children were neither wan nor afraid…but were joyful and well fed! Their eyes were bright and shinning and the smiles on their faces portrayed that they had not a care or worry in the world… A 12 foot tall mahogany door began to open…and out stepped Santa Claus…in his pajamas…

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