December, 24th 2013: 1:32am, North Pole
The last few nights had Santa busy at work in the shop. Wit all of the toys finished and off to be wrapped, he was able to have the workshop all to himself. This gave him time for his new project. He had some things to fabricate and needed to make some upgrades to the sled. He had been in there the whole time with no sleep and hardly any food. He was finishing the touches on an improvement to the sleigh, when a knock came at the door.
The knock belonged to no other than Archie Cobblebox. ” Doors open!” He bellowed
“Santa? What are you doing out here in the workshop? I would have thought you would be getting some rest for later tonight?” asked the elf.
“Well, I just have some final arrangements I need to make. Some work needs done to the sled, and I have some last-minute gifts to make. Gifts for all of you,” said Clause with a deadpan voice. Something was very wrong with the holiday icon.
Archie looked at him sideways as he looked around the room. Everything was covered except for what Clause tinkering with on the sleigh. None of the shapes looked like gifts he had ever seen though. The smells didn’t match up either. Instead of warmth and fresh-cut wood…maybe a little stuffing and fresh fabric. All he could make out was steel, oil, and some other thing he wasn’t very familiar with. “Santa you know you didn’t have to make us any gifts. Why the new workshop was good enough. You made life so much easier with that.”
“Oh, I did huh? It is a marvel that machine. Makes anything as long as you have the specifications. Anything your heart desires…” he trailed off as he stared into his welding light. The light reflecting in his goggles.
The little helper was getting nervous at this point as he looked around the room. Curiously he tried to make out what St. Nick was welding to the side of the sleigh. He just couldn’t make it out. It almost looked like a cylinder with eight tubes positioned in it and was attached to a gear assembly. If only he could get a closer look. “Santa is there anything I can give you a hand with? Maybe make your night end faster so you can get some rest?”
He looked up from what he was doing. He just sat there staring at the elf for what seemed like an eternity. Then he spoke, “Sure thing!” He had a smile across his face. For the first time in a month he was actually smiling. Archie smiled with delight. “Hand me that wrench over there on the bench.” As Archie turned his back, Santa reached into the sleigh to the control assembly. with the flick of a switch, his device began to whir and spin. A laser dot lit up and he aimed it on the back of the elf. “You can help me calibrate this…” With the pull of a trigger…the elf was no more. The old man turned his head to the side. “Almost there.” He continued his work through the night.
December 1st, 2013: 8:30 pm North Pole
Twenty Five days out from Christmas and it was time for Santa to begin checking his list for the second time. He had been in his study all day, and the stress of the day was starting to take its toll on him. One of the elves entered the room with a glass of hot cocoa and a small dinner for the weathered Christmas Icon. For some time now he had been troubled by his work. Things weren’t like they were in the beginning. Children had changed so much, he had to modify what was considered Naughty or Nice. “I just don’t understand children these days at all. Back in the beginning it was pretty cut and dry who belonged on what list,” said St. Nick with a sigh. “Let’s face it though, if I didn’t grow with the times though, we would be out of the job. We can’t have that can we?” He looked over at the elf as he lay his tray on a side table. The elf only turn around and shrug his shoulders. Who was he to have an opinion?
Santa took his glasses off to rub his eyes a bit. “Well, I’d better go ahead and eat my supper. I still have a long way to go on this list. Have to be done by the third to get everything packed and settled by Christmas.” He turned away from his work to look at his meager meal. “You would think that I of all people could get a decent meal…” he grumbled. Mr.s Clause apparently was back on her diet kick from a few years earlier. Still though he carried on. This was an arduous task and he needed his strength. Just one thought lingered on his mind while he finished his meal…Is all of this really worth it? Is my heart still in it?