One, Hopeless Claus

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Children Stories  |  House: Booksie Classic
A Christmas themed story about hope in the face of challenging circumstances. Santa fears Christmas may have to be canceled with the Present-Wrapper 2000 breaks down. Will Christmas be delayed or will Santa and his elves come through. You have to read to find out.

Submitted: November 27, 2011

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Submitted: November 27, 2011

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One Hopeless Claus

By: John Quillman

 

It was the night before Christmas, how many stories begin like that? It was the night before Christmas, but in this case it really was. Santa and his elves and all the residents of the North Pole were busy getting ready for Christmas. Less than twenty-four hours left before Santa's sleigh would take off on its journey around the globe bringing presents and cheer and happiness to children everywhere.

 

But this year, this particular year, there was one, tiny glitch! The North Pole's present wrapper, the PW-2000, broke down. It was working fine up until about...11 am on the night before Christmas, Christmas Eve. When the manager of Santa's workshop, an elf named Jimmie, sounded off the warning alarm all of the machines in the workshop shut-down. The conveyor belts with toys and presents coming down, down, down toward the PW-2000 stopped in the blink of an eye because the Present-Wrapper 2000 stopped working.

 

Well...this certainly created a little bit of a problem for Santa and his elves as they were preparing for his Christmas journey. As the news made its way from Santa's workshop to Santa's office, Mrs. Claus took the phone call. When she answered the phone she heard a frantic Jimmie the elf talking a mile-a-minute about a problem at the workshop, but she couldn't quite understand what Jimmie was trying to say. And so she listened but had to ask Jimmie to slow down, catch his breath, and repeat what he was saying. So Jimmie did that and when it finally sunk in what the problem was, Mrs. Claus' face turned blank-white. She knew she was going to have to go tell Santa, who was in his office reading through his last minute list of things to-do before Christmas night, she knew she was going to have to break the news to the Big Guy.

 

She said good-bye to Jimmie and made her way from the kitchen to Santa's office; she knocked twice on the door and he invited her in. With a smile on his face he greeted his wife, whom he loved and shared many centuries of wonderful Christmases with. As she walked in, Santa could tell something wasn't quite right and he said to Mrs. Claus, “Honey, what's wrong?”

 

With a sad face, a face very much unlike the normally cheerful Mrs. Claus, she said, “Santa dear, I have some bad news.”

 

His ears perked up and in a quiet kind of voice he said to Mrs. Claus, “What do you mean...you have some bad news?”

 

Well...you see dear...ummm...Jimmie the elf called...and ummm...he was more than a little frantic when I took the phone call...and when I could finally calm him down and hear what he was saying...it turns out...there's a problem in the workshop.”

 

A problem in the workshop?,” Santa said.

 

Yes dear,” said Mrs. Claus, “a problem in the workshop. It turns out that the presents and things were making there way from the warehouse down to the packaging area just fine when all of a sudden the Present-Wrapper 2000 broke down and Jimmie had to hit the emergency button and stop all of the presents from making their way to the Present-Wrapper 2000. It's smoking and sputtering and chirping and making all kinds of strange noises; splattering oil and all kinds of other things all over the place and they don't know what to do! He called Bob the elf, the mechanic there at the workshop, to see what the problem is. At the very least, Santa dear, umm...this is going to slow the present wrapping process down by a few hours and the elves aren't quite sure they can have your sleigh ready on time; which might push Christmas back!”

 

Santa scratched his head for a moment and said, “This is indeed a problem! This is more than a problem. This, this could be a hopeless cause! We can't push Christmas back. Christmas doesn't stop whether the presents are ready or not! Christmas comes every year at the same time and it doesn't matter if the presents are ready...they just need to be ready dear!”

 

Well, honey, I know and that's what we're hoping for! We're hoping that Bob will get it fixed quickly and maybe the present-wrapper just needs an oil change or maybe its getting too dusty...I'm not sure but maybe things will turn out okay!,” said Mrs. Claus, trying her best to be hopeful.

 

Oh dear, oh dear,” Santa kept saying over and over and over. “Oh...oh dear, this is not good! This is not good at all. In all the years that I've been flying around the globe delivering presents to children everywhere I've never had a problem like this come up so close to Christmas. I just don't know what we're going to do!”

 

Santa's wife, Mrs. Claus patted him on the shoulder and put a light kiss on his cheek and said, “Well dear, we're just going to have to hope for the best.” And she turned and walked out of Santa's office and went back the Claus' kitchen to continue making cookies for the elves and the other workers there at the North Pole. Santa sat for a moment, frustrated and unsure what to do. He was one, hopeless Claus!

Well, old Kris Kringle was almost crippled at the conclusion that Christmas might need to be canceled. But he didn't want to go that far quite yet. He thought about it for a moment and began to wonder if there was anything he could do to help. So he got on the phone and called down to the workshop and asked for Jimmie. Jimmie came and got on the phone and Santa said, “Jimmie, its Santa, tell me what's going on with the Present-Wrapper 2000.”

 

Uh...well...Santa...you see...uh...uh... we're working hard on trying to get the Present-Wrapper 2000 to uh...to start working again but its not budging. Uh...its pulleys aren't pulling and its gears aren't cranking and we're just not sure what's wrong. Bob the elf, the mechanic down here at the workshop is working hard, sweating bullets trying to get this thing back up and running but we're just not sure what the problem is. We've never seen the Present-Wrapper 2000 act like this. So uh...we're doing our best and working hard to get it back up and running so Christmas can continue as planned.”

 

Well Jimmie, I suppose that's the best I could hope for at this point. Let me know how things come along as soon as possible,” Santa said.

 

Yes sir Santa! We'll call you back as soon as we know anything.”

 

Alright Jimmie, thanks for your hard work.”

 

You betcha Santa! Christmas MUST go on!”

 

So Santa and Jimmie said goodbye and Santa fell back into his desk chair, put his hands behind his head and let out a deep and frustrating sigh. He pondered the situation and wondered what could be wrong with the Present-Wrapper 2000. Its design was almost flawless, it was a perfect machine. His elves had spent many, many years creating the Present-Wrapper 2000. In fact, they were able to retire thousands and thousands and thousands of elves who had spent many, many, many millions of hours wrapping presents over the years for all the children of the world because the Present-Wrapper 2000 worked so quickly and efficiently wrapping the presents: bobbing the bows and carefully cutting the paper to be the perfect size for every gift and smoothly sticking the tape on the edges to keep the paper in place so each gift would look beautiful under the tree. He just could not understand why the Present-Wrapper 2000 would break the night before Christmas!

 

By now it was about 5 o'clock in the afternoon and Mrs. Claus came back to Santa's office. She peeked her head around the door and said, “Santa dear, why don't you come to the kitchen. I've put on some soup, some nice warm bread, and some hot tea. We'll have a little meal before you head out on your night of delivering presents all over the world.” Santa thought for a moment and agreed to come he figured maybe taking his mind off the situation might help him not feel so bad about it.

 

But when he got to the kitchen table all he could do was look into his bowl, spinning around all the little noodles and vegetables wondering what it was going to take to fix the Present-Wrapper 2000. Mrs. Claus could see the hopeless situation her husband was in. He really was one, hopeless Claus!

 

Then, all of a sudden, it was as if everything in Santa lit up with excitement and possibilities. He stood up from the table and darted out the door before Mrs Claus could say, “Santa, where are you going?” He was gone. He went down to the bell-tower in Christmas-town which had a large speaker. He got on the microphone and broadcast an announcement to all of the elves and other residents of Christmas-town.

 

Santa said, “Elves of Christmas-town we have a problem. The Present-Wrapper 2000 broke this afternoon, Jimmie tells me that they're not sure they can get it fixed, and Christmas is only a few hours away. As you know, Christmas cannot be canceled. Christmas goes on whether the presents are ready or not. And we, my friends, have a responsibility to make sure that the presents are ready. Now I know some of you are retired and have not worked in the workshop for years, and maybe you've made holiday plans for spending Christmas with your families, but as your friend and as your co-worker, I would ask that as many of you as possible make your way immediately to the workshop so that we can begin wrapping presents by hand to get them ready for delivery on Christmas morning. I invite you friends to come and join me in this great effort. Thank you. Your friend, Santa.”

 

After making his announcement he threw on his warm coat, went back out into the cold air and marched across town to the workshop. As Santa made his way to the workshop, he tried entering through the normally open front door but it was locked. And so he marched around to the back where the large delivery doors open into the main warehouse of the workshop. But before Santa made his way into the workshop he heard the joyous sound of laughter and singing coming from inside. He thought that was a strange sound to hear with such bad news looming about the Present-Wrapper 2000 and Christmas maybe needing to be canceled.

 

As he peeked in the door he saw every elf from Christmas-town and their families: their children and their childrens' children surrounding tables full of wrapping paper and bows and tape and scissors, wrapping presents a mile-a-minute joining together to get the job done so Christmas could go on and the boys and girls of the world could enjoy opening the presents under their trees on Christmas morning.

 

Santa, who had been one, hopeless Claus, went from being hopeless and full of sorrow to being overjoyed to the point of being speechless as he watched his friends, the elves from Christmas-town, wrapping and singing joyously as they prepared the presents for the children of the world to enjoy on Christmas. He was so happy he went around to each table and personally thanked all of the elves for their hard work and for coming to help out.

 

And, as you can imagine, in just a few hours as the clock struck mid-night Santa's elves would have the sleigh prepared and all of the gifts loaded and he would make his way into the sky ready to deliver beautifully wrapped Christmas presents to children everywhere. Christmas was saved! And Santa went from being one, hopeless Claus to one, very happy one! The End.


© Copyright 2017 John Quillman . All rights reserved.

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