It was two days before Christmas and all was well in the North Pole. The reindeers’ stables were lit by the dull glow from Rudolph’s red nose as he walked past his sleeping friends making sure they were lying comfortably. Then he snuggled into his own bed of fresh straw and relaxed for the night. They all had to get their rest because this was the busiest time of the year for Santa Claus and his helpers. They had lots of work to do before Christmas was over.
In Santa’s Workshop the elves were just getting the last packages ready for the children of the world and the room was full of brightly coloured paper and ribbons. The elves sang as they worked. This year they were especially happy because all the presents were ready to pack into Santa’s sleigh on Christmas Eve.
There were four elves: Sparkle, Glitter, Holly and Berry and they had been with Santa for a long time. They loved their job and they especially loved to see the happy faces of the children on Christmas morning when they saw the gifts that Santa had brought them.
“How great the gifts look,” said Sparkle to Berry as they tied the last ribbon. They both laughed with glee.
The room was full of presents, one on top of the other. There were small boxes, big boxes, boxes that rattled and squishy boxes that were going to the very small children. As well as packages, there were lots of candy canes and Christmas candy for all the stockings that would be hung on Christmas Eve. They would be filled with goodies by Holly and Berry. That was their special job and they loved it.
The Bad News
Just then Mrs Claus came into the busy room. You could tell she was Mrs Claus because she looked just like Santa. She was a large, happy lady with merry blue eyes and white hair. Holly said she smelled of warm chocolate chip cookies. But she didn’t look happy at all today. In fact she looked very sad.
Mrs Claus sat in the rocking chair in the centre of the room and pulled Berry onto her lap. The other elves came to her. Holly stood on her head to make Mrs Claus laugh, but that didn't work.
“Well children,” she said, “I have some bad news for you. There isn't going to be a Christmas this year.”
The elves looked at her in horror. No Christmas! That just couldn't be. There had to be a Christmas. There was one every year.
“Why?” cried Holly and Berry together.
“No Christmas,” said Sparkle. “What about the children?”
“Well, that is just the thing,” said Mrs Claus sadly. “Santa isn't sure that the children of the world deserve a Christmas this year. He said he doesn't think there are many nice children left. You know he checks on their behaviour now and then all year round. Well, this year he has been very disappointed in what he has seen and heard. Children were taking and not giving, fighting instead of helping, being mean instead of being kind. He thought they were acting more like grownups than sweet children and he didn't like it. He is very sad about the whole thing but doesn't know what else to do.”
Holly and Berry, who were the smallest elves, started to cry and hold on to Mrs Claus. Sparkle and Glitter looked at each other - what could they do? how could they change Santas mind? They knew that Santa was right. This year had been very bad and even in the North Pole it was hard not to see what was happening.
Gotta do Something
“We must try to change Santas mind,” said Glitter. “Do you think he would listen to us?”
Mrs Claus eyes filled with tears as she stroked Glitter’s cheek and straightened his cap. “I don’t think so,” she said sadly. “I have been talking to him for a long time and he is sure that there isn’t one thoughtful, generous child left on earth. He kept showing me the Christmas letters which were full of things that each child wanted. Not a please or a thank you in them. They all asked for everything and that isn’t right you know. The special joy of Christmas is not to get lots of things but to know that you are loved enough to be remembered with a gift. You must know that there are children in the world that Santa never finds because they have no-one to love them. The greedy children don’t think about that.”
“We have to do something about this Mrs Claus,” said Sparkle. “Let’s put on our thinking caps and see if we can help Santa to feel happy again.”
Mrs Claus and the elves closed their eyes and thought and thought and thought. After a while, they looked at each other hopefully. No one had any ideas at all. What were they to do?
Just then Berry raised his hand. Now being a the smallest elf, he didn't usually say much but he did have an idea and maybe the others would think it was O.K.
“What is it Berry?” asked Mrs Claus, kindly. “Don't be afraid to share your idea with us.”
“Well,” said Berry shyly, “Why don't we ask Rudolph? You know he always knows everything and he’s been with Santa forever and helps all of us every Christmas. Maybe he will have a good idea.”
The rest of the elves looked at Mrs Claus hopefully and she slowly nodded and smiled. “You are quite right little one. Lets go see my favourite reindeer now.”
Mrs Claus and the elves hurried out to the stables. It was very cold outside and the snow crackled as they walked.