Timmy Tinsel And The Rainiest Christmas
CHRISTMAS TOWN — Santa peered through the misty windows of his workshop and grimaced.
“What’s the matter, Big Guy?” this reporter asked.
“It’s been raining for weeks,” Santa replied. “No snow. Not a single flake. I ask you, Timmy Tinsel — How can we have Christmas with no snow?”
This reporter had no answer. Neither did anyone else in this tiny town at the top of the world. Would Santa be able to make his annual trip around the globe? Could his reindeer take flight from a soggy, brown runway? How would Santa deliver Poopsie Slime Surprise Unicorns, Fortnite Skins and American Girl dolls to billions of good boys and girls all over the world?
Just then, the workshop doors burst open. Santa’s chief spokeselves, Greta and Loretta Poinsettia, stumbled over each other as they jockeyed to break the bad news.
“Santa, come quick!” Greta squealed. “The main warehouse flooded and millions of toys got ruined!” Loretta shrieked. “It’s a disaster!” both sisters wailed. “First, a soggy, brown Christmas and now NO TOYS!”
“HUMBUG!” Santa boomed. “You young ladies get hold of yourselves and round up the elves! We’ll have to work ’round the clock to replace the ruined toys, but there will be TOYS THIS CHRISTMAS! Give all the workers extra sugar plums, candy canes and hot cocoa -- but none for Rudolph! I don’t want him bouncing around at bedtime.”
Santa then turned to this reporter with a twinkle in his eye. The jolly old elf had an idea.
“Timmy Tinsel, as usual, I need your help to save Christmas this year,” he said. “I’m sure we’ll have enough toys, but this rain is really dampening the Christmas spirit. We need snow!”
“B-b-but Santa, I don’t control the weather,” I replied. “I can’t make it snow!”
“HO-HO-HO-HO-HO!!!” Santa roared with a belly laugh that rose from his curling toes to his rosy nose. “Don’t be silly, Timmy. Of course you can’t. But you can rally the girls and boys of Northeast Pennsylvania to send Christmas spirit to the North Pole!”
“We’re going to need all the spirit we can get!” said Harry Hollyberry, Santa’s chief mechanic. Harry slogged over to the workshop after several unsuccessful test runs of the sleigh trying to take off on mushy, brown grass.
“Boss, I pushed the Believe-O-Meter to its absolute limit!” Harry said. “The ground is too soggy, and there’s no snow to get the rails gliding. Rudolph and the Reindeer Council say they can’t work under these conditions. I can’t blame them. It was like they were running in place. Blitzen pulled a hamstring.”
The Believe-O-Meter, of course, is the one-of-a-kind device that registers the strength and frequency of belief in Santa Claus and gives his sleigh enough thrust to travel around the world in a single night.
“Boss, the Believe-O-Meter can absorb a hit from doubters in the general public, but when reindeer don’t trust the sleigh, we can’t get Christmas off the ground!”
“Timmy, is the evergreen on Public Square still the biggest, brightest Christmas tree in Northeast Pennsylvania?” Santa asked.
“It sure is, Big Guy,” this reporter proudly replied.
“Then it’s still the biggest antenna for transmitting Christmas spirit in the whole world!” Santa reasoned. “If the boys and girls of Northeast Pennsylvania band together and wish for Christmas snow, they could save Christmas yet again! Timmy Tinsel, I have an important favor to ask of you!”
“Sure, Santa,” said this reporter. “Anything you need.”
“Please write a story telling the children of Northeast Pennsylvania how much we need Christmas spirit!” Santa said. “It’s not hard to generate. All they have to do is hug Mom and Dad, Grandma and Grandpa and their brothers and sisters and say, ‘Merry Christmas!’
“Christmas snow can’t help but fall after that!”
“I’d love to help, Santa,” this reporter replied, “but the story would have to run in the Christmas Eve edition. It goes to press in minutes! It’s impossible to get word to Wilkes-Barre in time!”
“Ho-ho-ho!” Santa boomed. “To the true believer, nothing is impossible!” He put his finger to the side of his nose, and this story magically appeared on the front page of this newspaper. No one meets a deadline quite like Santa.
It worked! Snow is in the local forecast for Christmas Eve and Christmas Day! Flakes were already falling when Santa and his team lifted off to cheers from every soul in Christmas Town. The children of Northeast Pennsylvania saved Christmas once again!
President Trump signed Special Executive Order 12/24, which puts the nation on red-and-green alert until Christmas morning. Air traffic controllers at Wilkes-Barre/Scranton International Airport said they hadn’t picked up any sign of Santa’s sleigh as of 6 this morning, but they reported a huge spike in Christmas spirit throughout the region.
“You can just feel it in the air, like a magic glow that makes you feel good from head to toe,” said a controller who declined to be identified for security reasons. “It makes you want to hug somebody.”
Santa usually comes through here about 11 p.m., but the controller said he received word that St. Nick might come here first.
“With that in mind, we advise the children of Northeast Pennsylvania to get to bed early, and no peeking!” the controller warned with a merry grin. “If you’re going to help Santa save Christmas, you need a good night’s sleep.”
TIMMY TINSEL, the Times-Shamrock North Pole Bureau Chief, is columnist Chris Kelly, but don’t tell him that. Contact the writer: firstname.lastname@example.org, @cjkink on Twitter.