Chocolate snowflakes hung from the trees by a single strand of Elven hair...
The Chocolate Holiday
“I don’t know, Chauncy,” said Edgar, drinking his spiced wassail and staring into the warm fire. “If it’s not a storm, it’s a blizzard; if it’s not snow, it’s dense fog. I tell you, my friend, I miss the forest something terrible.”
“Aye, Edgar,” said Chauncy, as he scratched the very tip of his pointed ear. “The snow ‘tis no place for the likes of us. We’ve been ‘ere for over two ‘undred years! When is Kris going to give us some time off to go ‘ome. It’s just not right, I tell ya!”
“Ah . . . remember, Chauncy, how each year at the Chocolate Festival, the lovely elven maidens would make their wondrous tasting chocolates. There would be delicious fruits and nuts dipped into the thick, rich, creamy stuff, then they’d shape them into beautiful Christmas stars, or intricate snowflakes. The exquisite treats would then be tied to the low hanging branches of the enormous Pines with but one single strand of a maiden's beautiful elven hair.”
Edgar sighed heavily. “I can still remember how all the young ones would try to eat the suspended delicacies, following the Elvish custom of holding their hands behind their backs, as young couples would push the chocolates against each other’s faces while attempting to get a bite . . . or better yet, to steal a quick kiss from their favorite lass, heh? I tell you, my friend, those were happy days.”
“Yes, yes, ‘tis true, Edgar,” said Chauncy, with an elven smile that looked fashioned for his face. “The celebrations and the feast that followed, I will never forget. I can still see the chocolate decorations ‘anging all about, and ‘ear the beautiful songs of Christmas that were sung.”
Just then, Santa burst through the front door, disrupting the reminiscing of the two elves. The swirling snow tried to enter with him, but Santa was able to forcefully keep it out as he closed the door. He laughed heartily as he turned toward the two elves in front of the small fire.
“Good evening, fellas,” he said, all too merrily. “I have wondrous news to tell!”
“What is it, Kris?” asked Edgar. “What’s all the excitement about?”
“Well, as you know,” he said, “that not too long ago the gift of life was given to a snowman and snow woman!”
“Yeah, of course we remember,” said Chauncy. “Frosty and Frostina, right?”
“That’s right!” said Santa, almost unable to contain himself. “Well, they’ve done something I never would have thought possible!”
“All right, Kris,” said Edgar, sarcastically, “we’ll bite. What did they do?”
Santa moved in front of the fire and faced his close friends as he tried to warm his backside. “It’s a miracle!” he said, with a twinkle in his eye. “It changes all my plans for this year.”
The two elves looked at each other in astonishment. Santa never changed Christmas plans, unless it was an all-out emergency.
“Come on, Kris,” Edgar pleaded, “just tell us what it is, will ya?”
“I’ll do better than that,” Santa said, laughing again, “I’ll show you!”
And with that said, he hurried over to the door and swung it open. Standing in the doorway with the snow blowing all about him was a beautiful little snowchild. He wore a black top hat on his head and a bright red scarf was wrapped tightly about his neck. His charcoal eyes, filled with innocence, blinked at the two elves by the fireside.
“My friends,” said Santa, “I want you to meet, Snowball. The first snow child of Frosty and Frostina.”
“Uh, that’s great,” said Chauncy, looking at the little snow person. “Nice to meet ya, kid.”
“Yeah,” said Edgar, tipping his hat, “nice to meetcha. You look just like your Dad, uh . . . only smaller.”
“Boys, boys!” said Santa, cheerfully. “You don’t seem to get the implications here.”
“Okay, Kris,” said Edgar, flatly, “tell us what we’re missing. I see one small snowchild standing there with the door open and letting all the heat out of the room.”
“Oh my goodness, no, boys!” said Santa. “There is more than one! There is a plethora of them! Why there’s Snowball here, and his sister, Snowflake. Snowfall and Snowdrift, Snowcap, and Snowflurry, and then there’s one that was just named Snow. Uh, let’s see, there’s Snowman and Snowblanket, Snowflower and Snowstorm and one other . . . let me think now, oh yeah, how could I forget, the one they simply called Harold. He’s the Snow Angel of the family, and I’ve already got special plans for him.”
The doorway became crowded with little snow people as each one’s name was called out. They stood there grinning with their mouths full of charcoal.
The wind then whipped through the small cabin and extinguished the comfortable little fire.
“Ah, Kris,” said Chauncy, “now look what you’ve gone and done. The fire’s out! How are we gonna stay warm? We might as well pack up and leave you here with your new little snow friends.”
“Exactly!” said Santa. “Now you finally get it! I want you to gather all your things and leave immediately. I told the snow children they could have your cabin.”
“You want us to get our things and move out then, just like that?” asked Chauncy.
“That’s right!” exclaimed Santa. “We need your place here to keep the snow children close to the workshop. You see, they’re going to take your place as my helpers. Oh, it’s all so exciting!”
“And you’re going to just throw us out in the cold?” asked Edgar. “What about all the work we’ve done for you for the past, what is it now, two hundred years?”
“Well, of all the ungrateful things I’ve ever ‘eard,” said Chauncy with a shocked look on his face. “This really takes the candy cane! You’ve got a lot of nerve, fat boy, throwing us out like this, after all we’ve done for ya.”
“Fat boy?” said Santa. “Oh, no, no, no! You don’t understand. I’m sending you home for the holiday. You are to leave at once! You’ll be home in time for the Chocolate Festival and be able to spend the entire year with your family and friends before you have to return. I’ll miss you little pointy-eared rogues, but everyone needs a break now and then, right? Now, get out of here, before I change my mind.”
He pulled on his long white beard, thinking. His bushy eyebrows furrowed and he gave a scolding look at the elves. "Fat boy? Indeed!"
The two elves quickly gathered their stuff, then stood by the doorway looking at Santa. “I’m sorry, Kris. I didn’t mean to call you fat boy. Still friends, right?”
“Yeah, yeah,” Santa said, a little hurt. “Just go, will ya, and take the other elves with you.”
Chauncy walked over to Santa and looked into his eyes. “Thanks, pal,” he said. “We won’t forget this.” He gave Santa a big hug. A tear rolled down his cheek. “I’ll see you next year, big guy, I promise. Just make sure you get your little snowballs out of here by then, okay?”
Turning, the elves quickly hurried out the door and into the howling wind.
Santa sat there for a while, watching the snow children move into their new home and thinking about what Edgar had said. He suddenly smiled, and let out a big laugh that was so loud the roof of the cabin shook.
“Get your little snowballs out? Ha! Little snowballs! Now I get it! Ho, ho, ho!”
He rushed to the door and yelled at the elves as they left. “Merry Christmas, boys! Merry Christmas!”