Two little boys get the experience of their lives when they decide to get into their Christmas presents before they were supposed to.
The Magic Christmas
“Okay, you guys,” their mother said patiently as she tucked the two little boys into bed for night, amidst their giggles and unending questions about Christmas. “Let’s say prayers and go to bed. You have to stay in your beds all night and go to sleep or Santa Claus won’t come.”
After prayers, she was getting ready to leave their room when the oldest boy looked down at her from the top bunk of his bunk bed. “Oh Mommy, I have one more thing to say.”
She sighed heavily, really wanting to go to bed herself after a long day with the two boys demanding attention by screaming, fighting and getting into things. “Okay, Dana. Make it fast, though.”
He thought for a second, “Um Mommy, if I get up in the middle of the night and Santa Claus is here, will he disappear before he leaves me a present?”
“Well, I don’t know. Do you really want to take that chance?” she asked curiously.
“No,” his brother said gravely from the lower bunk then leaned out of the bed to look up at his older brother. “Get in bed and go to sleep, Dana!” he said in his usual loud, bossy tone of voice.
“Great idea,” their mom agreed and turned off the light. “Stay in bed now. No talking. I love you guys,” she said cheerfully as she walked slowly out the door.
“Night, Mommy,” the called in mixed unison.
With it being Christmas Eve, the two boys were too excited to sleep and chattered and laughed, getting scolded by their mother and father several times before she and their dad finally went to bed, leaving the Christmas tree lit at their request. They wanted to be sure that Santa would have enough light to see what he was doing when he got there.
Dana was a five year old boy and was naturally inquisitive and quite smart. Adam, his brother, was four, also very intelligent and was on a one way track with destruction, much to the chagrin of his parents. The boys were very close and looked out for each other even at such young ages.
Dana knew his mom was a light sleeper and heard everything that went on in the house but she was so tired tonight and with her disability kicking up, she was bound to sleep harder than usual. He was counting on that as he eased himself quietly down the ladder from his top bunk. He knelt beside his brother’s bed and shook him, “Adam,” he whispered. “Wake up.”
Adam sat up, “Did Santa come?” he asked loudly.
“Sh-h,” Dana scolded, “or you’ll wake up Mommy. Let’s go see if Santa’s been here.”
Adam threw off his blanket and took Dana’s hand, both very excited at the prospect of Santa Claus coming if he hadn’t already. Together, they sneaked past their parent’s bedroom where they were both sleeping soundly with the door open and down the hallway toward the shimmering light radiating from the Christmas tree.
Until now, there had been nothing under the Christmas tree except for the blue velvet tree skirt with a snowman on it. It was beautifully decorated with small twinkling lights of about every color, gold garland, decorative balls of silver, gold, blue, red, and green in various sizes and shapes. Since there were no presents under it, the boys had used it as a train station for their toy trains.
That was then. This is now.
“He came! He came!” Adam said excitedly, jumping up and down. “Dana, he came!”
Dana was too awestruck to make his little brother be quiet. The tree was jammed with so many presents that they were overflowing into the living room of their small house. “Wow,” he breathed.
It was a unanimous yet unspoken decision to open the gifts without their mom and dad being there. The boys dropped to their knees and began to tear the paper off excitedly. They’d opened just one a piece when the Christmas tree began to shake and the balls on it began to rattle. A huge bright light suddenly engulfed the whole room. The boys weren’t afraid as they normally would have been. There was warmth about the light that calmed them and drew their attention to the tree with wide eyes of wonder.
Adam had opened a bag of balloons and the next thing he knew, the balloons were all blown up and floating around the ceiling. He giggled at the sight and spun gracefully under them, “I want one!” he said excitedly, holding his arms up toward the ceiling.
A bright red one eased from the ceiling into his eager hands. He was so thrilled with it and began to jump around again and hit the balloon back toward the ceiling. “This is so cool,” he said delightedly and chased it around the living room.
“Adam, be quiet,” Dana whispered loudly, not wanting to wake up their mom and dad. He knew they would be in a whole heap of trouble if they got caught. But he was in just much awe as his brother over the balloons and had forgotten about his own present for the moment and joined him in the fun of chasing the balloon around.
“Hey, I want one, too,” he declared.
Another green balloon dropped down from the ceiling and into his waiting hands. Together the boys laughed and giggled as they danced around the living room, chasing the balloons, oblivious to the noise they were making.
“Let’s open another one,” Adam said breathlessly as he and Dana settled down by the now calm Christmas tree.
“Oh, I forgot to open mine,” Dana said with a smile as he finished opening his gift. He pulled a pair of blue jeans out of the pretty paper and held them up, “Oh man, clothes,” he said with obvious disappointment and tossed them to the side.
The tree began to shake again and the lights flashed and the balls twirled, sending both boys back on their knees to watch in amazement. Neither was afraid even without the bright light that had disappeared as mysteriously as it had appeared.
The pants got up from their small heap on the floor and floated to the ceiling with the balloons and began to dance, kicking out the empty legs and twisting side to side.
Dana and Adam cheered and clapped with delight, singing now with music that they knew not from where it came nor did they even think about it. The music was there. The pants were dancing. The balloons were floating. It was happening just because it was happening.
“Let’s open another one!” Dana said eagerly and ripped open the next one without even thinking. Inside the box was another train to add to his already sizeable collection and he was overjoyed. Trains were his favorite thing of all.
Adam sat back to watch the tree do it’s dance and suddenly everything stopped. The room became very quiet. The balloons and the pants stopped moving. Everything was still. The room was silent.
The boys looked at each other, wondering what was going to happen next. They didn’t say a word. They slowly slid their gazes to the brightly lit tree and joined hands, almost giddy with anticipation.
The whole house began to shake, the windows rattled, the furniture moved and then the train Dana had just opened materialized right in front of them. It was enormous with the black funnel just a few inches from the ceiling and its cow catcher just inches from the door, it’s back nearly pushing over the tree.
“Bust my buffers,” Dana exclaimed softly, hardly believing his eyes.
Adam clung to his brother’s arm and began to whimper, “I’m scared,” he whispered tearfully.
“It’s okay,” Dana comforted. “Just hang onto me.”
A man dressed in a blue conductor’s uniform leaned out of the train cab, “All aboard!” he called loudly, looking at both of them then gave them a playful wink.
“What’s going on out here?”
Both boys gaped at the source of the unfamiliar voice. It was the dog!
“Hey, you can’t talk!” Adam exclaimed, his fear forgotten.
The dog gave him what could be considered a smile. “It’s Christmas. Anything can happen,” he said easily with a surprisingly deep voice. He came further into the living room, his curly tail propped up on his back, the common way for any Pug to wear his tail. “Wow,” he said softly as he looked up at the train. “This is too cool.”
Before either boy could say anything, the conductor gave them a sharp whistle. “Are you guys coming?”
“Yeah!” Dana said eagerly, dragging his brother with him to board the big black train with a bright light shining from the headlight.
“Hey, wait for me!” Percy called and ran after them then jumped on the train as the conductor helped them aboard then gave the engineer a wave of his hand. A huge cloud of steam came from beneath the engine then started it moving very slowly. The deafening whistle shattered the windows.
Dana covered his mouth, not thinking about anything other than he and Adam were going to have a lot of explaining to do when their dad came rushing out of the bedroom. There was no way their parents were going to sleep through that.
“Don’t worry, kids,” the conductor said with a friendly smile, “They’re out like lights.”
With that, the train was off, blowing out the walls as it headed for the road. The two boys shrieked with joy, holding the dog between them.
In no time, they were flying down an unfamiliar railroad track at a high rate of speed. They saw the colorful lights of the houses they passed, their grandmother’s house miles from where they lived, the nursing home where their other grandmother lived four states away, their uncle’s house, their aunt’s house and then their great-aunt’s house. They waved and laughed as they passed them and although they hadn’t seen some of these people since they were wee babies, they knew who everyone was. Surprisingly, their relatives waved back with beaming smiles of their own.
They passed snow-covered fields, farms with homey lights coming from the windows, vast forests where deer, rabbits and other wildlife watched in awe as a train whipped by. They ran into a blinding snowstorm but only for a moment then came out to a bright full moon and starry sky. The train screeched to a stop.
Dana and Adam looked up at the conductor, silently asking why they’d stopped.
The conductor gave them another friendly smile and pointed out the window.
They got out of their seats and went to the window only to see angels in the sky. Dozens of angels. Angels of every size, every dimension, some playing harps and violins and blowing horns, others singing and dancing. It was a big festival in the sky. Beneath the celebration was a field of brightly lit and decorated trees with little rabbits, chipmunks, deer and other forest animals scampering about having a party of their own.
The boys watched the merriment with wonder. Their eyes were bright, their mouths open in the tell-tale look of wonderment as they pasted their faces to the window for a better look.
Adam pushed his brother out of the way, “Let me see! Let me see!” he said earnestly and pressed his nose to the cold pane of glass to get a better look. He gazed at him, the conductor and the engineer. “Oh wow,” he said happily. “Can we go out there?”
The door opened and the boys and the dog stepped out into the cold snow with their bare feet and no coats yet they were not cold at all. They walked through the snow to the trees where the animals merely looked at them. They stopped to pet a little brown bunny then watched as white doves flitted around the glamorous evergreen trees, dropping berries on the branches.
They turned around to see a most beautiful angel. Wearing a white gown with a silver sash and a white rope around his waist, the dark haired being gave them a big smile. “Pretty neat place, huh?”
They fell down in the snow on their backsides in surprise.
He chuckled then righted them on their feet and took each of their hands. “Come with me. I have something to show you.”
They went with the celestial being, each holding one of his hands, the dog following them. They felt warm and safe not realizing they were going to join the celebrating angels in the sky until they got there. There were more angels than they’d realized and they were gathered in a circle on a wispy cloud in the starry sky, singing songs that neither of the boys had ever heard. They were passing their hands slowly from side to side, dropping crystals onto the earth that gave the snow a shiny silver shimmer that looked like diamonds when the moonlight touched it.
A dazzling light, brighter than any light, shone from even higher up and a man came through the light, greeting the angels with a smile as he approached Dana, Adam, Percy and the angel they clung to. He sat down on the cloud and gestured for the boys to come to him by opening his arms wide.
They went to him willingly and sat down on his knees, looking up at his face, not recognizing him but knowing him. It was God and they were not afraid.
God gave them a hug and a kiss and patted their little dog and began to speak. “You are such blessings to your mother and your father. Always look out for them and one another and be kind to everyone you meet. You’ll have very rewarding lives if you always do the right thing.”
They stared at him, unable to speak, listening intently.
He smiled then tweaked Adam’s chin and hugged him then did the same to Dana. “You have seen more tonight than you’ll ever see again until you come to me for all time.”
Adam put his little arms around his neck and gave him a big hug then Dana did the same.
God held them close. “I’ll always be there for you,” he kissed them on the cheek. “Now, are you ready to go back home and have a great Christmas?” he asked cheerfully.
They smiled at him, not wanting to leave. There was peace and love like they’d never felt before and it made them want to stay forever.
He gave the angel a nod. He took their hands and led them away from their Creator back to the waiting train. “You’ve seen something that few people ever see. You’re very lucky and so special,” he said as he handed them back up to the conductor with an affectionate ruffling of their hair.
“Thanks,” Percy said in lieu of the children’s lack of speech and manners then hopped aboard the steamer.
The angel gave him a pat on the back. “I sure like your tail.”
He wagged it with a doggie smile on his black face. “It is pretty cool, huh?”
He chuckled. “Yeah. It is.”
“See you around,” he said cheerfully with another playful wag of his tail.
The conductor closed the door to the cab as the dog leaped into the seat between the boys again. “Here we go, fellas,” he said with a happy smile and gave the engineer a hand signal.
The boys and the dog made the trip home in astounded silence. The magic train was fast and the trip home was like lightning. When the train returned to the living room, the conductor passed his hand over the boys’ heads and they fell into a deep sleep. He gently carried them off the train and laid them on the floor in front of the Christmas tree, covering them with a blanket from the back of the sofa. With a sweep of his arm, the house was repaired, things were set aright, the balloons deflated and went back into the bag, the pants rewrapped themselves, and the train returned to toy size. The conductor laid a friendly hand on the shoulder of the engineer and they walked through the door into the periwinkle sky. Dawn was on the horizon.
Early in the morning, Dana and Adam’s mother got up and found them sleeping on the floor with the dog on top of the blanket between them. Their sweetness and innocence showed on their slumbering faces and she knew she was blessed to have such two great little boys. She let them sleep.
A short while later, their dad got up and saw his wife sitting on the couch reading a book and his children still asleep in front of the tree. “Did they get into their presents?” he asked curiously.
She shook her head. “No. I’m surprised but they didn’t.
He smiled. “Good deal.”
Dana woke up and sat up rubbing his eyes then looked at his parents as if he’d never seen them before.
“Merry Christmas,” his mom said with a smile. “Did you get to see Santa?”
“No. I had a weird dream,” he said sleepily as he looked up at the ceiling. “There was a big train, Mommy. I saw angels and God.”
Adam sat up, “Me, too. We saw God’s trees, too.”
“Yeah,” Dana agreed. “And bunnies and birds.”
She smiled at them, hearing similar stories before on many occasions. She loved hearing them and admired their imaginations but she had a feeling this was something real. She wanted to ask them more but the moment was lost.
“How about some presents?” their dad asked cheerfully as he got down on his knees next to them in front of the tree.
“Yeah!” they cheered and dived into them.
In a quieter moment, as Adam played with some new toys on the floor and their dad sat at his computer, Dana sat on his mom’s lap and kissed her on the cheek. “I really did see God and angels, Mommy,” he said seriously.
She hugged him. “I know you did.”
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|Reviewed by Rocky D
|You are some kind of writer! This was totally charming.|
|Reviewed by Karen Lynn Vidra, The Texas Tornado
|Delightful story, Dawn; very well penned! BRAVA!
Merry Christmas to you and yours!
(((HUGS))) and much love, your friend in Tx., Karen Lynn. :D