Story About Santa

“A Promise Is A Promise. Love, Dad."

The Chief Elf called and told me “Hannah is three and a half years old, her brother Hunter is five. Hannah will not make another Christmas." Would I be willing to meet Hunter and Hannah at the airport on Christmas Eve?  I had never worn my Santa suit on Christmas Eve; it was family time. But my wife and kids agreed I should help. Christmas Eve was spent preparing for the big trip. We celebrated Christmas with an early dinner, then Santa was chauffeured to the airport.  About ten minutes before the family was to arrive, my cell phone rang. Hannah had passed away that afternoon. I was stunned and heartbroken. Elf told me the parents wished to go ahead with the plans.  They wanted Hunter to remember the day as Christmas Eve, not the day his sister died.  It was a very tough moment. I cried, hugged my 22-year-old son, and told him I loved him.  A short time later Hunter and his parents arrived. We discussed the evening travel plans and how we would deliver gifts.   We went outside to get in the helicopter. Hunter asked why we were not taking the sleigh.  I explained, and he understood, that if we made a sharp turn with only one seatbelt, we could fall out of the sleigh. 

The helicopter took off and headed for the best Christmas lights--the Country Club Plaza.  Santa and Hunter talked through the headsets.  Santa learned that Hunter's favorite lights were blue.  We landed at the delivery house.  Santa entered by “sliding down the chimney,” and opened the door for Hunter and his family. Santa and Hunter went to work putting gifts under the tree, while Mom and Dad watched.  We were then ready to read and respond to the letters that were left by the children. Hunter was pleased that the presents we delivered matched what the children had written in the letters. Hunter even signed one of the letters. We then had to eat the cookies, drink the milk, and eat the carrots that were left for Santa and the reindeer. Mom and Dad helped.

After we got in to the air, Dad told Hunter that he could see their neighborhood and their house.  When Hannah passed away, her neighbors turned out the Christmas lights on their houses. They then went to Hannah and Hunter’s house and put lights on the pine tree on their front lawn. As we got closer, we saw that the only Christmas lights in the neighborhood were on the tree in Hannah and Hunter’s yard. As the pilot flew closer, the neighbors came outside to wave to Hunter. As we headed for the airport, Hunter said he was sad his sister died. Santa told him that we were all sad, and he had been a big help to Hannah and she was now in a better place.  We landed at the airport and went inside. Santa and Hunter talked some more, and then it was time to go. We got one last instant picture and Santa signed it for Hunter.  Hopefully, Hunter will have a pleasant memory of Christmas Eve to help him when he thinks about this Christmas. It seemed to help Mom and Dad through their most difficult day. But the biggest gift of all was the one Santa got from working with the Elves. May God help us all keep our joys and our sorrows in perspective.

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