Christmas Journey

by Mrs Susan McGaw (Salar)



The spirit of Christmas Present sailed along the swirling breezes, testing the flavors of men's sentiments in its invisible airwaves. Remembrances of Christmases past, parades, concerts, holiday recipe shows, gift suggestions, and public celebrations floated along the currents or sailed down wires...along with a larger selection of less savory offerings, the angel noted with a frown. Shows on Christmas' accumulated trappings did not always bless the hearts of gentlefolk, not when they detracted from remembering Emmanuel and His perfect gift, but now many channels were not stemming their usual flotsam tide showing the ugliness of many hearts, and this was worse.

The spirit eases along one of the wires as it continues its scan, slipping away from the city as it reads the messages of goodwill that people type to one another, the friendly e-cards, short cartoons, and the silliness of all varieties that abounds along this long line of the Internet. Energized by all by these digital tokens of Christmas Spirit, C.P. dashes from these searches to investigate a mail truck bouncing by that seems to be full of presents and - as it turns out- much genuine goodwill in cards and letters, (as well as a few filled with only with duty or other earthly desires)  A transparent chin nodded, yes, these kindly packets often represented what the season of grace was sent to inspire. Blessings came to those who now remembered the poor, the downtrodden, the children, the widows, and elderly. Goodwill and forgiveness is the joy of heaven, and a fair (if pale) shadow of the grace God sent to Earth. The angel leaves the postal driver to his rewarding mission and rises, well satisfied, on the warm breezes the vehicle leaves in its wake.

The exhaust fades and the spirit explores the world around it again. A faint scent of...baking...pies, breads, and ... cookies? hhmm Mildly curious, C.P. heads along the new track into ever deepening countryside.

Along one country lane an unusual set of tracks in the wet dirt -flipper marks - catches the angel's eye. Looking up, the angel sees the waddling figure itself disappeared into a screen of trees. The bemused spirit follows the genial bumbling bird as it wanders into the forest.

Unaware of his audience, Santa Penguin struggles up the concrete steps into the antique house. Inside a woman is baking away for friends and family alike. Cookie dough stands in bowls, bread rises on the counter, and pies stand cooling on top of the oven. Bwacking happily to himself, Santa Penguin slides surreptitiously around the busy cook and snags a flipperful of the chocolate chip dough, then hides with it in the freezer. He knew it would be a great treat later, when it became ice cream cold. He'd been here before.

The gust of the closing freezer door draws the cook's attention."What on Earth gets into this door these days?" She muttered to herself as she checked for objects that might block the big upright freezer from sealing completely. Unable to find a problem, she closes the door again, unaware of the cookie dough burglar ducked down behind the frozen vegetables.

The angel peeks into the freezer and observed the antarctic visitor settling down for an afternoon nap. Smiling, C.P marks the house into memory for a later visit. What would the silly bird get up to next?

After a rewarding afternoon and early evening accompanying carolers, families decorating their trees and houses, after dancing with the evangelicals in an impromptu praise session that overtook their Christmas planning meeting and then enjoying mass with the genial county priest , C.P returns to check on the surreptitious habitation of the festively garbed penguin. The angel finds the rascal tiptoe-ing quietly past the marmalade kitty sleeping comfortably on the kitchen chair nearest the stove. Soon Santa Penguin was able to reach the shelves where the open packages waited that were nearly ready to mail. It was time.

The penguin tested the shelf in front of him, but -oh no!- it rocked when he put his first flipper upon the front. What to do? Santa Penguin bwacked softly to himself, wiped his beak with his flipper, and ate a little frozen cookie dough to cheer himself up. A few minutes he was still standing there, at a loss, but not as hungry.

The angel scanned the hallway with the silly bird and had noticed the loose garlands on the staircase. The spirit realized after a few minutes that Santa Penguin had not. First the spirit of Christmas Present invisibly shook one end of a garland, then some tinsel.  The movement startled  the bird a bit, but he still didn't see the garland rope so high above him. Santa Penguin tried launching himself from a nearby desk but only landed with a soft, quite solid THUD ....nowhere near the packages. Now he was really worried. What to do?

hhmmm..... The Spirit of Christmas Present considered the predicament of his fellow anthropomorphism and decided desperate measures were in order. The angel turned the lights on the doorway wreath and made itself a bit more visible to the huddled avian beneath him, whose eyes were soon as large as scoops of ice cream!

"Let's finish this together, little one," whispered the angel - and extended a wing. Santa Penguin held onto it and was soon lifted to his goal. Merrily he unslung his amazing red bag, for as he opened it, it seemed to expand and fill with small presents. An oder of cookies, vanilla, and - herring- wafted across the hallway and back into the kitchen where the kitty's nose wrinkled in puzzlement. "Silly humans," she yawned to herself, then stretched and settled back into a sweetly purring ball - dreaming of new yarn toys to come.

Santa Penguin had been holding his breath when the feline stirred, but the angel near him only smiled, knowing the cat would not come this time, and why. Soon the postal packets had been infused with fresh surprises and he was ready to go. He left special goodies in the family's stocking as well, as thanks for their hospitality.

The Angel of Christmas Present offered him a lift to his next destination. "After all, you still have a long way to waddle before the day, even starting this early!"

Santa Penguin thanked his escort, but inwardly wondered as they went along what 'early' meant. Seemed like he was always being told he was early - or late. An elf once gave him a flat picture book he called a cow-and-her into his bag.  "Cows are already 'hers'," he thought to himself as he settled sleepily into the angel's soft feathers....

2006 - all rights reserved by author.



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