A Fractured Christmas Tale

by Debbie Harris — It was two days before Christmas at the North Pole. Everyone was working feverishly in the toy factory, getting ready for the big day. The Grinch, in charge of the whole process, smiled broadly. “I know we can make it,” he said, clapping his hands together. “We can’t disappoint a single child—even the bratty ones.” “Can’t we take a break?” whined Santa, coming up behind him.
“I’m tired.” “You can take an eating break,” replied the Grinch. “You have to fit the suit, you know,” he said grinning and patting Santa on the tummy. “But I’m not hungry,” Santa whined. “Besides, my sugar is elevated and my cholesterol is through the roof. Don’t any of you care what happens to me?” he pleaded toward the figure approaching him. ?
“No,” replied Bob Cratchet sternly, placing a dish of extra buttery, double sugar cookies on the table in front of Santa. “Eat, or three spirits will visit you while you sleep tonight,” Bob warned curtly as he turned and strode off. “Where’s my good friend Rudolph?” asked Santa as he bit into a cookie. “He’s hooked up to the generator,” answered the Grinch. “Gotta get him all juiced up for the ride.” ?
Through his chewing, Santa could hear the faint yells of distress coming from the reindeer clinic. “That’s either Rudolph or Ralphie already got his Red Rider Action Carbone Air Rifle and just shot his eye out,” Santa said, sounding worried. “It’s Rudolph,” assured the Grinch. “He’ll be finished in a minute. Don’t fret any weight off. I’m sure he’ll come out with almost as much fur as he had when he went in.” “Where are the animal rights activists when you need them?” brooded Santa, forcing another cookie into his mouth.

“You’re not on a break, pointy ears!” growled Tiny Tim, poking Hermie the elf with his crutch. “Don’t forget this is a sweatshop. Get to work!!” “Now, now,” soothed the Grinch. “This is a kind sweatshop. You’re a good foreman, Tim, but we don’t want any elf-harassment lawsuits. Why don’t you take a five minute break.” “Bah, humbug!” growled Tiny Tim, rounding the workbench and bracing himself against it so his crutch would be free for another poke. “Do you think we’ll be ready in time, boss?” Tiny Tim asked the Grinch, who was placing a magician’s hat on Frosty. Frosty came to life and interjected, “Happy Birthday! With magic, we can do anything!” Tim removed the hat and Frosty froze to stillness. Despite Tim’s worries, the sleigh left on time to make deliveries all around the world.

Unfortunately, the Grinch had relied on Buddy the really large elf to keep their yearly calendar, but Buddy had gotten maple syrup and cotton candy on the calendar and had to throw it away. In its place, he used one that was a few years old. As a result, the North Pole gang made their gift-giving trek two days too late.

Once they realized they were late, the group was worried that they would encounter nothing but sad children at all their stops, but that was not so. It seems that children’s parents had hit the malls and toy stores and loaded the kids up with more gifts than even Santa could bring. The North Pole workers realized, with much disappointment, that they were not needed and probably never had been. “I can’t believe what a fool I’ve been,” grumbled Santa, landing the sleigh in front of the toyshop. “All that time I wasted,” Santa moaned. “I wasted my life,” he shouted loudly. “Wasted!!!!” He raised his fists in anger.

Out of the toyshop came George Bailey, who said gently, “No Santa—It’s not a wasted life. It’s a Wonderful Life.”

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