Finding Joy

If you missed Part 1 last night, here is the link. The Unexpected Phone Call  I decided I had to let all of you know if it really was Santa on the other end of the line, so here is Part 2, the conclusion. Enjoy! 

Max’s head felt so dizzy! Not only because he was flying in the air at the moment,  but with everything that had happened tonight! He kept pinching himself to make sure he wasn’t dreaming. He had nothing to drink but black coffee earlier, for he had been so tired and he wanted to make sure he was awake at midnight. On the phone Santa had said his elves and reindeer would be at his house at midnight. Of course Max didn’t really believe it but, he had to stay awake and find out, and now he was still in shock! Everything that had transpired so far, was replaying through Max’s mind, as he flew in the starry sky. 

Earlier that evening Max had been sitting in his Lazyboy recliner, drinking his coffee and looking at his Christmas tree, which more resembled a Charlie Brown Tree. He didn’t have the spirit to really decorate when it was only him that would see it! The clock said 11:30, and Max looked outside, nothing looked different. The street was dark. He had his porch light on. After all he didn’t want the reindeer crashing into his house. He shook his head, he didn’t know who had called him last night, but he was sure it wasn’t Santa! So why was he staying up then? 

He had just turned off the Christmas tree lights, thinking he was going to head upstairs for his bedroom, when he heard a sound. There was a loud thump coming from outside. He peeked through the curtains. No way!! He looked at the clock. 12 midnight. He looked outside again, they were still there. 

Opening the coat closet he grabbed his coat and hat and boots, the snow was pretty deep. He wondered again what he was actually doing, but he had to go outside, there were reindeer in his yard! 

“HI Max! My name is Jangle and this is Candy Cane. Sorry about running into your porch. Candy Cane was supposed to be giving me directions, but…. 

“Someone wasn’t listening!” Candy Cane said. “You turned too late!” 

Max just stared at the elves talking to him, as he nodded his head and heard himself saying. “Its fine, no harm done to the porch.” 

“So are you ready to go?” Jangle asked. 

“Go where?” Max replied. 

Another elf popped up out of the sled. “To come back to us to the North Pole, Santa is waiting!” 

Candy Cane looked at Max and said, “That is Snowball, he was napping, like usual.” Max saw Snowball roll his eyes and he had to laugh. He had the feeling that he was in for quite the adventure. Go to the North Pole for New Year’s Day? Why not! This definitely beat any other NY Eve celebration that he had in the past. He hopped in the sleigh and said, “Lets go!” and off they went, as he grabbed hold of the sides, and then wondered how crazy he really was! 

Before he knew it they had arrived at the North Pole and he was in awe! It was the most wonderful Christmas village he had ever seen. Everything so decorated, lights and sparkles galore! He felt like he had stepped inside a snow globe, for it all looked truly magical. 

“HO! HO! HO!” Santa was walking towards them. He was really seeing the true Santa Claus! 

“So glad you could make it! Hope you enjoyed your ride!” Santa said with a wide smile brightening his rosy cheeks. 

“Yes, I surely did!” Max replied, and your elves are very friendly. 

Santa agreed, “That they are, but they can stir up a lot of mischief too, you have to be on your guard!” Santa said, with a wink. “They do a great job at getting themselves into quite a pickle at times.” 

“Did someone say pickles?” said Alabaster who was walking towards Santa and Max. 

“Oh Alabaster, are you still hungry for pickles? Didn’t you have enough of your salted caramel pickles at suppertime?” Candy Cane asked.

“Who can ever get enough pickles? Hey, did Jinx go with you?” Alabaster asked. “I haven’t seen him around.” 

Max’s stomach turned at the thought of a caramel pickle, what strange foods did they eat here at the North Pole? 

“He was going to come with us, but he ended up hurting his thumb really bad with a hammer. He was trying to open a can of paint. The poor guy, after hurting his thumb, he didn’t have a tight grip on the can and dropped it, spilling it all over himself.” Snowball said. 

Santa put his arm on Max’s shoulder. “I guess you have probably been wondering why I called you here?” 

“Well, I am very curious!” Max said. 

“Follow me and you shall soon see.” 

Max followed Santa towards Santa’s house, and Mrs. Claus was at the door to greet them. “Hi Max, so nice to meet you. Please come in and make yourself comfortable.” 

“Thankyou!” he replied, with a smile, and came in and sat down on a bright red overstuffed chair. 

“Well Max, as you know I get lots of letters from children around the world, but I do get them from adults as well. Adults that haven’t forgot the magic of Christmas. This year I got a very special letter and I thought I would answer it in a more personal way than I usually do. That is why you are here.” 

Max was really confused now, he hadn’t written a letter to Santa in years, so what would a special letter have to do with him? Then he turned his head, and couldn’t believe who he saw walking into the room. Marta!

She looked like an angel to him. She was really here, standing in front of him! They stared into each other’s eyes for a moment and then they embraced. He had missed her so badly, this year had been so rough since she had walked away, but now here she was. Dare he hope that this meant what he thought it did. Was she giving him another chance? 

Santa and Mrs. Claus looked at them with the tenderness in their eyes, and Mrs. Claus looked at Santa, giving him a wink. “I think we will leave you two alone now, there are cookies and hot cocoa on the table, help yourself.” 

Mrs. Claus smiled, she didn’t even know if Max and Marta heard her, for they still were embracing, as Max wiped a tear from Marta’s face. Santa had already left and went to his study. Mrs. Claus stayed watching, feeling so happy for them. Then she turned away. She still had laundry to do, a woman’s work was never done. With all the magic Santa could do, why hadn’t he invented something yet that automatically folded the laundry and put it away? She was going to have to talk to him, and tell him to add that to his “To-Do” list, along with fixing her closet door that squeaked every time she opened it. He had his time of eating more cookies than anyone should eat in one night, now there was work to be done. 

Max and Marta talked well into the night, in front of the warm fireplace. They had drank the hot cocoa and had the most delicious cookies ever! Freshly baked cinnamon caramel cookies. They had fallen asleep in front of the fireplace. Mrs. Claus put blankets over them when she found them asleep. 

When they woke up, they were shown all around the North Pole. They took a tour inside Santa’s workshop and they met Dinosauris the dragon, Max felt overwhelmed with joy. But the real joy came when in front of all the elves and Santa, Max got down on one knee and asked Marta to marry him.

Marta’s eyes welled with tears as she looked at the diamond ring, the ring she had given back to him on that horrible rainy day when she had walked away. The day she had broken their engagement. 

“Yes, a thousand times over, Yes!” she squealed as she threw her arms around his neck and he swung her around. 

Max could not be happier! Not only was he thrilled about getting married, but they would be living at the North Pole. Max didn’t want to get caught up in the rat race again and forgetting about what really mattered. They would stay here, Santa had invited them, and how do you say No to Santa? 

They didn’t know exactly what their jobs would be yet, but they looked forward to the New year with Hope and Anticipation of all the surprise joys just waiting for them to find. 



32 thoughts on “Finding Joy

  1. I’m with Max. Salted caramel pickles made my stomach turn, too. Alabaster eats some strange things. At least Snowball got his nap in.

    I’m glad to read that Marta wanted Max back and Max decided to stay at the North Pole. Are the Clauses hiring?

    Liked by 2 people

  2. The tale ends as the camera drifts over toward a dark corner, where a strange, thin man stands, in suit and tie, smoking a cigarette. He offers this closing narrative:

    “Once upon a time, Max and Marta had a disagreement. A disagreement that didn’t end well. But after they shot each other, and the smoke from the gunpowder cleared, and they saw their bleeding bodies on the floor, as they drifted away on a whimsical sleigh with elves, they immediately felt regret.

    “Those who shoot each other at midnight on New Years Day do not go to a warm, inviting heaven. Instead they’re relegated to the frosty Hell of the North Pole, where they must slave away forever in a freezing cold toy factory.

    “Soon Santa will be leading these two murderers away to the factory where work never ends, and where elves will prod them with sharply pointed candy canes, to make them toil faster and harder. There they will spend eternity, in a mythical, snowy wonderland . . . just north of the Twilight Zone.”

    Liked by 2 people

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