Nick visiits the North Pole (story+glow in the dark painting)

This is a 2.5 x 1.6 ft, double-sided, glow-in-the-dark painting.
Aside from how it looks during daylight, it also has a blacklight side, and a glow-in-the-dark side, which illuminates under a blacklight. When you flip it around, there is another painting, with the same daylight/blacklight,/glow-in-the-dark concept. It has a really cool story about 2 little children and an adventure to the North Pole.

 

here is the story

Nick visits the North Pole

Nick was just a dreamer who dreamt of one day making toys. The kid lived an orphanage with twenty other girls and boys. When Nick was just a baby they found him by the metal gate wrapped around a blanket in a basket on a rainy day. At the age of seven he wrote this Christmas letter. It lead to an adventure that would change his life forever.

“Dear Santa Claus;

Hello my name is Nick and I’m your biggest fan. One day I’d like to meet you Mr. Santa Claus and shake your hand.” Thank you for the teddy bear. It’s brought me lots of joy. I don’t ask for much this year. I don’t need another toy. The only thing I want this year is a needle and a roll of thread so I can stitch the ear that Nathan tore back on his furry head.

I hope you like the milk and cookies that I’ll leave you by the mantel. Just be careful when you sample. Sometimes there’s a burning candle. By the way I’ve always wondered what’s the North Pole really like? Are there really polar bear out there and little elves that skate on ice?”

Nick signed the letter, folded it and tied it to a white balloon. He watched it slowly fly away. It headed for the moon then …BOOM! Someone popped it with a rock. The letter landed by his feet. Nathan stood there with a slingshot. Tim was laughing down the street.

Nathan was a bully and the meanest second grader ever. He just hated Christmas time, Christmas songs and Christmas weather. Tim was just a copycat, he wasn’t very tough or clever. Always wearing denim jeans and a flannel hooded sweater. “Look at him” said Nathan “he’s sending Santa Claus a letter!” He picked it up and crumbled it then yelled “I think he’ll get it …never!

Suddenly a homeless man named Sam who slept inside his van walked out of the alley with a dolly and a frying pan. Tim and Nathan had a scared reaction when they looked at him. He had a beard, a hooded coat and gloves with tiny holes on them. He slammed the frying pan against his yellow van and shouted “scram! Leave that little boy alone!” Tim and Nathan yelled and ran.

Sam turned around and smiled. Nick simply smiled back. “I can’t believe those kids” Sam said “they give you so much slack.” Sam gave the letter back to Nick. Nick tied it to a new balloon. Sam said “it seems a little late to send it. Christmas eve is soon.”

“But Tim and Nathan tore the first two letters that I tried to send. I tried to write a third one but Nathan took away my pen. I just hope it gets there ” said Nick “the North Pole’s far away.” “The wind looks strong” said Sam, ‘I bet it gets there in a half a day.” Nick threw the balloon up in the air and watched it fly away. He checked his watch and said “I think I better go, it’s getting late.”

He ran back to the orphanage and snuck in through the metal bars. While looking up he saw a white balloon flying across the stars. He ran inside the building ten minutes before nine. Miss Carol said “It’s bedtime. You got here just in time.”

Nick woke up in the morning but couldn’t see his teddy bear, It wasn’t anywhere however cotton balls were by his chair. He started following the mess across the dormitory floor then saw Nathan with a pair of sissors standing by the door. “Where’s your silly teddy bear?” he shouted. “Is he here?” He threw it on the floor and asked “what happened to his other ear?”

Cotton balls were hanging out of both sides of its head. Nathans scissors, arms and legs had strands of brownish thread. Nathan saw Miss Carol coming down the hall and fled. He threw the scissors on the floor and jumped back to his bed.

Miss Carol walked in with a long black dress and hair wrapped in a bun. She looked around and saw the mess then said “Oh no! What have you done!” “Nathan cut his ears off!” shouted Nick. “Look at my teddy bear!” “But he’s sleeping” said Miss Carol, “look at him, he’s over there.”

Nathan yawned and stretched his arms, opened up his eyes and stared. When Miss Carol questioned him he simply acted unaware. “I swear it wasn’t me” he said “I’m telling you the truth! Ask anyone, ask Jeremy, ask Timothy or Ruth!” “Children?” shouted out Miss Carol. “Anyone see anything?” They were all intimidated. No one dared to say a thing.

Jessica walked closer and raised her little hand. She took a stand and said ” Miss Carol Nathan cut its ear and ran. He also stuck his finger in his nose then rubbed it on his clothes and one more thing, I think he didn’t eat all of his vegetables.”

Nathan jumped out of his bed and tried to fight the accusations but Miss Carol saw the trail of thread and stopped his explanation. “In that case Mr. Nathan you’ll have to learn a lesson. The sentence for a false confession is an hour of detention. You should treat each other and each others things with more affection.” Then she turned towards Nick and said “I’m sure it wasn’t his intention”.

Nick was disappointed in Miss Carol, she was so unfair. How would Nathan learn a lesson just by sitting on a chair? What about his teddy bear? No one even seemed to care. Nathan turned to Jessica and gave her a resentful stare.

Later they had arts and crafts. The kids were making Christmas hats. Nick was feeling sick and asked if he could use the bathroom pass. He was walking back to class when he passed the Christmas tree. Looking at the ornaments filled his heart with Christmas glee.

Suddenly he witnessed Nathan running down the hall. He walked over to Nick and cornered him against the wall. “You knew I could’ve put him back together with some glue! I got detention!” Nathan shouted, “all because of you!”

“That wasn’t very nice so now you’ve got to pay a price. When we get our dinner you will give me all your rice. If we’re having cake, guess whose gonna have your slice? And if you get a candy cane I’ll have the first two bites! I bet you thought because I got detention you had won? You see I don’t need Santa Claus to get the things I want.”

Little did the children know that Santa Claus was watching them. He was in his cabin with a crystal ball in front of him. Everything that Nathan said Santa had been listening. All the things he shouted out and even all the whispering.

Santa Claus knew everything, who shouted and who pouted. The way that Nathan treated Nick, Santa Claus knew all about it. He brushed his beard and said “seems like a lot of kids are getting gifts. Nathan once again seems like you’ve made it on the naughty list.”

He looked up at the clock and said “oh my, look at the time. We’re gonna fall behind if we don’t leave. It’s almost nine. He cracked his knuckles then his spine, stretched his arms and tied his boots. Carefully he ran the laces through the twenty metal hoops.

He stepped out of the cabin with his compass and his famous list. There were snowflakes falling all around him, fog and lots of mist. He went into the stable which was just a hundred yards away. There were reindeer everywhere drinking milk and chewing hay. Only nine of them however had been tied to Santa’s sleigh. Rudolph with his red nose shinning bright was gonna lead the way.

Mrs. Claus came through the doorway with a bucket and a rake. She set them down beside a wooden crate and closed the wooden gate. She kissed Santa on the cheek then he started turning red. ” I almost forgot!” he said “sowing needle and some thread!”

Misses Claus responded “did you rip your pants already? See? I told you not to have that second helping of spaghetti!” Santa started laughing with one hand on his belly. His body shook like jello and his face turned redder than a cherry. “It’s not to sow my pants” he said. “It’s for a seven year old boy. He wants a sowing needle and some thread instead of any toy.”

He told her all about the way that Nathan treated others, the letter Nick had written and a bit about his troubles. He said that he would fix his teddy bear no matter what the weather. Even if it took a little longer he would make it better. Misses Claus was also sympathetic toward the teddy bear. She went to check the cabin. There was thread and sowing needles there.”

In the meantime Santa looked around and double checked his sleigh. He made sure that the wooden doors wouldn’t fall or break away. After that he fed each of his reindeer one last bite of hey and made sure there was nothing missing, nothing that would cause delay.

In minutes Mrs. Claus returned with thread, a needle and a pouch. “The flying magic dust!” she said “you left it underneath the couch!” She gave Santa the biggest hug then kissed him on the cheek. “I think I better leave” he said “the weather’s growing bleak.” And so he said goodbye and left the North Pole with a sack of gifts. There were toys and model kits, candies, dolls and toys for kids.

Meanwhile in the orphanage Nick was staring at the ceiling as Miss Carol gave away muffins stuffed with chocolate filling. Nick and Nathan got an A in the exam that they were given. Nick had studied hard however Nathan once again was cheating.

Nick put his teddy bear into his backpack. Lunch bells started ringing. Kids were running down the halls. Some were laughing, some were screaming. The dining room was filled with Christmas decorations and balloons, plates of pancakes, forks and napkins, chocolate milk and plastic spoons.

Nick stood in line with less than twenty other kids in front of him. Someone threw a paper airplane. It flew straight into his chin. He turned around and saw Nathan and Tim by the recycling bin. He knew that it was them just by the way they looked and laughed at him. All he could do was turn away and wait in line to get his tray. There was no way he’d let Nathan try to ruin Christmas day.

Nick sat next to Jessica in the final row of tables. In his tray he had a slice a bread, some beans and mashed potatoes. Chicken and a bit of rice, vegetables and fried tomatoes. Jessica was taking bites from her scrumptious mini bagel.

“I really like your teddy bear” she said “I think it’s very nice. It doesn’t matter that he’s got no ears, he’s got the cutest eyes.” From the corner of his eye he saw Nathan passing by so he tried to hide by looking over to the other side.

Through the window he could see the chipmunks playing in the trees, Christmas lights around the branches and a hornets nest with bees, seven white balloons with letters being swept out by the breeze. Sam was also out there walking slowly through the winter streets.

It broke his heart to know that he was out there. Knowing he could freeze while he sat there in the cozy dinning room about to feast. As he stood there contemplating Nathan caught him by surprise. He was right across the table staring with the meanest eyes.

He took a pen out of his pocket, popped a red balloon. Ate noodles without a fork, his soup without a spoon. He licked the lemon from his fingers, ate the pudding with his hands, placed his elbows on the table, wiped the pasta on his pants.

He licked the fudge out of his plate then slammed it on the table. Once he finished eating that he ate his neighbors bagel. He glanced at Nick then picked his teeth and chewed a greasy peace of meat, took another kids’ dessert and said “you’ve had enough to eat.”

Nick grabbed his plastic knife and cut his slice of pie in half. He gave half to the little boy as Tim and Nathan laughed. Nathan didn’t like it, he was steaming up inside. “Give me your tray!” he said to Nick as he pushed his own aside.

Nick looked outside the window then he started getting up. He took his tray of food, his teddy bear and little plastic cup. He walked around the table then he walked out of the dining room. Nathan was so angry that he broke apart his plastic spoon.

Nick stepped out of the building then he headed for the metal gate. He was very careful not to drop the heavy metal tray. By the time he got there Sam was almost half a block away. “Hey Sam!” he shouted “Mr. Sam, excuse me mister, wait!”

“Mr.” Nick said softly” would you like some food that’s nice and warm? I’ve got some mashed potatoes, there’s also chicken, rice and corn.” “Oh thank you very much” said Sam “and Merry Christmas little boy! I bet that Santa got your letter, bet you’ll get your favorite toy!”

“I didn’t want a toy”, said Nick “I want my teddy fixed. Santa Claus can fix him. I’m on the good side of his list.” Nick showed him his teddy bear and pointed out the biggest tear. Unaware that Sam was once a toy maker extraordinaire.

Sam placed the tray down on the grass and pulled out several photographs. Half were of his toy store, the rest-of toys in shelves and racks. There were wooden trains sets, rocking horses, cats carved out of glass. Rubber balls and plastic dolls, teddy bears and toy giraffes.

He then pulled out a wrinkled article with seven paragraphs about the Christmas when he dressed as Santa Claus, signed autographs and gave away a thousand toys to all the little girls and boys. Their smiling faces through his eyes was all the reason to rejoice.

“Can you put him back together?” Nick said as he tugged his sweater. “Yes of course. It’d be no trouble” Sam replied “I’ll make him better. Santa’s very busy especially this time of year. I know he’d appreciate the extra bit of help this year. If you have the pair of ears it could be repaired I’m sure. I’ll just have to find some cotton balls and fix the damaged fur.”

He handed Sam the ears then kissed his teddy bear goodbye, looked him in the eye and told him ” little friend we gotta try.” He then turned back to Sam and said “thanx mister Sam you’re very kind. Just remember that he has a bedtime Mr. it’s at nine.” Sam looked at his pocket watch and said ” I’ll have back in time. He’ll be just fine don’t worry Nick. I’ll treat him as if he were mine.”

With not much time to spare Sam said goodbye and took the teddy bear. He went back to the alleyway and started setting up right there. He turned a box into a table and a crate became his chair. He leaned against a wall and started staring down the teddy bear.

Sam pulled a strand of loose thread that was hanging off his shirt and tied it to a sowing needle he found lying on the dirt. He closed his eyes and scratched his chin then said ” we better get to work. The needle looks a little scary but I promise it won’t hurt.”

He started sowing. Minute after minute, hour after hour. Every now and then he’d check the clock tower to see the hour. Time went by. His fingers numbed. The numbness ran down to his toes. He started getting sleepy then his eyes slowly began to close. One minute he was staring at a door the next across the floor. He closed his eyes once more then fell asleep and soon began to snore.

Minutes later, Tim and Nathan came around the block. As they passed the alleyway, Nathan turned around and stopped. He walked a little closer and spotted Sam just sleeping there. The furry ear was on the floor and in his arms-the teddy bear.

“I can’t believe this!” Nathan shouted “look whose sleeping over there. It’s the man who scared you Tim and he’s got that teddy bear.” “But you were just as scared” said Tim. “Shut up and get that teddy bear! Bring it here” said Nathan “or I’ll put gum in your stinkin’ hair.”

“But he could wake up any second” Tim said in a mousy voice. Nathan pointed at the alley then said “you don’t have a choice!” Tim counted up to five then headed down the alleyway. His hands were shaking wile he took the ear and as he ran away.

When Sam woke up and saw the ear was gone he started panicking. He ran around the alley way rummaging and scrambling. He checked behind the soda crates and all around the picket fence then checked through all the contents of the dumpsters and the garbage cans. It wasn’t in the alley and it wasn’t in the street. “Out of all the nights” he thought, “it had to be on Christmas eve.”

For the next few hours Sam searched from one street to another, scouring the city streets in an unrelenting manner. The sun came down, the moon went up and he could search no longer. The clock tower above was counting down that final hour. He knew how disappointed Nick would be to hear the awful news. All he could do was go back to the orphanage and tell the truth.

Nick was by a window as Sam was walking down the street. The teddy bear was in his arms wrapped around a purple sheet. Nick ran out of the building and headed for the metal gate. He had a piece of cake in one hand with the other one he waived. “You were almost late” Nick said “can I see him? I can’t wait! Here you go I brought you cake. Mr. Sam I think you’re great.”

Sam didn’t feel so great. In fact he felt a bit ashamed. He took the blame for his mistake and started to explain. He told him all about what happened, how he lost the other ear. How he fell asleep, woke up but found the ear had disappeared.

Nick couldn’t seem to fall sleep just thinking of his teddy bear. He couldn’t bare the thought of knowing that the ear was lost somewhere. He grabbed his shoes, his teddy bear and left his sweater by the chair then headed to the rooftop with the green shirt he would often wear.

From the rooftop he could see the Christmas lights on all the houses, airplanes disappearing in the clouds and pine trees on the mountains. Carolers who sang to strangers with their children and their spouses. People walking down the street with Christmas sweaters, shirts and blouses. Ornaments and decorations lighting up the streets. Plastic elves and snowmen in the yards next to the Christmas trees.

Jessica showed up a minute later with her telescope. She wore her earmuffs, gloves, a scarf, her snow boots and a purple coat. She poked him in his shoulder and asked if he was cold. He folded up his arms and told her “guess I should’ve brought a coat. He told her all about what happened, how he couldn’t fall asleep and how he thought the ear was out there somewhere lying on the street.

Just as they were gonna leave a snowflake landed on his nose. He froze then turned to Jessica. She shouted “look at all of those!” Snowflakes! There were tons of them in different shapes and sizes. They were falling from the sky and dissipating in their faces.
They sparkled just like diamonds.

Jessica was just about to put her telescope away when she looked up at the sky and yelled “hey is that a flying sleigh?” She pointed at the moon and said “it is! I think it’s Santa Claus!” She handed him the telescope. He looked and sure enough it was.

The children waived as Santa’s’ sleigh was flying down from far away. It navigated in a circle then appeared to head their way. Nick jumped behind a pile of bricks and Jessica behind a couch. They put their hands over their mouths and both of them began to crouch.

Santa landed on the building in the middle of the roof. As the reindeer moved around the children heard the sound of hooves. They were both amazed, surprised and positively mesmerized that Santa Claus was really there. Santa Claus in real life!

Three little elves the size of gnomes climbed down the sleigh with toys. The leader gave them orders in a very, very squeaky voice. They walked like penguins side to side with pointy hats and boots. They all wore white and red striped socks with green belts, vests and suits. Santa said “lets leave the presents, take the bear and fix the ear” then one by one they all jumped down the chimney and disappeared.

Nick and Jessica jumped out and walked around the sleigh. They smiled at each other and shouted out “no way!” They walked by all the reindeer then Jessica said “hey I bet I know their names. Miss Carol read the book the other day.

That’s Dasher and that’s Dancer, that’s Prancer and that’s Vixen. That’s Comet and that’s Cupid, that’s Donner and that’s Blitzen! That’s Rudolph in the front. I could just tell by his nose. You notice how it’s red and bright? That’s just the way it glows. Remember how Miss Carol said he really had a shiny nose and if you ever saw him…well you know how the saying goes.”

Jessica jumped in the sleigh and said “come here you gotta see this? There’s over a hundred gifts in here. You won’t believe this!” As Nick got up on Santa’s’ sleigh Jessica looked back. She lost her balance, flailed her arms then fell inside the sack. He ran over to help her out but then he lost his grip and fell. The teddy bear and telescope had fallen in the sack as well.

The kids could see nothing but black while they were trapped inside the sack. All of a sudden Santa Claus came back, the little elves came back. “We must go back” said Santa Claus. “I couldn’t find it anywhere. I wonder where he could’ve left it. We must find that teddy bear!”

“To the North Pole!” Santa said as he hopped back on the sleigh. Jessica heard Santa Claus and whispered “is that far away?” The kids debated whether they should leave or whether they should stay but then the sleigh began to fly then to accelerate. Santa and the little elves were laughing the entire way. They flew over the clouds where night began to look a lot like day.

They landed on the North Pole in front of Santa’s cabin. “Well we’re here” said Santa “now let us fix this problem.” He and the little elves climbed down the sleigh and went inside. Jessica peaked out and said “I think they’re gone let’s go outside.”

Nick hopped out of the sleigh and started playing in the snow. He saw a little puppy dog and waved then said “hello.” Nick went running after it in circles all around the snow. Each time he almost caught him he would run a little more. Finally the puppy stopped in front of Santa’s’ cabin. The doorknob jiggled just as Nick jumped out and grabbed him.

“Ho! ho! ho!” said Santa Claus “Merry Christmas little Nick! Merry Christmas Jessica! Step inside or you’ll get sick.” The kids were so excited that they both gave Santa Claus a hug. He told them “please come in my cabin, wipe your feet first on the rug.

Nick stepped in then Jessica followed by the little puppy. Misses Claus had milk and cookies. That made everybody happy. The little puppy ate his cookie, wagged his tail then ran outside. He chased twelve reindeer back into the stable. Kept them all inside. Santa closed the cabin door and said “that puppy keeps us safe. Last year there were wolves around and he chased them all away.”

The crystal ball, the letter Nick had written and a leather vest were next to one another in the middle of his marble desk. Nick said “I knew you’d get the letter, Nathan said you wouldn’t.” Santa told him “Nathan does a lot of things perhaps he shouldn’t.” “Amazing!” shouted Jessica “is that a crystal ball? Wait a minute, that means… “yes” said Santa “I can see it all!”

Santa rubbed the crystal ball in small circular motions. Images appeared of statues, pyramids and oceans. Images of kids from many countries opening their gifts shifted from one to the next, around a purple mist. They saw kids from the orphanage sleeping in their little beds, tucked under their blaNkets with night caps on their little heads.

The crystal ball turned clear again then Santa sat down on his chair. He said “I know what happened to your teddy bear. It wasn’t fair.” Nick asked him “Mr. Santa Claus can you fix my teddy bear? Sam accidentally lost the ear. He couldn’t find it anywhere.”

“Well let me take a look. I’m pretty sure he can be fixed.” He pressed his glasses closer to his face and said “Wow look at this!” Santa was impressed by how the ear was sown back on its’ head. “What amazing craftsmanship” he said “and perfect choice of thread. Looks like we’ll be headed to the workshop” Santa said “with a little bit of thread we’ll have an ear back on its’ head.”

A minute later, Santa, Misses Claus, the children and the elves were sitting in the sleigh next to each other singing “Jingle Bells.” As they raced across the snow Jessica yelled “polar bears!” Nick asked “where?” She handed him her telescope and said “right there!”

There were penguins everywhere, sea otter and Orca whales. Walrus with the biggest tusks and white rabbits with pointy tails. Jessica stood up and yelled “hey check out my ponytails!” It was funny how they flailed like flags across the frigid air. Icebergs floated in the water half a mile away. They saw glaciers towering above them from the sleigh.

As they approached the village they could hear the sound of iron bells. There was a wall around it made with ice cream that could never melt. They saw a well where little elves were grabbing buckets full of milk. Another one with chocolate and a third well full of caramel.

Little elves were pulling ropes and opening the massive gate. As they went inside a crowd of elves began to celebrate. They threw confetti in the air. Balloons were flying in the sky. Elves seemed to come from everywhere. The crowd began to multiply. They peaked out of the windows waving handkerchiefs and banners. Elves were shooting cannons full of strings in festive colors.

Elves were walking down the sidewalks doing ordinary things. They would stop whatever they were doing just to catch a glimpse. They’d peak out of the windows and walk out of their doors. Nick shouted “hey is that a house made out of cookie dough and smores?” “Of course” said Misses Claus “all except the little doors. Those are made from caramel as are the walls and all the floors.”

The village was amazing. There was candy almost everywhere. The smell of fresh baked cookies, cake and chocolate brownies filled the air. There was a little Ferris wheel that was around a pretzel rail. The wheel was made of candy and the seats were giant peanut shells. They even had a carousel with reindeer carved from glass. The base was made with metal and the bars were made with brass.

There were street signs carved from chocolate, trains with toys and tiny cars. Little houses made from candy, graham crackers and chocolate bars. Pudding pouring out of fountains and chocolate bunnies by the dozens. Donut wheels that hung from trees and lollipops in yards and gardens.

Once they passed those streets with candy, graham cracker and chocolate houses they got to the warehouses that housed the presents by the thousands. Santa turned around and said “the workshop is a block away.” Elves were walking with construction hats and tool belts on their waist. As Santa came around that final block they turned around and waived. Finally they pulled around the parking lot and parked the sleigh.

This workshop was the biggest the kids had ever seen. It was made with wooden logs. On top were metal pipes with steam. A giant sign was right above the door with Christmas coloring. It read “Santa’s workshop” in vibrant neon lettering.

Two little elves opened the doors and welcomed everybody in.” They had little name tags that were held with just a safety pin. The second Nick stepped through the doors of this extraordinary place he couldn’t help but be amazed. There was excitement in his face.

Christmas jingles played inside the workshop through the stereo. There were songs Miss Carol and the kids played on the radio. Elves were dancing as they worked. They waived and smiled as they walked. There were boxes full of wrapping paper by the loading dock.

Seven elves were punching in, seventeen were punching out. A plastic sign against the wall read “Christmas grouches not allowed.” Some painted faces on the dolls, some wrote on chalkboards on the walls, some separated sweaters, the large and mediums from the smalls.

They pounded nails with hammers and climbed the shelves with ladders. Some sorted out the Christmas letters, others filled the final orders. Rubix cubes were put together, toy chickens were glued with feathers. Large pieces of wood were sanded down and rid of all the splinters.

They painted faces on the frisbees, some with smiles, some with frowns and synchronized the crayons, the blues and greens from reds and browns. They put together flying kites and patiently assembled bikes. The xylophones were being built with different types of freshly painted pipes.

They walked into an aisle that was full of labeled boxes. Some were marked as arms or legs, some were marked as noses. “Here it is” said Santa. This box is where we’ll find the ear. I’m sure we’ll find the right one for your teddy bear so have no fear. Here’s a plastic rabbit’s ear, this one’s from a furry fox. “Here’ it is” said Nick as he peaked inside the cardboard box.

Santa said “I’ll have him fixed in no time. Don’t you worry. He asked to see the teddy bear then said “but I must hurry.” He left the children with an elf named Elvin who knew everything. He could manage anything, nothing was too challenging.

This little elf named Elvin took them on a little tour. He asked them “would you like to help?” Jessica and Nick said “sure!” Elvin started teaching them the basics about toy making and answering each of their questions one after the following. Nick saw how much this little elf loved doing what he did. The love he put in every task, no matter how small or big.

They got to help that little elf with little tasks like gluing noses, testing all the rocking horses and creating plastic roses, measuring a trampoline, assembling a tambourine, carrying the toys with bins to elves over at packaging.

They got to box and wrap some gifts then put a plastic bow on them. Elves formed a line up to the sleigh then one by one they loaded them. Jessica and Nick got to throw them in the sack. Just as they threw the last one in Santa Claus came back.

He said “I have a few last trips to make. Would you two like to help? Don’t think I can handle all those Christmas gifts all by myself. “I wanna go! I wanna go! I wanna go!” they yelled. Nick asked him” Santa can I bring my teddy bear as well?” “Of course” he said, “I can’t eat all those Christmas cookies by myself. They cheered and yelled then bid farewell to Misses Claus and all the elves.

The three of them climbed up the sleigh with compasses and maps. He gave them plastic name tags and little pointy hats. For the next few hours they delivered lots of gifts. They traveled all around the world with tons of toys to give.

From one street to another, one country to the next. They crossed names out of Santas’ list and emptied all those sacks. Finally they set the last one underneath the tree. Nick said “you’re the greatest Santa.” Jessica said “I agree.”

Meanwhile in the orphanage the kids were all asleep. All except for Nathan who had fuzzy slippers on his feet. He got out of his bed and said “I want something to eat. There’s candy on the stockings, I think I’ll have myself a treat.” He tip-toed through the doorway then walked across the hallway. “It’s quiet,” Nathan told himself. “Guess they’re sleeping just like always”.

The stockings by the chimney were full of candy canes and chocolates. Some went in his stomach and some of them went in his pockets. He pealed the plastic from a candy cane and took a bite then looked outside the window as he saw a flashing light.

Suddenly there was a sound coming from the chimney. It sounded like an animal then it started rattling. He backed away and saw as dust came pouring down the firebox. There was a banging followed by an echo and a set of knocks. He thought it was a chipmunk or maybe a racoon. “As soon as he comes out” he told himself “I’ll hit it with this broom.”

All of a sudden Santa Claus came sliding down the chimney. Nick was next then Jessica. Nathan ran behind the Christmas tree. A mist circled around the room. He asked “is this a fantasy?” He pinched himself and said “Oh no! I think it is reality!”

“Ho! Ho!Ho!” said Santa Claus “I know you’re hiding by the tree. Merry Christmas Nathan won’t you please come out and talk to me.” “I’m sorry Santa” Nathan said ” I know I’ll get a lump of coal. I’m sorry Nick and Jessica, sometimes I get out of control.

For the first time ever Nathan seemed to be sincere. He reached into his pocket and handed Nick the furry ear. “I’m really sorry Nick I took it from your friend this afternoon. I’m sorry for it all, the teddy bear, the food and the balloon.”

Santa looked at Nathan and said “you must behave, Tim looks up to you so teach him right and he’ll obey. I know there’s goodness in your heart although you sometimes steal, cheat and bully kids around but I’ll make you a deal. I’ll give you this puppy If you promise to be nice.” Nathan said “I promise.” He even promised twice.

“Wait a minute” Nathan said I don’t see a puppy!” Santa said “of course he’s here, look he’s small and fluffy.” He put his hands together and gently rubbed them up and down. A magical and mystic glow appeared. The children shouted “wow!” When he opened them again a little puppy dog appeared. He jumped in Nathans arms, wiggled his tail and licked his face and ear.

Santa turned toward Jessica and Nick then thanked them both. He shook their hands and told them “well that’s our journey I suppose. I might need your help one day. I might return never know. There’s just one stop I have to make then to the North Pole I shall go.” “Will we ever see you Santa?” all three children asked. Santa Claus just smiled scratched his beard and said “perhaps.”

And just like that he snapped his fingers, waived goodbye and disappeared. A cloud of mist took over the entire room then gifts appeared. The kids ran to the window and waived as Santa’s sleigh flew by. It disappeared behind a tree as snow kept falling from the sky.

The morning after all the children gathered by the Christmas tree. They couldn’t wait to see what Santa left under that Christmas tree. They were so excited as they saw their brand new shiny toys. There were dolls for all the girls, bikes and kites for boys.

That Christmas everybody got exactly what they wanted. No one was excluded, no one was forgotten. Nathan got his little puppy, Nick got his teddy bear repaired. Tim got wallie-talkies, Jessica got shoes to wear. Miss Carol just could not believe that Santa Claus remembered. “I lost this doll when I was five” she said “her name is Amber.”

They were all surprised when Nathan showed up with a box of toys. He apologized and gave them back to all the girls and boys. That Christmas ended with the children nestled by the fireplace, a Christmas bedtime story and milk and cookies on their trays.

Next year as Nick was in the backyard playing with his teddy bear he saw a white balloon tied to a letter floating in the air. As It landed by his feet Nick picked up the letter. It had his name in fancy letters written in the center. He looked up at the cloudy sky and smiled then unfolded it. Nick smiled as he saw who wrote it then he started reading it.

Dear Nick and Jessica,

It’s Sam. I’m writing you to wish you well and so does Santa, Misses Claus, the reindeer and the little elves. Yes I’ve been in the North Pole. The North Pole kids! Can you believe it! Never in my wildest dreams did I think I’d ever see it.

I know what Nathan did but still I wanted to apologize. I closed my eyes and fell asleep. It kind of took me by surprise. I’m glad to know that Santa had the right ear for your your teddy bear. I see how things have changed for you and how much fun you’re having there.

Guess what? I got a haircut. I even shaved my beard. Ever since that Christmas eve all of my worries disappeared. They’ve built a little house for me. The whole things’ made from candy. It only took them half a day. Those elves are really handy.

They hand tailored a vest for me, a hat, some socks and several suits. They’re green with white and red striped shirts. Theirs bells on all my boots. Kids I’ve been working side by side with Santa Claus himself, making lots of toys and learning lots from all the elves. I just wanted to thank you kids, I’ve never been so happy. If it weren’t because of you this never would’ve happened.

I just wanted to say how great I think you are my friends. Don’t ever change no matter what. Perhaps one day we’ll meet again. From everybody in the North Pole, Merry Christmas to you all! And remember, Santa Claus is watching through his crystal ball.

P.S After you read this letter close your eyes and count to four. Santa’s’ sent a Christmas present I know you’ve been wishing for.

Nick knew what the present was since he’d wished it earlier. As he counted up to four it got a little windier. Suddenly he saw a snowflake floating in the air. It landed on his knee. Another landed on his hair.

They started falling everywhere, some fast and others slow. In no time the entire yard looked like a bed of snow. Nick put the letter in his pocket and his hands up in the air. He smiled, spun around his circles as he held his teddy bear.

He put his sweater on as it started getting colder. Seconds later someone threw a snowball at his shoulder. He turned around and saw him with his arms crossed and the meanest grin. It was Nathan. He just stood there blankly staring back at him.

He frowned then looked around and yelled “hey Nick you’re going down!’ Nick made a snowball of his own and yelled “it’s you whose going down!” Nick chased him all around till Nathan tripped and hit the ground. “You see! I told you!” shouted Nick, “I told you you were going down!”

As they laughed they heard Miss Carol opening the sliding doors. Jessica and Tim were first to step out in their winter clothes. Before they knew it kids ran to the yard with scarfs and boots and coats. Some ran around the snow, some pulled their little wooden sleds with ropes. Miss Carol roasted marshmallows and smores for all the kids outdoors. They made snow angels, had snowball fights and put together forts.

Nathan rolled a giant ball of snow. Nick rolled a couple more. They stacked those up then Jessica took off the furry scarf she wore. She wrapped it on the snowman then dressed it with a vintage coat. Tim added the eyes and smile with a bucket full of coal. They used tree branches as hands and a carrot for a nose. Then put a top hat on its head, it had a few scratches and holes.

Who would’ve guess that Nathan would’ve changed his ways and make amends? Who could’ve known the four of them would end up as the best of friends? Who would’ve thought that Santa would return to town that very day and the four would go up to the North Pole in his flying sleigh.

They’d team up for a new adventure when the North Pole gets invaded. Glaciers break away and hit the ground then ice gets separated. The walls around the village melt as things get sort of complicated. Candy monsters were created then the elves evacuated.

Anyway, that’s a different story for another day. From everybody in the North Pole, have a Merry Christmas day and remember Santa’s’ watching and he’s on his merry way with lots of gifts with toys and goodies that he’s loaded in his sleigh.

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