Santa’s let­ters

The Compass - - CLASSIFIED - More, so can you please bring me one of my own? Your friend, Peter PS: If you had one of those graphite fly rods kick­ing around, I wouldn’t say no. Dear Santa All his friends are telling my pet Muskrat “Nal­cor” that he is not cool. They laugh at him. I wo

Mrs. Claus was a lit­tle wor­ried. Her hus­band nor­mally started to get pretty tired at this time of year. Not sur­pris­ing, con­sid­er­ing all the let­ters com­ing in with gift re­quests, work shifts flat out 24/7 in the toy fac­tory, and keep­ing the elves’ noses to the grind­stone and out of the eggnog.

But tonight he seemed more than just tired. A lit­tle bit down. Very un-santa-like. Hardly a Ho! Ho! Ho! out of him for days. Maybe he needed a lit­tle shot of the eggnog she was keep­ing hid­den from the elves. Not too much now, just a wee drop. She poured a small cup, popped it into the mi­crowave for 20 sec­onds and walked over to where he was slumped in his chair star­ing at a pile of let­ters on the floor.

“Here you go Nicky, have a lit­tle swally of this,” she chirped, hold­ing the cup un­der his nose. At times like this she of­ten called him Nicky af­ter his great un­cle St. Ni­cholas, whom he ad­mired very much. It rarely failed to get a smile out of him, but this evening, not a Ho!

He looked up at her. His brow was crowded with wrin­kles but his eyes were twin­kle-free.

“Come on Krissy” she soothed. When all else failed she could al­ways raise his spir­its by call­ing him af­ter his other great un­cle, Kris Kringle, his ab­so­lute favourite. “It’s not as bad as all that. Down the hatch and tell me what’s the mat­ter.

The tini­est of smiles, barely vis­i­ble be­low his moun­tain­ous white mous­tache, flick­ered across his lips and faded away as quickly as it had come.

He reached out and took the cup from her. A fru­gal sip and he looked up, grat­i­tude ig­nit­ing a mini-twin­kle in his left, then his right eye. “Thanks Maid, this is de­li­cious.”

A large swal­low, then an­other pro­duced a small burp, and sud­denly a broad smile es­caped from be­neath his mous­tache. The grin rolled like a wave left and right across his face un­til it splashed up on each of his cheeks, spread­ing a warm pink glow. “Best kind my love” he breathed, wrap­ping his arms around her and squeez­ing hard.

“I’m just a fool­ish old Santa,” he breathed into her ear. I shouldn’t let these Lord Jeezely let­ters get to me, but some of them ... well ... I’m earn­ing my stamps this sea­son, I guar­an­tee you.”

“Here’s one from a fella named Sul­li­van.”

“And an­other from some­one who calls her­self Premier Kathy Dun­derdale”

Mrs. Claus took the three let­ters from her hus­band, crum­pled them into a ball and threw them into the fire­place. The roar­ing blaze con­sumed them in an in­stant.

“There,” she said. “That takes care of that. Now Kris, my dear­est Santa hus­band, let’s not for­get rule No. 1. Any let­ter typed by com­puter on govern­ment or big busi­ness let­ter­head goes di­rectly into the fire.

“Christ­mas is for chil­dren. Kids don’t usu­ally have their own let­ter­head.”

Here’s one I think you’ll like. Lis­ten to this.”

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