A Christmas Tale

Porter yawned and rubbed his eyes…they felt like that they had sand in them. Beside him was Parker and Chet and Steve…but Neva was not present. ‘Were are we,’ Parker asked? Chet replied that during the height of their excitement at the North Pole, Mrs. Claus, or CC, had asked them to follow her into a darkened room off of the grand hallway of Santa’s castle. Steve said, ‘The last time I saw Neva…she was laughing and working on her tiled tables.’

Out walked a jovial person in the clothing of an usher…a person of great importance. ‘How are you fine folk today,’ he asked with a laugh! ‘We are well’ said Parker. ‘Where are we,’ inquired Chet? ‘Why you are in the fabulous Fox Theatre in St. Louis, Missouri,’ replied the jovial officious usher….who looked much like Santa Claus… ‘Please follow me and I will show you Christmases of days past and of the great author, Charles Dickens, time! ‘Mind how you go…,’ said the usher.

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The Ghost of Christmas Present stood before the group and his resonate bass voice and majestic presence overwhelmed them! He spoke of good deeds and bad. He spoke of children who were fearful and hungry. He sang of the mystery of Christmas… He noted that Mr. Scrooge would be visited by him and two other specters on Christmas Eve night. He laughed with the joy of his temporary position of Christmas Eve and Christmas Day! Chet said, ‘What is the answer for our dispensation…how can we unite others in love and the true meaning of Christmas?’ The G of CP responded with a swirl of his lustrous green cape and a gesture of his hand toward the Ghost of Christmas Past.

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Christmas Past presented herself with a sad and sullen dance and a look about her eyes of things lost… She recounted the wonderful start in life of one Ebenezer Scrooge. How that he loved his sister and how that he had been engaged to be married to the love of his life, Belle, and his loneliness and sadness at being left at school… Scrooge had remembered his poverty and penury but had forgotten the love that his sister had for him and his love for Belle… As he began to earn more and more money and to become financially successful he had replaced his human affection for the insidious dedication to capital gains!

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Steve asked the twinkling eyed usher how their group could take the message of a Christmas Carol to the people of their time? The usher… reminded Steve of the famous W. Clement Moore poem The Night Before Christmas, ‘With a wink of his eye and a twist of his head soon gave me to know I had nothing to dread…And laying his finger aside of his nose, and giving a nod up the chimney he rose!’ Steve looking perplexed called out again…’But what about the message?’

Marley…or should I say the ghost of Marley cut quite a figure! His chains were ponderous and his wailing and screeching were nerve racking! He bemoaned his avarice and greed and his disregard for those in need during his life on earth! He cautioned Parker and Porter and Steve and Chet to not follow his example…but to reach out to their fellow human family and strive to make their burdens lighter and their existence happier. Parker asked, ‘How do we return to the North Pole to finish helping Santa and CC?’ ‘Just open the door and walk through,’ cried The Ghost of Marley… Parker opened the door and they walked into the brilliant light of the elves workroom and Santa called out, ‘We leave in one hour!’

Neva began to speak of her childhood Christmases, ‘When I was a little girl we did not have any food to eat and mom led us through the forrest to forage for persimmons.’ ‘I loved receiving a fruit basket for Christmas that was full of apples and pears and small candies and delicious grapes,’ Neva went on to say.

Chet told the group, that two years ago he had received a Daniel Boone action figure, that was modeled on the actor, Fess Parker, and he knew that his classmates Tommy would probably not have any gifts due to the poverty of his family. He said that the happiest he had ever been was when he had given Tommy his Daniel Boone…and that the look of surprise and happiness in his eyes…was priceless!

Porter fondly remembered getting a Christmas Basket from the Lions Club of Eldorado, Illinois after watching a Holiday movie at the Orpheum Theatre. There was candy and cookies and fruit and nuts…and a Superman Soakie in the large brightly wrapped gift basket… He had wondered at the goodness of the smiling men and women that gave him the wonderful present…and he did not even know their names…

Steve was lost in his thoughts about the Christmases that he had enjoyed with Porter and Neva…at their country home. Neva had awakened him on Christmas morning by proclaiming in a loud and commanding voice, ‘Hit the deck…you rubberneck!’ The coffee cake and the roast and potatoes and the fudge and divinity…were to die for!

Elvira the Elf reminisced about Santa and CC taking her into their home and treating her as a member of the family. Her mom, Eugenie, and he dad, Elbert Eskell, had died in the Elf Wars. Suddenly Elvira announced, ‘I have just had a revelation…we can bring to each home that we leave gifts at… a movie of the happy days in the past of each human occupying the dwelling… and it will be fastened with a lock whose combination requires the viewing of the film before the gifts can be opened…

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