My Childhood Christmas Story
Told to me by my Mom, Juanita Collins Rhine, when I was a child.
One time, long ago at Christmas time in the North Pole, a couple of nights before Santa made his visit over the world, a hungry little elf was on the road trying to find a place to get in , for the night was falling and so was snow. He was cold and hungry. He walked and walked through the woods. Finally, he smelled smoke, and then saw smoke coming from a chimney.
He waded through the deep snow up to the house and knocked on the door. The door opened and a fat, jolly lady invited him in. The room was bright and warm and smelled of good food. She asked him to take his wet shoes off and put them in front of the fire, and told him she would bring him something to eat.
He sat in a good chair, and got warm as she was busy getting the food ready. She had baked ham, fried chicken, mashed potatoes, pickled kraut, biscuits, chocolate pie, and three kinds of cake, eggnog and coffee.
My, my, thought the elf. She is one nice woman. After eating his fill, he fell asleep. On waking, his shoes were dry and he felt good. She asked him where he was headed. “I’m looking for a job,” said he. I need food and clothing for myself. She said, “my husband needs a man to help him on Christmas Eve, and he is a good man.” “I’ll take the job,” said he.
The lady opened a door to a large room that was stacked with toys, paint brushes and saws. There stood a fat man with a long white beard working so hard and fast, for time was running out. He put the elf to work painting wagons red and tricycles blue. The elf painted and painted and, when through, they put them in another room and opened the door for the cold north wind to blow them dry.
The elf was so happy of what he had done. Then the fat man told him that in case he didn’t know it, he was at Santa’s workshop and home, and that he was Santa and the lady was Mrs. Santa. He introduced him to the other three elves that helped him.
Late Christmas Eve night, Santa called all the elves together to help put the reindeer in harnesses. They fed, watered and brushed the reindeer, hung bells around their necks and, as the animals stood in harness, Santa and the other elves loaded the sleigh, went inside, and ate a big late supper Mrs. Santa had on the table, put on the extra warm clothing, and got on the sleigh with Santa. Santa snapped the whip, and away they went through the snowy night to make children happy.
By good daylight, they landed again at the North Pole with an empty sleigh, empty stomach, and a happy heart. Tired as they were, they sat down and filled their stomach on eggs, biscuits, ham & gravy, rice, and a lot of butter and jelly, and fell into bed afterwards for a long sleep so they could get up the next day and go to the shop to start the work for next year. Santa was so well-pleased with the little elf that he asked him to stay and live and work with him. The reindeer were put out to pasture ‘till next Christmas.