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Girls’ Night Out

fantasy by Cheryl Losch

“So here’s the thing,” she said, tension building with each sentence. “Every year I work my butt off to make sure you’re fat. I clean your suit, I polish your boots, and I make sure the elves build you a new pipe that won’t make you cough and wake up all the children.

I help you with the letters and the emails.  For crying out loud I’ve set up a naughty and nice sort on the desktop so you don’t even have to spend endless hours writing lists yourself any longer.  We’ve been able to eliminate those millions of rolls of paper that keep spilling around the den and down the stairs.

I keep the sack in good repair so the toys don’t land where they don’t belong and I even make the annual appointment for the sled tune-up. I can’t count the number of years I’ve kept this operation running smoothly and the one night, the one night we could possibly go out and I don’t even get to enjoy it. I have to sit here while the news tells me where you are and how you make Christmas magic and blah, blah, blah, and then I get to wait for you to return so I can start the entire process all over again.

My God, they even named a parade after you. What about me? What about the Santa-doesn’t-do-squat-it’s-all-his-wife’s-doing parade? When is that one going to happen?”

“Now, now, dear,” Santa replied with a chuckle. “I know how much you do, the entire village does. You know I couldn’t do this job without you. Everyone knows you’re the wind beneath my wings. You’re my Christmas angel, my star.”

She wanted to punch him. Make a big old Christmas-sized fist and pop him one right on his merry little nose, which according to legend resembled a cherry. Looked more like a nice sized knuckle target to her. She’d make those baby-blues stop twinkling real fast.

“Stop trying to hug me,” she said, pushing him away. “I’m serious. It’s time I shared in some of the excitement. In fact, some of us have been discussing this while we’ve been busy getting ready for the upcoming flight. We have an idea.”

“We?”

“Yes, we. The toymaker’s wife and the candy maker’s wife. And the reindeer wives.”

“And your idea is what, my dear?”

“We’ll deliver the toys this year.”

“Ho, Ho, Ho,” roared Santa. “I do love your sense of humor.”

“I’m serious. We are going to deliver the toys. We want a night out. The route is programmed into the GPS, it has been for years. We know the drill. We know how it works.”

She starred as his round little cheeks went from their usual rosy color to something akin to wallpaper paste.

“But I deliver the toys, it’s my job. It’s what I’m known for.”

“Oh Santa, relax. No one will even know it’s not you. They never see you, they’re sleeping. You can still have your parades and do the mall thing and all the usual public appearances. I just want to have some fun. Consider it a night off.”  She pinched his ashen cheeks, helping them to regain some of their original colour.

He rubbed his snow-white beard as if deep in thought.  “Well, when you put it that way, a night off might be nice. I haven’t had one of those since, well, since forever.”

“The girls are all for it. They think it would be great fun. The reindeer wives would love a good run, they don’t get as many opportunities to fly around as the boys. And Santa, it doesn’t have to be every year, perhaps we can alternate.” She laughed as his cheeks began to fade again.

But then she saw that famous twinkle and his ever-so-slight nod and she knew she had him.

“Very well. Let’s try it out this year. You are right, my dear, you deserve a night out. I’ll inform the troops and we’ll make this the best Christmas ever for the kids. Maybe it can become a tradition of sorts. I’m kind of warming up to the idea of putting up my bootless feet and watching the television for once. But I’ll be keeping an eye out.”

#

December twenty-fourth was filled with an air of excitement unlike any the village had ever experienced before. The sled glistened on the runway while Dasher and Dancer took care of the last minute flight checklist. The toys were all loaded up and the GPS set. The elves had provided the new delivery team with plenty of hot chocolate and the bucks cheered for their wives. Everyone wanted to be part of North Pole history.

Santa stood on the tarmac looking up into what used to be considered his throne.

“Good Luck. Have fun, and call if you need me,” he said to his wife with pride, but still sounding a tad uncertain with this new plan.

“We will. We’ll be fine. We’ve seen it done by the master for centuries. And the weather forecasts are all good tonight, mostly clear skies throughout,” she replied to her husband with a smile. Glancing over her shoulder to the back seat, she called out, “Ready ladies?”

“Ready Mrs. Claus,” they replied in excited unison. “Let’s hit the sky.”

Mrs. Claus turned back to face her fleet of reindeer, took a deep breath of the fresh Christmas air, gave Santa a jolly old wink, shook the reins, and began the new roll-call.

“Now Princess, now Snowflake, now Cupcake and Pixie. On Lola, on Maggie, on Sally and Dixie.”

With that they were airborne through light falling snow and the women they waved to the men-folk below.  They heard her exclaim as the sled came about.

“Santa Claus ain’t coming to town,  ‘cause its girl’s night out!”

Copyright January 2011 by Cheryl Losch

Cheryl Losch lives in Strathroy, Ontario.  She is a regular contributor to Strathroy First Magazine, writes a monthly column for the Strathroy Age-Dispatch and her fiction has appeared at Pages of Stories .

[return to the January 2011 main page]

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