A couple experiences a Christmas miracle.
"Christmas kisses are the best." Sammie said and snuggled deeper into Big Ed's furry jacket . It was Christmas Eve ,their last night together and he wanted it to last forever. Sammie was leaving for the far East and it would be months before he would see her again.
The sleigh driver,Old Tom, dressed like Santa Claus, glanced back at the young lovers and smiled . He had taken the young couple on a more private route tonight because they had a lot to talk about.
Thomas was feeling proud of the way his new horse was working out though it was a little skittish about the change of routine tonight. Then a snow owl flew straight up into the face of his newly trained pony, spooking him .
In back, Sammie screamed and held on to Ed as the sleigh carreened off the path and into
the woods .
Tom flew off the seat and slammed into a tree trunk .
In one suspended moment Ed and Sammie looked into each other's eyes as they plummeted to the forest floor .
Then all was quiet .
The whinnying of the animal as it galloped away roused Ed from his stupor .
"Ed, what happened ?" Sammie whispered.
"Something spooked the horse," he said as he tried to free them from the frame of the sleigh..
They were trapped from the waist down and he could not budge the twisted mass.
Sammie and Ed put all their strength into trying to lift the sleigh but they couldn't do it .
"Do you have your cell phone ,Sammie?"
"Yes, but it's in my bag which is under this wreck somewhere.
" Old Tom will have people out looking for him as soon as they see that he didn't come back all night.
He is Santa for the orphanage every year . There will be a lot of folks searching in a few hours. Meanwhile we are together and we are alright for now."
Ed touched the velvet box that he had been carrying for two days.It was the reason for the extra long sleigh ride. Maybe this was the time since there might not be another chance for them. He hadn't told Sammie but he could feel the warm trickle of blood running into his left boot.
"Sammie, he whispered, I have something I want you to have."
He reached into his pocket and brought out the white box.
She said nothing but opened the box and gasped.
"Oh Eddie ,it's so beautiful .This is your grandmother's ring!"
"Will you marry me ?" he asked faintly.
Before she could answer his head fell over on her shoulder and he passed out.
Suddenly a sound made her stop and listen.Something was coming toward her out of the shadows.
Jingle bells! It was the jingling bells on the horse. He was coming back.
A surge of excitement shot through her . She had to get hold of that horse.
Big Ed always had something to eat in his pockets. In fact she remembered seeing him wrap up a bit of fruit cake from lunch .
Gently moving his head from her shoulder ,she began to go through his coat pockets and sure enough there it was, aluminum foil.
A wave of dizziness engulfed her . She looked back at the horse and it was a misty reindeer tossing it's magnificent head and jingling the bells on it's antlers. Then there was Santa all rosy cheeked and smiling.
Santa took the aluminum foil and unwrapped the fruit cake. He used it to coax the horse back. Then he hooked him up to the part of the twisted sleigh that penned the young people.
They woke up in the hospital on Christmas morning. Old Tom dressed in his Santa suit came quietly into Sammies' hospital room to stand beside her bed.
"Santa ! she cried ,I mean Tom, you look wonderful. We thought you were badly injured."
Santa laughed a hearty "Ho,Ho,Ho," and said, "Now my dear you know old Santa has some mighty powerful magic .
Anyway , I have something very important to give you"
Santa put a small present in her hand and when she opened it she cried out with joy.
It was Eds' grandmothers' ring .
When she looked up to thank Tom, he was gone. In a moment, Ed rolled in to see her in his wheelchair. She showed him the ring and kissed him as she said ,
"The answer is yes."
He hugged her and then asked "Where did you get that? I thought it was lost in the wreck?"
"Old Tom just brought it to me ,she said with a smile."
Ed's face suddenly went dark and she asked,"Oh Eddie,are you all right?"
"Old Tom didn't make it ,Ed said quietly. He died from the blow to his head after he managed to call for help."
Sammie got out of bed and stood looking out at the perfect Christmas morning.
Tearfully she said,"Darling,"we have a job to do for Santa Claus."
Sammie got her Father to dig up a Santa suit and Big Ed fit into it just fine. They went to the orphanage and took Toms' place bringing toys and joy to the children. After all the toys were passed out and opened,a dozen little ones gathered 'round Ed's wheelchair to hear 'Twas The Night Before Christmas.Then one little girl asked,"Santa,what happened to your leg?"
Ed laughed a big,"Ho,Ho,Ho," and told them "Old Santa Claus
went tumbling off a rooftop into a snowbank.Don't worry,"he assured them,"Santa will be all better by next Christmas .
That night under the Christmas stars,Ed slipped the ornate diamond ring on Sammie's finger and kissed her sweetly.
"Christmas kisses are the best,"she whispered and snuggled deeper into Big Ed's furry jacket.A snow flurry brought the jingle of distant bells to swirl around them and off across the sky they thought they heard a distant Ho,Ho,Ho.