This year’s Christmas story is below.
You can also download the audio version and listen to it.
Produced by 7 Story Rabbit and featuring a reading by Chris Ranney, it’s available for free on my Patreon site.
Bobby lights a candle, pours himself some hot chocolate, and sits in the living room to wait. The Christmas tree lights twinkle like stars and eventually lull him to sleep. It’s Christmas Eve. He always falls asleep.
The alarms wake him when the trap is sprung.
Santa is tangled in the nets.
Bobby lights a new candle and brings over the plate of cookies. He smiles and says to Santa, “I have some questions.”
“Do you now?” Santa asks. “You know this will likely put you on the naughty list for life.”
“I’ll have to make the most of it, then.”
“Do what you will,” Santa says. “You can’t make me reveal any secrets.”
He laughs at Santa. “What secrets do you think I want to know? How you squeeze through the chimneys? How you move from house to house to every house across the world in a single night?”
“Actually, it’s not a single night,” Santa says, “and it’s not every house. Plenty of people celebrate other holidays and don’t want or need my visit.”
“See, you’re telling me everything.”
“I’ve told you nothing,” Santa says. “What is it you really want to know?”
Bobby hesitates, but there’s no point to it. “Why did I stop believing in you after fifth grade when you’re so obviously real?”
Santa grins. “Perhaps you needed to start believing in your parents.”
“That doesn’t sound right.”
Santa takes the cookie from the plate. “Because Santa is an ideal and an idea, not an actual jolly elf flying down from the North Pole. For a few years of everyone’s life, I’m merely the ghost of an idea. Just like this year for you.”
“I’m not sure I understand.”
“You might not,” Santa says. “As a child, you need to believe magic is real. Later, you need to know who hides behind the curtains to make that magic happen. And now, I know there’s been dark times, Bobby, and you’ve had a rough year. Now, you need to believe in magic again.”
Santa, suddenly insubstantial as a ghost, slips through the nets and tweaks Bobby’s nose. Together, they disappear from the living room to move from house to house to every house across the world in a single night.