Christmas Crisis

It's very tempting for a kid to hitch a ride on Santa's sleigh.

It's very tempting for a kid to hitch a ride on Santa's sleigh.

Savannah Henslee, Staff Writer

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“We wish you a merry Christmas and a happy New Year.”  The music blared through the house and little eight-year-old Max was singing along while the twins Jessica and James hung the lights on the tree. Being the oldest, at 17, Jessica and James had the task of putting the lights on the tree before everyone hung the ornaments. They are also the ones that will put the more breakable and special ornaments on the tree since they have to go up top out of reach of Max and the youngest, two year old Beth, who were both on the floor playing with the plastic and fabric ornaments.

“Jessica, help.” Jessica heard Max’s laughing voice shout out.

“James!” She shouted exasperated at her twin brother’s antics, “the lights are supposed to be going the tree not the kids.” She stood up from where she was wrapping lights around the bottom of the tree to help untangle the kids from the lights.

“What? They wanted to help I didn’t know by help they meant wrapping themselves instead of the tree,” he insisted, trying to feign innocence and put the blame on the other children.

“Of course they did,” she laughed, “I bet it definitely wasn’t your idea.” James could hear the sarcasm in his twin sister’s voice and they both start laughing.

“Okay, okay, I confess I may have encouraged them just a little.” Jessica shoves him lightly, still laughing at James a little, before going back to working on the tree.

This was the family’s tradition, decorating the tree and house on Christmas Eve as a family. Only this year things were different. The children’s mother and father had to go out of town last minute, leaving the kids to do Christmas preparations on their own this year. They were supposed to be home earlier today, but a heavy snow caused a delay on their flight, meaning they will not get home until noon tomorrow. So Jessica and James took it upon themselves to make sure that everything gets done and everything is perfect for the younger kids and ready when their parents get home.

Earlier that morning Jessica had made the Christmas sugar cookies so that they would be cool enough to decorate them after they finished the tree. It was around seven p.m. when they finally finished decorating the tree and the living room. They had the stocking hung on the mantle, the tree lit up,  and the Christmas pillows and blankets set on the couch. So now, it was time to decorate the cookies for Santa. “Everyone gets to decorate four cookies each. You’ll each get a Santa head, a reindeer, a bell and a sleigh,” Jessica explains to them before they start. While decorating they kept the music on and James was attempting to sing along with every song.

“Jessica sing with me,” James whines after a while, “it’s not as fun singing alone.” Jessica contemplates it for a minute before joining him singing Baby, It’s Cold Outside and eventually they are all four singing and dancing around the kitchen together with Jessica and using whisks as microphones.

As it was to be expected the younger two made huge messes with the icing and sprinkles getting them all over the place including themselves. This meant they needed showers.

“James you do their showers then they’ll need to get to bed. I’ll get the kitchen cleaned up while you do that.” James sighs, obviously not wanting to do it but he nods anyways. “Thank you,” she says before turning to Beth and Max. “Now, you two need to be good and go to bed right after showers. You want Santa to come don’t you?” Beth, being only two, doesn’t really understand the concept of Santa yet, but Max does, and he starts nodding his head almost violently.

“We’ll be good and go to bed after showers, but don’t forget you need to get to bed too so that Santa will come,” he says trying to act older than he really is. Jessica laughs at her younger brother and kisses him and Beth on the head before saying goodnight. Then James took them upstairs to get ready for bed.

Jessica was still working on the kitchen when James came back down.

“They are both showered and asleep,” James tells her, “Now let’s get the kitchen done and go watch a movie.”

Not long after James starts helping the kitchen is clean. Jessica looks at the clock to see what time it is.

“James it’s already ten o’ clock. We can probably only watch one movie tonight. What do you want to watch?” Jessica asks while they head to the living room.

“We should watch The Santa Clause. I’ll get it and put it in,” he replies opening while the movie cabinet.

Jessica sits down while James sets it all up and they fall silent. They sit and enjoy each other’s company while watching the movie. Eventually they both drift off to sleep.

Thud.

Jessica jolts awake at the sound.

“James, wake up,” she whispers while shaking him lightly in an attempt to wake him up. “James, wake up,” she says again only this time slightly louder.

“What is it Jessica; I’m trying to sleep,” he mutters back barely awake.

“I heard something. There was a thud on the roof.” she whispers back.

“It was just your imagination just a dream. Maybe it’s Santa Clau…” his sarcastic reply gets cut off as another thud sounds through the house.

“I told you so,” Jessica whisper-yelled scolding her brother for not believing her.

“Okay, okay, grab the coats and we can go check it out.” They get up and James heads towards the door and Jessica went to grab the coats from their place in the laundry room.

“Here, put your coat on and let’s go see what’s going on,” Jessica says tossing James his coat.

By the time Jessica gets outside James was already in the middle of the yard staring up at the roof frozen with complete shock. Looking up to see what’s silenced her brother so quickly, she gasps. Up on the rooftop, eight reindeer stand in front of a beautiful red sleigh. On the sleigh sits a large red sack with presents overflowing from inside it. But that is not all that is in the back of the sleigh. Jessica and James watch as Max climbs up the sack then he disappears inside.

Before either of them fully realize what is going on the man himself appears and in the blink of an eye Santa, his sleigh, and Max are gone.

“James…” Jessica says as her eyes widen, “what are we going to do?” she adds starting to panic as the severity of the situation fully hits her. “Calm down Jess, we’ll figure it out,” and although he seemed to be calm, Jessica could see how scared he really was. Their little brother had just been taken on by Santa and they have no clue how to find them. Neither of them had a car, either, even though they both had their licenses.

“I messaged my friend Alyssa asking if she could babysit Beth for tonight. She said she’ll be here on 15 to 20 minutes then we can figure out from there what to do next.” James told her, trying to calm her down.

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