Here we go with the concluding part of this wonderful story ….
…You know, he’s so convincing, he tells these fantasy stories he told me a story about you.”
“About me!?” Karen’s curiosity about Nick suddenly increased.
“Jim it’s true! it actually did happen!! I’ve still got the letter; I’ve kept it for over thirty years it meant so much to me.”
“No way you’re kidding right?” Karen’s expression told Jim that she wasn’t kidding. She looked like she had seen a ghost. “Karen why haven’t you mentioned this before?”
“We were so poor, apart from that letter, it’s a time, I just wanted to forget. I loved that cat. That’s why I insisted on Alley’s name. I vowed no one would ever take away something I loved ever again. Darling I love our little Family and you know that includes you.”
Karen turned and ran towards the stairs calling back to Jim as she went “I’ll get the letter!”
Within minutes Karen was back with the letter which she pushed into Jim’s hand.
Jim hurriedly unfolded the letter and quickly scanned the content. He looked up at Karen. “It looks identical to the one Alley was carrying in the Mall. Let me see. I’m sure Alley put it in her pocket.”
Karen turned again and excitedly bolted towards the closet.
“I’ll get it; her coat is in here”
Returning again letter in hand she passed it to Jim. Jim compared the two letters holding one in each hand. His expression conveyed wonder and disbelief.
“Karen It’s the same hand writing.”
“Jim you’re right they are identical, how could this be? its impossible. I’ve gotta be dreaming?”
“No Karen it’s not impossible – its magic, Christmas magic. I know why and I know the guy who sent them and I didn’t believe him. Nick,– Nicolas,—St Nicolas,— Father Christmas, it’s all making sense, I got to see him I’ll be back soon. I got to thank him.”
Jim ran back to the mall but it was closed. He hammered on the Glass Door Calling out
“Let me in, I’ve got to see Santa, I mean Nick”.
Jim noticed – through the glass – the night Janitor inside the mall just sitting on the stairs looking bewildered. Jim banged on the glass again called and waved to get the janitors attention. Eventually the janitor snapped out of his daze and looked over at Jim. He got up and fumbled for his bunch of keys as he headed over to open the door.
As the door opened Jim asked his colleague
“Are you OK buddy?”
The janitors expression turned to one of recognition
“Oh Jim it’s you, yeah, yeah, I think so.”
“Are you sure coz you don’t look so good?”
“Jim, you wouldn’t believe what I have just seen! Nick walked past me wished me a goodnight and a Merry Christmas. He had this huge guy with him dressed in fancy dress and when they passed me he was freezing. He said he had to leave early because he had a busy night ahead of him. Then he walked out of the shop and shouted for his car. The car actually moved without a driver, they both got in, and the car took off. I mean flew above the roof tops. Should I be telling people this, they will think I’m mad. Jim maybe I’m drinking too much?”.
“Buddy, you’ve heard the song “Santa only comes when you close your eyes”. Not this time. He knew he had to deliver and he has. He’s made me realise the importance of a family the greatest gift a man can receive and I was about to throw it all away. Merry Christmas Buddy and Thank You Nick, I mean Santa. I’m home, home with my family!”
On Christmas Eve I felt so proud when I slipped down the Chimney in Jim’s House. I left the presents and a card thanking Jim for believing. I looked around the house; the family photograph was back in its rightful place on the fireplace. Jim’s newspaper was open on the employment page and the whisky bottle was still full. Just then the door opened and to my surprise, in walked a cat. I felt so proud I took Alley’s burnt letter from my pocket and put it in her Christmas stocking.
Jim’s a great guy and I never found out why he left home but the most important thing is that, he is now back home with his family. He hit rock bottom but he’s now on the way up. If it could happen to him it could happen to anyone.
On Christmas morning Alley woke and rushed down stairs. She opened the door and there standing by the Christmas tree was her daddy. She rushed over to him; Karen witnessed the greatest hug of all time.
It was with a big smile that I raised my head from my story book and asked all the children in my grotto
Well children, was this just another Santa Story or did it really happen?
Anyway if I said to you, “Do you believe in Santa Clause the Spirit of Christmas what would be your answer?”
MERRY CHRISTMAS 2009 TO ALL!