“Well dear,” said Santa Claus, rolling over in his warm, king-sized bed. “It’s Christmas Eve.”
“Yes, it is,” said Mrs. Claus. “And a glorious one at that. Look at the beautiful snow that is falling. Oh, I just love this time of the year.”
“I’ve got a busy day ahead of me,” said Santa cheerfully. “I just love Christmas.”
Santa got out of bed and took a long, soothing shower.
“Mrs. Claus! Mrs. Claus!” Freddy the Elf cried when he saw Mrs. Claus come downstairs for her morning cup of coffee. “Where’s Santa?”
“Freddy!” exclaimed Mrs. Claus, seeing the look of anguish on her little friend’s face.
“The reindeer are gone!” screamed Freddy.
“No!” gasped Mrs. Claus. “Are you certain of this?”
“I just got a call from Tommy, down at the stables. He said that when he went to start his morning chores, the reindeer were nowhere to be seen.”
“Oh Freddy,” said Mrs. Claus. “That little elf Tommy pulls this same trick on us every year. I wouldn’t put too much stock into what he says.”
“But, but…,” stammered Freddy.
“Now come along Freddy,” said Mrs. Claus. “This is Christmas Eve. We have a lot of things to do before tonight.”
Santa came downstairs, dressed in his long, red underwear.
“Good morning dear,” he said to his wife, kissing her on the cheek. “Was that Freddy that I just heard?”
“Yes it was. Apparently, Tommy just called up from the stable to tell Freddy that the reindeer are not there.”
“That little elf!” laughed Santa. “He does this every year. I am going to teach that rascal a lesson that he will never forget.”
Santa Claus let out a loud, “Ho! Ho! Ho!” and together he and Mrs. Claus went into the dining room. The elves had an attractive meal all laid out for their jolly employer and his beautiful wife. After eating his breakfast, Santa was very content.
“Will there be anything else?” asked Albert the Elf.
“No Albert,” chuckled Santa. “If I eat one more bite, I won’t be able to fit into my suit tonight.”
Albert nodded his head to Santa and Mrs. Claus and headed back into the kitchen.
“Oh Albert,” called Santa. “There is just one tiny thing that you could do for me.”
“Anything at all,” said Albert.
“I would like you to locate Robert for me,” said Santa. “I must see him at once.”
“Yes sir,” said Albert.
When Santa and Mrs. Claus were alone, Santa winked at Mrs. Claus.
“Santa!” exclaimed Mrs. Claus. “What are you up to?”
“You’ll see dear,” he laughed. “You’ll see.”
Robert, the cleverest elf of all, entered the grandly decorated dining room.
“You wanted to see me, sir,” said Robert.
“Yes, Robert, I did,” said Santa. “Our little friend Tommy is up to his old tricks again.”
“Not the missing reindeer trick again,” Robert sighed. “That Tommy is so simple-minded.”
“Well quite frankly,” said Santa. “I’m getting quite tired of his little pranks. I am going to call Tommy up here in a few minutes. When he comes, I want you to sneak into the stable and take the reindeer out of there. Put them in the old stable at the far end of the castle. Stay with them until I call you.”
“Yes sir,” said Robert and was out the door in a flash.
Tommy was called to see Santa. He was shaking like a leaf in his little felt suit.
“Tommy,” began Santa.
“Look Santa,” interrupted Tommy. “It was just a joke. The reindeer are all in the stable, all eight of them.”
“Tommy,” said Santa sincerely. “One of these days those reindeer are going to go missing and I’m not going to believe you. This joking of yours has to stop. Do you hear me?”
“Yes Santa,” sulked Tommy. “I’m sorry.”
“You are dismissed,” said Santa.
Santa let out a jolly, “Ho! Ho! Ho!” when Tommy left the castle. Tommy diddled and daddled all the way back to the stable. When he got there, he noticed the stable door was wide open.
“I guess I must have forgotten to close it,” said Tommy to himself.
Tommy went inside the barn and began to feed the reindeer.
“Oh no!” yelled Tommy. “The reindeer are gone!”
Tommy ran all the way to the castle and rushed into the dining room, unannounced.
“Santa! Santa!” he huffed and puffed. “Come quick. The reindeer are gone!”
“Oh Tommy!” exclaimed Santa. “I’ve had it up to here with your tricks. Now go on, get out of here. I’ve got a very busy day ahead of me.”
Tommy left the castle with tears streaming down his face. He went around the whole castle grounds asking everyone if they had seen the missing reindeer. No-one believed him. By dinnertime, Tommy was fit to be tied. He knew that Santa would be calling for the reindeer soon. The dreaded call came. Tommy, with his head hung low, walked slowly toward the castle.
“Oh Santa!” Mrs. Claus cried when she saw Tommy coming up the path. “You’ve got him in one awful state!”
“I can’t help it,” said Santa. “He has to be taught a lesson.”
Santa called Robert, just before Tommy entered the castle.
“Okay Robert,” said Santa. “You’ve done a good job. Please bring the reindeer around now.”
“Well Tommy,” said Santa when the sad little elf entered the castle. “How are the reindeer? I trust that they are all ready for their long trip tonight.”
“Santa!” Tommy cried. “I am so sorry. I truly can’t find the reindeer.”
“Oh my!” exclaimed Santa. “I can see by the expression on your face that you are telling the truth this time.”
“Oh Santa!” he cried. “I won’t ever play another trick like that again. I have learned my lesson, I truly have.”
Just then the ringing of sleigh bells filled the room. Tommy and Santa rushed out the front door of the castle.
“Oh what a beautiful sight!” cried Tommy, running over to each reindeer and giving them a hug and a kiss. “Am I ever glad to see you guys!”
“Ho! Ho! Ho!” said Santa. “Merry Christmas!”