Tim is a freelance writer, poet, artist and storyteller. He always tries to find and include lessons for everyone in his writing.
Abbi rushed out of the coffee shop. In one hand she held a cup of coffee. In the other a phone to her ear.
“No dad, I won’t be home for Christmas. Dad, you know I have so much to do. Yes I know I used to live for Christmas but now it is just another day. I love you too. Talk to you later. Err, I hate this holiday. Why are people always so joyful?”
She rushed out of the coffee’s shop , nearly knocking over an old woman in the process.
“Excuse me dearie.”
Abbi stopped. “I’m so sorry. I didn’t see you there.”
“It’s ok. Just where are you going in such a rush?”
Abbi looked at the old woman. In her eyes she saw such joy. She wished she could have joy like that again.
“Dearie, you ok?”
“Yes, I have to get back to work. I'm running a little late.”
The old woman smiled. “Maybe you should slow down. Take some time to soak in the Christmas magic.”
“Christmas magic! No offense but I lost any sense of Christmas magic a long time ago. Now if you’ll excuse me I have to be on my way.” Abbi turned and walked up the sidewalk.
The old woman stood there and watched her go.”This one is going to require more work.” She touched her nose and vanished.
On Saturday Abbi decided to take a stroll near her apartment. She came to the corner of 5th and Main. She spotted a coffee shop on the corner.
“Funny, I don’t remember this shop being here before.” She entered the shop and walked up to the counter. “A caramel macchiato please.” Abbi turned to go. Standing before her was the older woman from the other day.
“Hi dearie, have you found any Christmas magic yet?”
“I don’t want to sound rude but…”
“Esther, I don’t think I’m going to find any magic this year, Christmas or otherwise.”
Esther waved her hand. “Nonsense, everyone has Christmas magic. For some it might be a flurry, for others a blizzard. Now come sit. Let’s talk.”
Abbi wanted to say no but something about this woman compelled her to sit down.
They sat down at a table by the door.
“Now Abbi, why do you feel your Christmas magic is gone?”
“Well.” Abbi looked down deep into her coffee. “When I was a child Christmas was special. I looked forward to Santa coming, my mom and I decorated the house and we’ll…it was just special. When my mom died it took a big piece of my heart. I guess the piece where the magic was stored. Once I grew up and discovered Santa wasn’t real well…Christmas has no magic left for me.”
“Esther looked at her.”So you left the magic behind but it doesn’t mean the magic left you.”
“Why are we even having this conversation? I lost more magic when Santa failed…”
“To bring your mom back.”
Esther smiled warmly. “You know Santa can do many things but bringing someone back…well let’s just say it is out of his control.”
“You talk as if Santa is real. He’s not. It’s an advertising gimmick to get children to buy into a false hope of getting what they ask for.”
“My dear woman. Santa is real. I should know I’m married to him.”
Abbi wanted to get up and leave but something compelled her to stay. It wasn’t like she believed the woman to actually be Santa’s wife. How could she be? Santa didn’t really exist. She decided to see how far the woman was willing to go.
“So, if you’re Santa’s wife, why are you not at the North Pole?”
“Oh, I could be there in a blink if I had to but sometimes I have a pressing matter I need to take care of first.” She touched Abbi’s hand. She felt a strange sensation wash over her.
“Where are we?”
“Why, you're in the coffee shop dearie. Well at least physically. Your spirit is in Israel about 2000 years ago.”
“Israel, wait what?”
“Yes, you’re in the little town of Bethlehem. Tonight in this town in a lowly stable was born the true magic of Christmas. Come let us go see.”
The two of them walked the streets until they came to the back of one of the houses. There before them was an open door with what looked to be shepherds gathered around. A baby’s cry echoed from deep within the home. They stepped forward and found themselves inside the stable. There before them was a man holding a baby. Lying down was a small, but beautiful woman.
Abbi couldn’t believe what see was seeing. Was this really Joseph, Mary and…Jesus.
“This is the magic of Christmas. What time and circumstances cannot take away. The birth of one who came to save the world.”
Suddenly they were back in the coffee shop.
“Were we really there?” Abbi asked.
Esther smiled. “Yes and no. You were there in your heart because deep down you know Christmas still has a magic which carries you throughout the year. Christmas is not all about my husband, nor about the presents. It is about the present and His presence in your life.”
“But I still find it hard to grasp a hold of the magic once again. Between losing my mother and Santa. It feels like I lost more of the joy of Christmas than I can ever recover.”
“Abbi, Abbi, Abbi, you still don’t get it. Just because you lose someone doesn’t mean you lose their magic deep within your heart. Just because you stop believing in Santa doesn’t mean you lose the Christmas magic. No, you must learn to take hold of the magic we just saw in Bethlehem and put it in your heart and let it grow.”
Abbi sat there. “My mom used to tell me the Christmas story.”
It is one thing to be told, it is another to believe without seeing. You claim to have lost faith in all things Christmas. Let me show you something no other adult has seen because they have lost their faith.” She touched her nose.h
Abbi looked around. She saw elves hard at work filling orders. She saw a man sitting at a desk looking over lists. A man in a red suit, white beard, whistling what sounded like “Must Be Santa” to himself. He looked up.
“Hi dear. I see you’ve brought Abbi with you. Welcome.”
He stood up and walked over. “Hi I’m Joe.”
“Fred? I thought you were Santa.”
“Ho, ho, ho, I am Santa my dear. . Well at least Santa as the world sees Santa. The real Santa, me. Is just a humble servant of God paying back to each of the boys and girls a small measure of what was given to me…a great joy. The presents I give are secondary to the true magic of Christmas. Sadly over the years the message has been lost somewhere in the idea of Christmas. Try and remember once you have the magic of Christmas in your heart it can’t be lost. It just becomes hidden behind too many concerns and worries. Now if you want to excuse me I have a list to tend to.”
“The Naughty or Nice list?” Abbi asked.
Santa smiled. “I like to call it my love list. I love them all, some just need a little nudge to do the right thing.” He turned and walked back up to his desk.
Elise touched her nose and they were back at the coffee shop. Well at least it used to be a coffee shop. Now it was just an empty store front with a table and chairs. Behind the counter stood an elf. She waved at Abbi. Abbi waved back.
“Now my dear do you get it. You didn’t lose your Christmas magic. It is still there locked behind a wall of your own making.”
Abbi smiled. “No, I’m going try to let it back out. Let the magic flood over me again.” if you’ll excuse me Mrs Claus.”
“Elsie my dear, please call me Elsie.”
“Elsie, I must be going. I’ve got places to go and people to see.”
Abbi got up and left.
Santa appeared next to Mrs. Claus.
“Do you think she has changed?”
Mrs. Claus smiled. I think so. I think she got some of her magic back.”
“I hope so.” Said Santa. “We can’t have our daughter running around with no Christmas magic.”
“Dear, when are we going to tell her?”
“Not yet, not yet. The time will come.”
Santa touched his nose and they both disappeared.
© 2021 Timothy Whitt