Nick Gets an Earful.
The Dodson family quickly piled into the van. Pastor Bruce and Carol in the front, of course, with Edward and Joy insisting that Nick ride in the back seat right between them. Just as Pastor Bruce turned on the ignition, Joy leaned over her car seat and yelled out, “Mom and Dad, hurry up, Santa has to get back to his workshop so he can bring us our presents.”
“Joy, I’ve told you before,” Pastor Bruce said as he strained his neck to look behind him. “Nick is not Santa Claus. Santa lives up at the North Pole. Right, Nick?”
“Well, Joy,” Nick said calmly, “you know what? I don’t really know all that much about ‘ole Santa Claus. Why don’t both you and Edward tell me everything you know about St. Nick?”
Now that one question opened the kids up to talk nonstop about Christmas for the next six blocks. Nick listened carefully as Joy ticked off every known fact about Santa, all of course, from the unique perspective of a six-year-old. Unlike most conversations between six and eight year olds, Edward sat quietly in his seat, waiting for his turn to tell Nick his own unique thoughts about Santa.
As the van rolled down Main Street, the Dodson kids took their delegated turns telling Nick all they had personally experienced at Christmas and all that Santa Claus meant to them. Between them both, there was fourteen years of Christmas past that proved without a doubt that Santa had an honorable place in both of these young children’s hearts.
At one point, Carol interrupted the barrage of Christmas talk and said, “Kids, I think Nick has heard quite enough about Santa. Haven’t you, Nick?”
“Well Mrs. Dodson,” Nick replied. “I just can’t tell you how meaningful it is to hear your children’s perspectives on ‘ole Santa. The older I get, the more I need to be reminded on why Santa does what he does.”
Just as the Dodson van turned into the shelter’s parking lot, Edward noticed that Nick brushed away a tear as he talked.
“Nick, are you crying?” Edward asked.
“No, son,” Nick said, trying to call attention away from himself, “just fighting off a bit of a head cold.”
“Well, Pastor,” Nick continued. “Looks like there are still a few folks here at the shelter. Thank you so much for the ride. I’ll pick up my gloves and coat and meet you back at the church by eleven-thirty.”
“Are you sure you don’t want to just run in, grab your things, and then come on over to our place before the service tonight?” Carol asked.
“Please, Nick! Come with us!” Edward pleaded.
“Santa, please come.” Joy cried out.
“No, No.” Nick sighed. “Gotta touch base with a few friends here before I go over to the church. Besides, you kids need to get a bit of rest before tonight’s big candle light service.”
Nick hopped out of the van quickly so no one could see the second tear that was forming in his eyes. “Goodnight, all, and thanks again.”
Click here to go on to Chapter Nine…
As we celebrate the Advent season, I’d like to share with you one of my personal favorites, a Christmas-time short story I call…Joy Comes in the Morning: A Short Story for Christmas-Time Reading. You might want to bookmark our homepage to keep the whole story in one place! Enjoy!
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