Sun Lakes Writers’ Group

Reindeer, Elves, and Santa Claus (Christmas Eve)

George Stahl

Sinterklaas is getting ready right now to take flight and will, sometime during the night, be at your house to personally deliver the things you asked for for Christmas. Better known as Santa Claus, he is probably the most famous elf of all time. He was born over 1,750 years ago and has been in the toy business for thousands of those years. Not much is known about his parents, hometown, or childhood, or even why he lives in such an isolated place as the North Pole.

You might think that tonight is the only night Santa actually works. Nothing could be further from the truth. Sure, what he does this evening is so remarkable that if it were the only time he actually worked, it would definitely be enough. However, during the year, everyday leading up to Christmas Eve, Santa is busy back in the North Pole. Among other things, he is constantly opening letters, cards, and emails from millions of children all over the world. Some coming from the parents of the children who can’t yet write. Candidly, according to a North Pole source, a few of these parentally fashioned letters from newborns, to infants and toddlers, ask for teething rings, onesies, and occasionally a car, a house, and a job. As much as Santa tries to answer all of these requests, toys take a priority. They are easier to carry on the big red sleigh he uses to make his way around the world in one night.

That brings us to those beautiful, intelligent, and very much-loved reindeer that provide the power needed to pull all of that weight through the night sky. For over 1,600 years, there have been eight of these hybrid reindeer that have been on every flight Santa has made around the world. What makes them hybrids? Well, silly, they can fly, duh! Another thing about these eight that is amazing? They are the only reindeer to live in the North Pole. Their counterparts and relatives all live south of the Pole, but do come up as far as Russia and some of the smaller islands closer to the Pole.

Apparently, when Santa decided he was going to take on this task of making children of the world happy by making them toys, he looked around, all over for a means of transporting his gifts. He found an old, red sleigh in an ad and bought it. Now, who was going to pull it? By the time he started on this quest, unfortunately, all of the flying unicorns were gone. The few Pegasus horses left on the Greek Islands sadly were too old to help, as much as they wanted to.

So, drawing on the expertise of the fairies he had been acquainted with, Tinkerbell to name one, Santa borrowed some magic dust and began experimenting with other animals. For most of them, horses, lions, tigers, and camels, the fairy dust enabled them to fly, but when he tested it on a reindeer, not only did he fly, but he was very fast, and as a bonus, he was able to speak. “You’re it. I will call you Dasher for your speed, and you will be the lead reindeer,” Santa said as he watched Dasher dart around the sky. Supposedly.

Dasher then recruited some of his friends and cousins to join them. Santa freely sprinkled the dust, and they all flew extremely fast and strong, and they could talk. Then Santa held a meeting. Although reluctant at first, they all agreed that because of the nature of what they were going to do, seclusion was a must. One of the reindeer, Comet threw the idea of living at the North Pole on the table. “What? Are you crazy? No food, no heat, no shelter, no way!!” Donner objected.

Santa, who liked the idea, looked at Dasher, who then, somehow got Donner to see his way to agree. Tinkerbell had a group of out of work cobbler elves she introduced to Santa, and they too wanted to help too. “Shoes, toys. Why not? We could do it,” they said. So, the elves, eight reindeer, and Santa pulled up stakes and moved to the North Pole.

As the years passed many things changed and the tiny house and workshop they started in in the NP as they called it, grew into a small town, including a Post Office. On one of his trips for supplies Santa met a young woman and they fell in love, and eventually got married. Mrs. Claus became a very important member of the group, who the elves, reindeer, and Santa all loved.

Every year now, right up until tonight, those original eight reindeer, and for the last 80 years, joined by Rudolph, along with the elves, have been helping Santa with his vision of bringing joy to all of the boys and girls of the world. Looking back on your, however many Christmases, they have seen your Christmas wishes and dreams come true, and they have brought, if only for one night, the magic that is Christmas to the lives of children all over the world.

Tonight, after you put that plate of cookies on the table, next to a tall glass of milk for Santa and maybe a bag of carrots for Dasher and his friends, you will go off to bed and try as hard as you can to go to sleep. If in the middle of the night you hear scratching on the roof, don’t get up, but lay there and smile, and whisper a soft, “Thank you.” You may be lucky enough to hear a friendly voice saying, “You’re welcome.” Will it be Santa, or maybe, one of those talking reindeer?

Merry Christmas!

Happy New Year????

Barbara Schwartz

Bethany and her husband have a “thing” about New Year’s Eve.

They used to like it, but over the course of decades, they have changed their tunes and now dislike it intensely.

Seems, that years ago, they were engaged on New Year’s Eve. Absolutely a momentous and marvelous occasion in their young lives. They lived the next few months planning their dream wedding.

They were married and spent the next couple of New Year’s Eves as a young married couple, madly in love with each other.

Then the children came. New Year’s Eve was then considered to be an expensive (VERY, VERY EXPENSIVE) evening out. So they stayed home and invited a few young couples to come over with their children for a celebratory dinner. New Year’s Eve came and went with a fun dinner. They watched the ball come down in New York City at 10:00 p.m.; it was midnight in NYC.

Years passed and it became almost a chore to be THAT excited and happy just because the year changed numbers. They were a bit cynical about all the forced excitement of the evening. They found themselves alone—the children were all grown and gone from the family home—so they changed their method of celebrating to a simple glass of champagne at 9:00. But that too changed since the champagne did not last and they were wasting money on it since it got thrown down the drain days later.

New Year’s Eve 2019 found them falling asleep in the living room watching a movie on the DVR.

Happy New Year 2020 from this exciting couple; It’s just another day/night in the year. Nothing to jump up and down about.

Or is it?

The Reluctant Rider

Gary Alan Rose

Sometimes we must face our fears to conquer them. This is a story about a youngster who loved horses, even feeding and brushing them in her spare time. It was her most desired accomplishment to ride a horse without fear; a fear developed by her past history with horses. You see she was thrown from a horse on two separate occasions.

Betty grew up in the days of western movies, and idolized Dale Evans, wife of cowboy TV star Roy Rogers. Dale embodied pure peace and enjoyment of a trot to a steady gallop across beautiful landscape. The connection between Dale and her horse fascinated Betty. It was what she so wanted in her life too. Therefore, she made the decision to give it one last try as she entered adulthood.

Approaching the horse Betty intended to ride—she tensed up, but was resolute in her goal. Nothing was going to stop her from conquering her fear. Slowing her breathing, Betty stepped into the first stirrup and gently mounted the steed. The horse didn’t even move. With newly gained confidence emboldened, she began in a gentle pace. However, the horse soon increased that pace much quicker than Betty intended, and the quelled fear now rose visibly in her eyes. Betty clung tighter to the reins, lowering her frame closer to the saddle horn in an attempt to avoid disaster again, but the bucking horse jostled her to one side of its flank without slowing any. In fact, a full gallop was on. Sliding further towards the stirrup and holding on for dear life, it appeared her head may soon strike the ground.

Fearing the worst for Betty, the Walmart attendant rushed to her side and jerked the electrical cord from the outlet.

Sometimes you just can’t win!