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                                       A Surprise Visit To The North Pole

The other night, I was sitting in front of my fire thinking about the commercialism of Christmas and what I could do for my
grandchildren to help them understand its true meaning.  As it got late, I headed into my kitchen for some hot chocolate
before going to bed.

When I reached up into the cupboard to get a cup, I was startled by a loud swishing noise outside my window. I looked out
and saw a sleigh with eight tiny reindeer pulling it. They were getting ready to land; and they did, right in front of my house. 
You can imagine my surprise. I put on my coat and ran outside to see what was happening. By the time I got out there, the
driver was nowhere in sight. The reindeer were just standing there snorting, and a few stomped their feet as though they were
anxious to be on their way.  How those tiny reindeer could pull that gigantic sleigh is a mystery.

Can you believe I am such a curious person, that I just had to see inside.  It sure was work, climbing up into that tall sleigh. 
The driver's seat was really cozy, with a red quilted leather bucket type seat, and a wrap-around shawl
attached to it.  Next to that seat was a very deep hole.  It appeared larger than the sleigh from the outside. 
I don't guess there were ever any passengers.   I decided that it was meant to hold gifts.  Another huge
hollow space was in back of the sleigh.  I jumped back there to examine it more closely and discovered I
was going to have a hard time getting out because it was so deep. There were some lovely smelling pine
needles scattered on the bottom. It had several shelves, rather far apart, and I decided that if I could just
reach the first one, I'd be able to climb out.

Just then, I heard someone coming. The sleigh swayed as a giant  figure climbed into the driver's seat. With a crack of a whip,
I heard him say,

"On Donner, On Blitzen...."

Oh, boy, was I scared!   Then before I could catch my breath, we were airborne.  Now what could I do? I tried yelling to Santa,
(I had figured out who it was).  TSmassleigh.gif (3115 bytes)he wind was howling past us so fast, he
couldn't hear me.  In no time at all, or so it seemed, we swooped down toward the ground and gracefully landed, like those
Olympic skiers that take off from a high slide and just glide down to earth.  I again yelled to Santa.  This time heard me.

"HO! HO! HO! What have we here?" I didn't know if he would be angry or just amused.

Fortunately for me, he was very amused as I explained how I happened to be there.  Imagine a grandma climbing into that sleigh.  
I guess that would be amusing.

"Whew!" I breathed a sigh of relief.

"Well, young lady, (did you catch that? "YOUNG lady") since you are here, how would
you like a tour of  North Pole City?"

I was overjoyed. "But, how will I ever get back home?" I asked.

Santa assured me he would have Rudolph carry me back, so I relaxed a bit. As he pulled me up next to him, I looked around. 
There was nothing but a few trees, snow and ice as far as the eye could see.  Before I could ask where the city was, the ground
beneath us opened up and reindeer, sleigh and all were lowered gently down, down, down, until we came to rest in a
very large and brightly glowing room.  It was filled with gifts that were wrapped in beautiful paper and ribbons with bows. 
Some also had flowers and bells decorating them.  At the end of the room there was a conveyer belt that carried oodles of toys
and games, wagons, bikes and dolls, jewelry, electronic items from pagers to cellular phones, to computers, tools, blankets,
slacks, jackets, sweaters, blouses, shirts and ties, (it seemed there were an inordinate amount of ties) and so many other items, 
that I could hardly believe my eyes.  They were slowly moving toward several dozen elves that were whistling a happy tune while
they wrapped, taped and decorated each item as it came down the line.

Gifts1.gif (4979 bytes)I asked Santa where he got all the gifts. He answered that people put in their orders, and he and the elves try to
fill each one.  Some he has to order himself.  Others, his elves make. He said that many people believe he can
make them without cost, but that is not so.  The folks that order the gifts do pay for them.  He also told me that
many young children whose folksdo not have money to spend on gifts, write to him with so much hope, that it
breaks his heart when he is unable to fill their order. 

He said, "If everyone on earth, who is able to buy gifts for their loved ones, would buy just one extra gift for a needy child
or adult, no one would ever have to be left out."  Christmasgift.gif (349 bytes)  
This stopped me dead in my tracks.

"Santa, I wish I had known!"

"Well, now you do." he said.

Then he took me by the hand and led me into a Great Room where elves were busily hammering, gluing, and fitting, painting
and singing.  The harmony was so beautiful. It took my breath away.   They were singing...


A very attractive lady with white hair approached us.  She was wearing a red dress, and a red and white checkered
apron that covered a roly-poly tummy like Santa's,

With a cheery, "Welcome back, Honey, who is this with you?"  she gave Santa a kiss.  

I assumed she was Mrs. Claus.

"This is a stowaway from the last town where I delivered those Christmas trees tonight." he answered.

Then he smiled at me and asked, "And, what is your name?"

"I thought Santa knew everything." I said.

Santahips.gif (4650 bytes)Santa put his hands on his hips and said, "I don't know how that rumor got started."

I told him my name, somewhat confused.   Mrs. Claus came over and gave me a big hug.  I was still wondering about Santa
not knowing everything, when Mrs. Claus led me over to a lavishly decorated table filled with food. Every imaginable dish was there:
a sampling from every country.  She asked me to help myself.

By this time, I was really hungry, so I picked up a plate and tried everything that was there.  It was wonderful. There were many
familiar tastes, but others were very unfamiliar.   It was all so delicious, and the neatest part was that I could eat as much as I
wanted without feeling too full.

When I was finished eating, they took me around and introduced me to every elf that was working there. It looked more like fun
than work.  The introductions took a long time.  Each elf stopped his work momentarily to greet me and explain what he was doing. 
They were so genuinely friendly, and I was having such a good time.

Suddenly, Santa and Mrs. Claus both took my hands and quietly led me out to a path that wandered past rows of little houses.

"That is where the elves live." Santa whispered.

The path eventually led up to a beautiful chapel where soft rainbow colored light filtered through stained glass windows. 
An organ could be heard softly playing,
                                       "Oh, Come Let Us Adore Him"...

Santa and Mrs. Claus seemed to tiptoe as we entered, so I did too. I looked around and saw that there were probably
a hundred elves kneeling in prayer.  I stood there in awe. 

Santa saw that I was a little bewildered, and he turned to me and said,

"It is very sad that so many people celebrate Christmas but forget the very One we are supposed to be remembering...
but we do not forget Him.  If it weren't for the birth of Jesus, Mama, the elves and I would not even exist."

Then, we reverently knelt with the elves to give thanks to God for his priceless gift. 

I don't know how much time passed.  It seemed to stand still.  It was such a joyous experience. 
Finally, Santa said it was time to go.

We worked our way back past the Great Room, through the wrapping room, and onto the platform that took us up to the
icy ground above.  As we said our good-byes and hugged all around, Santa whistled for Rudolph.
Reindeer.gif (7746 bytes)They got
me a step stool so I could climb up on Rudolph's back,
and bundled me up really well in a down comforter. I was waving
goodbye, and before I knew it, I was back in front of my home.

It was all quiet, so I went in and fixed that cup of hot chocolate.   I sat in front of the fire and just thought about all that
had happened.  It gave me a new appreciation for Santa and gift giving at Christmas.  Now, I will always think about the
birth of the Lord Jesus, whenever I see Santa.


           Dawn Tucek December 1996




  *For unto you is born this day in the city of David
   a Savior, which is Christ the Lord. 
       Luke 2:11