Santa’s 25 Days of Christmas, Day 18

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Santa slept the day away on his Eighteenth Day of Christmas. For one, because he was tired as all heck. And for two, both he and God worked better after dark. Why that was, he often wondered, but it was so, there was no denying it.

He got up and checked out of the hotel a couple hours after sundown. Then he went walkabout. He knew better than to ask the Big Guy why He wanted him to stay, because that wasn’t His way. He really did work in mysterious ways.

All would become clear soon, that he knew.

And about thirty minutes into his nighttime walk around Dublin Town, he came across a pub advertising that they had traditional Irish music inside and they had a Christmas sign out front. It was a sign.

So he went in.

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Two young men were on stage, one was playing a banjo, the other a guitar. They were singing originals about love and love lost, war and peace and a few about nothing at all. They were very good and Santa enjoyed the show.

“The boy with the Banjo,” God thought, “He’s got a choice to make tonight and it’s a hard one, because either way, he loses. You can help him.”

When they left the stage, Santa went up to the young man. “Do you know who I am?”

“An old man in a Santa suit?” the boy said.

“Michael, Michael, Michael, look into my eyes, then try again.”

The boy looked deep into Santa’s eyes and suddenly a look of surprise crossed his face.

“I get that a lot,” Santa said.

“Why are you here?” Michael said. “Why me?”

“Because I know about your problems. If you go away to school, you’re afraid your mother will die while you’re away.” Santa grimaced. “But if you don’t go, you’ll lose your scholarship, and this is your only chance to make something of yourself, because your family doesn’t have the money to send you to school.”

“That’s right,” the boy said.

“I’ll talk to your father and see if we can’t work something out.” Santa knew the boy wanted to get on out of there and go meet his girlfriend. “Really, it’ll be okay. Go see Mary, you two have fun.”

And the boy left in a hurry, without asking how Santa knew about his troubles or his girlfriend’s name. That’s the way it was with people who believed, even if they’d only been believers for a few minutes.

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After the boys left, a trio took the stage and for forty-five minutes they play traditional Irish songs and Santa enjoyed each and every one. When they left the stage, Santa made his way to the guitar player and introduced himself.

“Yeah, you’re Santa Claus, like I’m buying that.”

“It’s okay, Liam,” I might not buy it either if I were you. Your wife has cancer, your boy is troubled. He can’t go away to school and he can’t stay. It’s eating him alive.”

“What do you know about it?” Someone else might have thought Liam was being defiant, but Santa knew he was just sad. He wanted to be by his wife’s side, but he had to play music even when he didn’t want to, because he needed the money.

“I know I can’t heal your wife. That’s beyond my power. But I can help.” He bore into Liam’s eyes. “I know you’re a proud man and wouldn’t accept charity, but this is from me and God.”

“And God?” Liam said, still skeptical, even after having stared into Santa’s eyes.

“He sent me.” And yes, he could heal your wife, but that’s not how he works. However, she doesn’t have to die, not if you call the number on the card, which is bundled up with a whole bunch of money that I have—he reached into his bag and pulled out a box, wrapped up and ready to put under a tree—in this present.”


“A lot of money.” Santa smiled. “More than enough to pay for the treatments your wife will be getting from Dr. Angelli, the oncologist whose number is on that card and to pay for Michael’s education, because he shouldn’t be away at school while his mother is so sick. Time enough for him to go after she gets better.”

“But the doctors said it was incurable, that she only had a few months.”

“They were wrong.” He held out the present. “Take the money.”

“Thank you.” He took the money.

“It’ll be okay.” Santa said. “Now go home and be with your wife and call the number in the morning.”

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And as Liam was leaving, Morgana sashayed in. She was one of Lucy’s darker dark angels. She went to a table, sat and waited, apparently for Santa to make his move. Which he did. He went straight to her and she turned her back to him. She was very confident.

“You should leave this place, while you can,” he said.

Without turning to face him, she said, “I’m not alone.”

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He looked around the room. Saw Lydia, another dark angel drinking a Guinness.

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Then he saw Roxie the Blonde, drinking with a group of minions at a table across the room.

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And looking further, he saw several male minions. He was vastly outnumbered and now he was wondering if Lucy himself was going to show. What was it about that little Irish family and their troubles that interested the Devil so?

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“Santa, over here.” It was Arc Angel Stephanie Marie. She may not have been one of God’s favorite angels, because she was headstrong and often wandered the Earth without anyone having a clue as to where she was. But, she was his most powerful angel. Only God wielded more power. But God tempered his power, even when his cause was just.

Stephanie Marie, not so much.

She would never harm a mortal. Well, if it was somebody she deemed the planet would be better off rotating without, maybe. And that was part of God’s problem with her. If she saw a truly evil doer, she’d strike him dead and send him down to Lucy straightaway, without asking permission. She’d just do it.

And, truth be told, Santa kind of admired that about her.

And the very fact that she was here was very bad news for the bad guys, because she could vanish these dark angels and minions right into non existence. Other than her, only God had that power and he maybe only used it one or twice in a thousand years. He didn’t even use it with Hitler.

Stephanie Marie, she had a different view of things. In a way, she was like God’s hired gun. She did what had to be done, when he couldn’t or wouldn’t or shouldn’t, because he was God.

Santa hugged her. “Am I ever glad to see you,” he said.

“Gosh,” she said. “I don’t get that very much.”

And by the time they broke the hug, the dark angels and the minions were gone.

“What just happened here?” Santa said.

“That boy,” he’s special. “That’s all I know.”

“Special? How?”

“Like the girl named Santa, who God took yesterday. They’re important cogs in the great big engine that makes this all work. You were here to help save the girl and the boy and I was here to back you up, just in case Lucy interfered.”

“And that’s all you know?”

“The Big Guy says he’s going to tell me all about it on Christmas Day. It’s supposed to be my Christmas present.”

“He told me the same.”

“Then I guess we wait.” She kissed his cheek. “Now go home and get some rest and give Mrs. Claus a kiss from me.”

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A half hour later Santa glanced down at the River Liffy and heaved a heavy sigh as Rudy and Crew flew him home.

Ken Douglas Wedding and Portrait Photography, 1250 Ralston Street, Reno, NV 89503 
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