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Friday, December 19, 2014

Santa’s New Suit

It was Christmas Eve and Santa Claus was getting ready to hop on his sled and deliver presents to girls and boys all around the world. But before he could leave the North Pole, there was one thing he had to do.

Santa had to open a present of his own.

Since Santa is understandably very busy on Christmas Eve and very tired on Christmas Day, he and Mrs. Claus came up with a compromise so they could still share some holiday cheer together. 

The reindeer were hitched up, the big bag of toys were in the back of the sleigh, and Santa had his mug of cocoa in hand, so he made his way up the stairs to the Claus master bedroom to find Mrs. Claus holding a large red package. 

It was big and shiny and had a big green bow on top. 

"Ho ho ho!" Santa laughed. "What have you got for me this year, Mrs. Claus?"

"Oh, Santa," Mrs. Claus sighed. "I really hope you like it!"

"After last year's present? I think I'll like anything you give me, Mrs. Claus," Santa said as he gave Mrs. Claus a kiss on the cheek. 

Mrs. Claus blushed and handed the present to Santa, who removed the bow and slowly, carefully unwrapped the shiny red paper from the box.

He winked at Mrs. Claus and lifted the box. Inside was one of the most spectacular things he'd ever seen:

A vibrant, sparkling red silk suit.

It was gorgeous - Christmas lights sparkled and bounced off the shiny fibers in his coat. A coal-black leather belt and a large brass buckle rested on top of his new pants, which fit him just right (he noticed that last year's pants were a little tight). 

"Turn around, Mrs. Claus, I want to try it on!" Santa said with a smile. "I don't want to spoil the surprise!"

Mrs. Claus turned, her hair up in a tidy bun and a red sash around her waist. "I can't wait to see how you look, Santa!"

He dressed and slipped on his boots and hat before walking up to Mrs. Claus and reached out for her hand.

"I'm ready, dear," he said.

She turned and saw the familiar face of her gentle husband, but her eyes grew wide with what she saw. He had transformed - his eyes were sparkling more than usual, his cheeks had become rosier, and his big white beard seemed firmer and bigger than ever.

"Well," Santa said. "How do I look?"

"Better than ever!" Mrs. Claus said breathlessly. "Maybe I'll keep you here this Christmas Eve after all..."

"Ho ho ho!" Santa bellowed. He knew his responsibility. Millions of little children around the world needed him tonight. Mrs. Claus would just have to wait. 

Santa was running late. He kissed Mrs. Claus and turned on his heel, gliding down the stairs with renewed energy and a lightness he hadn't felt in years. 

He bounced into the sleigh, calling the reindeer out by name as they darted into the sky, heading to the first stop on this Christmas Eve night.

Santa's new suit wasn't just for looks. He slid in and out of chimneys large and small with ease and laughter because the silk in his new pants were tickling him as he went up and down. His deliveries were going well - he would make it to the United States with plenty of time to spare. 

While they were flying over Washington, Santa called out to Rudolph, who had noticed his new suit somewhere over Seattle.

"Ho ho ho!" Santa laughed. "Mrs. Claus' present is really doing the trick. Not a spec of chimney ash on me!"

Rudolph reared his head in agreement. He remembered last year's debacle in Kansas City - Santa's suit was completely black by the end of the night.

Before long, Santa and his reindeer were making their last stops before Christmas morning and the sun was beginning to come up. Santa turned his sleigh north and hurried towards home.

Climbing out of his sleigh for the last time this year, he looked up to find Mrs. Claus opening the rooftop door.

"Ho ho ho, Mrs. Claus!" he called. 

Mrs. Claus stopped in her tracks, the tin of cookies she had in her hand tumbling to the snow. What she saw before her was breathtaking.

The early morning sunlight reflecting in his suit, Santa stepped towards her and looked down. The snow was sparkling red with a golden glow - the sunlight arching across the sky and bouncing around playfully on every surface while the elves came out of their workshop to see the spectacle for themselves.

But to Mrs. Claus, she saw a Santa she hadn't seen in decades and decades - this big jolly Santa had whispers of red in his beard and his hair, his eyes twinkled like those of a young man's, and he smelled of freshly fallen pine needles. 

She was brought back to the place where they first met, back to when she was a young girl. The suit had returned them both to youth and vitality.

"Merry Christmas, Mrs. Claus," Santa said with a smile.

"Merry Christmas, Santa," Mrs. Claus whispered. "Merry Christmas to us all."

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