Christmas 2023: The Toymaker

   Far in the north, in the land of ice queens and snow giants, where winter is a way of life and the aurora sing and dance through the longest nights, there’s a contest.
   Every ten years, they gather from all corners of the globe. It’s a contest of skill but also of speed. The most famous toymakers in all of history, George Parker and Herman Fischer and Marvin Glass and the like, have competed.
   It’s a long and perilous journey to the competition fields. Icicle stalactites guard the mouth of the cave like teeth.
   Inside, there hides a grand metropolis, a city of wonders filled with carousels and Ferris wheels and the crystal eyes of every doll not yet made.
   Every ten years, the contestants who survive the rigors of the journey, who face the whales and the polar bears and the riddle of the snow sparrow, alone and without further aid, must take up one of the workstations.
   From the stroke of noon until the final chime of midnight, the toymakers compete in the oldest traditional sport known to humanity. They fashion, by hand and using only the tools allotted to them, a toy soldier.
   Almost always, the toymaker wins with wood. There’s a lot to be said for nostalgia. But some of the soldiers carry flowers instead of rifles. Some are warrior poets armed with Robert Frost or Byron or Chaucer. Some are ninja. Some are radicals trying desperately to save the reindeer.
   There are points for originality and creativity. The judges are chosen from the most fanciful of dreamers. The stakes are high. Only one person can win the assortment of pies and cookies. Only one person can win the snow globe and get their portrait painted at the North Pole itself.
   Only one person can win the coveted role of Santa. This year, I wonder – will it be you?

Be the first to comment

Leave a Reply