MIssing Santa

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Other  |  House: Booksie Classic
Short story about a missing stuffed santa and its effects on people's lives.

Submitted: December 23, 2007

A A A | A A A

Submitted: December 23, 2007



It was a cold, dreary day when Sofie went into work that morning at the title company in a small town in Montana . There wasn’t a lot of snow for December, but the wind was bitter. Sofie wondered, for the hundredth time, why on earth she had decided to move to this god-forsaken place, where the sun didn’t shine much in the winter. She was a Montana native, but had lived for many years in California and certainly missed the sun on many days. She had moved here with her two little girls after her husband left her and feeling pretty hopeless had returned to her roots and to a town, where she had never lived before, but was home to her widowed mother and married sister and family and a brother. She had left her oldest son with his father in California and she missed him everyday. She thought she would stay a couple years to get her “ head” together and then move somewhere warmer. In the meantime, it promised to be a pretty bleak winter.

The title company was pretty slow these days—interest rates high and sales down. Not many people wanted to move in December. The frenzy of the holidays hadn’t started yet and the mood around the office was pretty ho-hum. Sofie had brought in a few decorations for the upcoming holiday, including a little fat, red Santa. She had made him from a kit someone had given her. His body was a red, plaid material, with a black belt and black boots. His beard was a scruffy, reddish-orange colored yarn and he had a red Santa hat perched on his head He wasn’t the best-looking Santa, but since she had sewn and stuffed him, he was going to decorate the office. Sofie put up a little tree in the corner and placed the little fat guy next to it. Later that morning, another title examiner named Kay stopped by and remarked on the Christmas decorations, Everything looks great but I have to tell you, that Santa is the ugliest Santa I’ve ever laid eyes on., she said. Sofie, being used to working in an office with many, many outspoken people, didn’t feel very offended by the remark. She thought to herself “That figures”

The next morning, Sofie arrived early, as was her habit, removed her heavy coat and prepared for another uneventful day at the office. As she glanced in the corner where the little tree was, she noticed the little Santa was gone. Missing. Not there. Who would steal the little guy? He wasn’t beautiful, in fact, been called ugly. Did the cleaning people move him somewhere? Had someone thrown him away.? Throughout the morning and afternoon, whenever Sofie had a chance, she asked whoever stopped by the office if they had seen the Santa. Everyone looked as puzzled as she felt. Noone had seen him. It appeared to be a fact—SANTA WAS MISSING!

On day two of the missing Santa, Sofie posted the following message on the door to her office:

And so, with that first poster, began a winter game that would intrigue the whole office for days and in fact weeks to come.

The reply to the reward poster came within a couple of days and read like this:

Sofie found it lying on her desk one morning. The picture of the Santa and the lettering had been cut out of letters from magazines or newspapers, so there was no clue as to the identity of the sender.

Almost immediately, the next day, in fact, another message was found on Sofie’s desk. This one had a picture of the “real missing Santa” right down to his orange yarn beard, sitting next to the daily newspaper, showing the current date. The message was enough to pull at your heart strings.

(Insert Picture) I MISS YOU MOM—YOU NEED TO PUT 25 CENTS UNDER THE SUGAR BOWL IN THE KITCHEN! Sofie lost little time in putting the money where directed, with a little note “please, please return Santa for the holidays.”

When word of the reward and subsequent ransom letter circulated around the office, co-workers stopped each morning at Sofie’s office before heading to their own desks and asked, “Any new word on the Santa” “Have they demanded more money?”, “Who do you think it is?”

These same questions had been floating around in Sofie’s head, too. Could it have been Mitch? He was a middle-aged guy, hair starting to gray along the side burns, who was known to do creative things with the copy machine. How about Joy, a soft-spoken blonde who seemed to take more interest than most in these recent happenings? Or maybe Kay, the gal who originally called him “ugly”? As Sofie mused about the possible suspects, she decided it was time to send a message back to WHOEVER.

In spite of the stern and hard message sent to the Santanappers, it was largely ignored and the daily pictures of Santa in different poses and in various locations continued. One showed him next to a pay phone at a local business and said

It was pretty sad looking.

Another one showed Santa laying in bed (however, it looked like a pretty comfy bed) The caption read:

He was shown on top of a garbage can at a local store, being held by an elf woman (no doubt at a local bazaar and holiday dinner) and even a picture of him with a glass of wine—perhaps a pathetic attempt to drown his sorrows. This boy certainly was getting around, but he didn’t really seem to be having a good time and it was apparent that the desperately wanted to come home for Christmas..

The mood in the office seemed to perk up as the” missing santa” game continued and the holiday season progressed. Plates of cookies, candy and other good things began to appear on the counter from local real estate people and bankers. More and more people stopped at Sofie’s office to inquire if anything new had developed regarding Santa. Even the boss wandered in wondering what all of the hoopala was about. With each person that stopped by, Sofie wondered IF they were the guilty santa-nappers.. She did not have a clue as to the identity of the mysterious person or persons.

The day before the annual Christmas party and gift exchange, a Christmas card arrived on Sofie’s desk. Nearly everyone on the staff had signed the card, along with their well-wishes for a safe return of the little fat guy.

(insert a few of the messages)

The day of the Christmas party finally arrived and everyone was in good spirits—lots of good food, a gift for everyone and ALSO a bonus was rumored to be coming. What more could you ask for?

As the gifts were being passed out, a big box was placed in Sofie’s lap. As was the custom at the gift exhange, the tag did not specify who the gift was from. YOU GUESSED IT—the little travel-weary santa was in the box and he almost looked like he was smiling. Sofie hugged him and thought to herself how appropriate that he should arrive in a package. Joy, the soft, spoken blonde, finally came clean. It was her all along—the least likely suspect of any. She said she had had a wonderful time ferrying the little man about town, and everyone she came in contact with, joined in the fun.

And so, what had started out as a dreary season ,had became fun and full of joy. As Sofie was driving home from the office that day, with a soft, beautiful snow coming down, she reflected on her life’s circumstances and thought perhaps this was not such a bad place to live after all. It seemed to be a good town to raise her kids,and she would have the help of an extended family. She had a good job and nice home. IT WAS A BEGINNING.

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