Christmas is my favourite time of the year. I love to deliver gifts around the community to help people find the spirit of the season.
I suppose you could call me Santa Claus… I’m not the real one, of course, but I may as well be. I give a little something to every house I see as Christmas Day approaches, and I devour a little snack as I go. Every year, I find someone special to really spoil.
My brother shares in my generosity, rounding up all the new friends he can find to celebrate with a party, full of fun and games, and my favourite gift recipient is always the guest of honour.
This year, the lucky one was Maddie. My brother pointed her out as we wandered the neighbourhood one winter evening. Maddie wore a frown, much like mine, and so we decided that it was time to bring a smile to her beautiful face.
I tend to frown, you see. It’s just in my nature. Just the way I was born. My brother is so much brighter than me, with a smile for everyone he sees, but deep in my heart, where nobody can see, my brother is sure that there is a smile.
Maddie must have had a smile somewhere too, otherwise she never would have caught my brother’s eye. That’s his gift, you see. He can always see the joy that is hiding inside of each of us, and I can see the sadness. We are two sides of a coin, the dark and the light, and together, we can fix anything.
All except me, of course. I remain miserable all year long, until Christmas comes around and I am able to find a little joy in bringing some smiles to the people I pass every day. It all began with my brother. He taught me the beauty of sharing a smile, and while I could never quite conjure one onto my face, I found a way to make my new friends smile.
I sent Maddie a gift.
It was not the first day of Christmas, according to the song, but I couldn’t wait that long. I had twelve days of gifts to give, and twelve smiles to collect, hoping somewhere deep in my heart that I would find my own smile along the way.
I did not reach the twelve days, of course. I got a little too excited, but I’m getting ahead of myself.
I sent Maddie a gift.
As I watched from behind the snow covered trees, a bright and beautiful smile spread across her face, the little kitten leaping from the basket into her arms and snuggling tight inside her embrace.
I know that it is advised not to give pets for Christmas, but the little kitty was so cute, and Maddie was so lonely. I knew she would give him a good home.
Maddie walked back inside the house with her new friend, and I began to visit my other friends in the neighbourhood. I had been baking with my brother and for each house I saw, I had a lovely festive pie. Mincemeat, spices, fruit, and a little something special that we’d found while hunting.
I left them on doorsteps and window sills with a little festive flair. I didn’t want to rush, but I had to be quick, to keep the magic and mystery of the season alive, and also because I had to head home and prepare my next present for Maddie.
My brother and I have glittering, glimmering axes. They shine like bright stars in the cold winter night as they sit atop our shoulders, and I decided that Maddie should have one of her very own. I polished it up and wrapped it in a bow, but before I did, I made sure to test it out first, which gave me the opportunity to prepare Maddie’s third gift.
She seemed a little confused as she unwrapped her axe, and a little upset when she noticed the blood on the blade, but I’m sure that once she realises it’s true meaning, she will be over the moon.
I wanted Maddie to join in on our game. My brother and I love to play, but it’s so much more fun with another friend to join in. Hide and seek, tag, kiss chase, maim chase, there are just so many games to play, and such little time.
I didn’t stay to watch Maddie go inside, because I had so much to do to prepare her next gift.
I was up all night, wrapping up her next gift in ribbons and bows. Silver and gold with a slip of red. Oh, he looked delicious, and I couldn’t resist a little nibble… I was sure that Maddie wouldn’t mind, because most of him had been left for her.
My brother and I had a lot of luck with our hunts this month. December was such a busy month for the neighbourhood, with lots of yummy treats on offer. My brother liked to hunt for new friends to play with, but I prefer to find food. I’m a bit of a dab hand in the kitchen, you see. We both got our fill, with a few spares to give as gifts, and I saved the very best one for my very best friend.
I hoped she wouldn’t mind, but I took a little from his face to fashion myself a cheery holiday accessory. They call me Mr Frowns, but I’ve always wanted to be like my brother, so for now, I’m borrowing a smile from Maddie’s gift. Still, it isn’t quite right. It doesn’t quite fit my face in the way I’d like, so the hunt continues, I suppose.
Maddie was beside herself when she opened the box. She could hardly believe her eyes. She could barely speak. She just screamed. Her eyes were lit up with something, joy, I think. That’s when I knew that she was ready to join the game. My brother and I crept from behind the trees, watching her fall to her knees and stare down into the box, marvelling at my thoughtful gift.
She didn’t even notice us until we were by the door, and as she looked up at us, her face was frozen in another scream of terrific delight.
Her little kitten padded through the porch, nuzzling against Maddie’s legs and licking the sweet, scarlet nectar that leaked from the gift box as my brother offered a hand to our new friend.
She just screamed and screamed. She asked us who we were. She asked us what we wanted. She asked us to leave her alone. It must be a game that she’d like to play. Twenty questions, perhaps? Guess who?
We didn’t have time for that, though. We had another game in mind for Maddie, and a tight schedule if we were to fit in a game before Christmas lunch. It’s okay, though. Perhaps we will play what Maddie would like if she survives dinner.
Some like to call me Mr Frowns, but as I’ve said, you could call me Santa Claus. I know that there are so many souls out there that need a reason to smile during this holiday season. Perhaps you do too? I think I have the perfect gift for you…
What do I want for Christmas? Well, I suppose I’d like a smile of my very own. You know, yours really does dazzle. Can I borrow it?