Joel's Christmastime Adventure

I walked down the hall to my mother's room. As I walked I remembered the times I walked this way when I was younger due to countless thunderstorms or the occasional monster under the bed. Mother always had the time for me and I missed that. One part of me wanted to be just like her, but the other part knew I could never be as forgiving and kind as she was.

I reached the door as the grandfather clock on the second story chimed noon. Reaching for the knob I could faintly smell the perfume she always wore. I kept some in her room for a time when I was utterly depressed about something and needed something to remind me of her.

Most times that I tried and enter the room the door would be locked from when my father locks it after catching me, but he didn't know I had a spare. Luckily, I didn't have to unlock it since the knob turned quietly from it's position and the door opened in front of me.

The glass on the vanity was covered in a thin layer of dust, and I went over to the bathroom to get a cloth to dust it. I never liked the sight of dust on mother's things and even though I hated to clean anything, I always cleaned anything dusty or dirty that was my mother's.

After cleaning the vanity I sifted through the box I kept hidden in the air duct. It was full with all the things my mother gave me. My baby blue blanket from my first birthday, a shell that I picked up when we went to the beach together when father was away on, yet another, business trip, and some other trinkets.

I left the room as the clock struck three and made my way down the hall. I always took at least three hours in her room unless I just wanted to lay on the bed and pretend to feel her cheek on mine like we used to do and look at the ceiling trying to find little shapes or animals in the texture.

The next day I went into her room at the same time, but noticed something different. A snow globe. It was on my mother's nightstand, which was dust free thanks to me. I decided I should investigate.

As I walked up to the nightstand I noticed a sort of chill in the air, and small white flecks on the ground around it. When I was close enough to the globe to see what was in it, I peered in. It looked like a tiny village almost, and I could make out the tiniest little things and it looked as if they were moving.

Picking it up, I shook it. That's when the world started spinning, like an earthquake, but not shaking. It was actually spinning. My first thought was that the world was going to end, but I only thought this due to that crazy dude trying to convince people the world was going to end last year, then failed in his attempt and decided it was to end this year. Everything went black as I hit the floor with a bang.

"Joel...Joel" a voice called me. It sounded so far away. Almost as if I was in a dream and someone was calling me to wake up, but I was to caught up in defeating the evil sorcerer that I couldn't concentrate on the voice. The only difference was I wasn't dreaming. Without knowing what I was doing, I opened my eyes. Many blue eyes were on me mixed in with one set of red and one set of green. I knew I wasn't dreaming when someone tried to pour water on me and I maneuvered out of the way. At the same time I maneuvered I noticed someone else walking in. Nope. I told myself. It isn't him. It can't be him. But, at the same time I knew It was him. Santa Claus was in the room.

"Hello, Joel" He said cheerfully. I was still freaking out, so all I did was stare. "I'm Santa" he tried again, holding out his hand, which instead of staring at him, I stared at.

"Okay..." the person with green eyes said, coming up to the side of the so-called Santa. "I'm Ginger. I'll be in charge of you. These are the elves," she said, gesturing to all the arctic blue eyes staring at me. "and this is Grumpy.", she said pointing to the red eyes that pierced mine. "No one knows his real name, but he's the only big grump here, so the name fits. Any questions?" All I could do was look at her with one eyebrow raised like she was crazy, which I thought she was. "great" she said. "I'll bring you to your room and Santa can talk to you there"

My room was very spacious and, well, awesome. There is not another word that could describe it. It looked like it came out of a gingerbread magazine. The whole place looked like candy!

Santa came in about a half an hour later to see me trying to sit down in the seat that was in the corner, but I didn't prevail because the chair was immensely slippery and I kept sliding off.

"Joel," he said. "I'm here to help you find the beauty in everything since I noticed you work so fast at everything you can't see what's outside the protective shell of most people."

"uh-huh" I said skeptically. I still thought he and that Ginger person were nuts, but I did want him to go on.

"So," he said. "you will be helping me in preparing for Christmas."

"How do you know I'll be helping?" I asked giving him the, Psst. Yeah, right. Look that I perfected a long while ago.

"You'll notice beauty before you decide to help" he said with his I have wisdom voice.

And with that, he left. Leaving me to ponder what he meant.

I turned to the window to see the sunset later that night. The night outside of the window was a sight I've never seen before. The sunset over the north pole was more extraordinary than any sunset I've seen. The snow and ice were tainted a orange color and the frozen lake in the back was tainted yellow. I knew right then that I had to get my butt into gear and help Santa get ready for Christmas, or nothing would look this wonderful without the magical force of being able to believe.

The next day I found myself helping Santa with wrapping presents because I remembered how much my mother loved to do this. I noticed how much I loved it too while I was at it. Santa and his workshop helped me remember my mother and what she was really like. Most of the time I just felt sorry for myself for losing her, but I never thought about how good her life was. She had everything she every wanted. She had me, my father, her beloved cats and dogs and most importantly the gift to see beauty as more than just what was on the outside, but on the inside.

When I got home I helped my dad with remembering how much she loved to cook, to wrap presents and to relax with us around the fire. And that is the best Christmas present I can think of.