I wrote this short, short story for a resident of Chester County’s long term care facility. Each year the employee’s of Chester County give generously to the Pocopson Home, helping to make the season a little brighter for folks who live there. In 2017 we sent out over 600 gifts. I’m so proud of my coworkers!
My office gets the thrill of delivering (with a lot of help!) the gifts. While we were delivering there were 2 gentlemen sitting in the hall watching us go by with cart loads of presents. I would joke with them each time I went by. When we were done, I flopped down in a chair to chat with them. The one gentleman, John, asked what we were doing. I told him we were helping Santa with the residents gift requests. John told me he hadn’t given a list to Santa. I told him he had to have, because there were gifts for him in the lot we just delivered. He told me he didn’t because he wanted a Mercedes. This made me giggle because when I was 16 my dad gave me a Mercedes for my birthday. I still have that blue 1982 Mercedes 350SL Matchbox sitting on my desk. As I was telling John my story, the light bulb went off in my head. I could do the same thing for John. This is the story I wrote to go with the Mercedes toy I got for John.
It had been a long and tiring day at the office and I just wanted to sit down and relax. As I walked to my front door I noticed a tiny little man dressed in green on my front lawn.
“Where is John,” he demanded.
I was a little taken aback at his tone and said wearily, “I’m sorry. No one by the name of John lives here.”
“He has to!” demanded the little man. “I have it right here,” he said stabbing at a piece of paper clutched in his hand.
“I’m sorry. Only David & Tacie live here.”
“Santa is never wrong!” the little man exclaimed.
Realizing who the little man (who was one of Santa’s Elves) was looking for I asked to see the paper. He clutched the paper to his chest. “No one can see the Nice/Naughty List!” he said horrified that I would even ask.
“Can you re-read it?” I asked hoping he would read it out loud. It would be a treat to hear Santa’s Nice/Naughty List.
The Elf began to read what was written with a look of horror growing on his face. “I’m going to get fired!” he wailed and began to cry loudly.
“Why?” I asked worried that the kids next door would come out to see what was going on.
“I’m in the wrong place with the wrong gift!”
“Well, what do you have with you and where are you supposed to be?” I asked.
The Elf looked at me suspiciously. “Why do you want to know?”
“I might be able to help,” I replied
The Elf, still sniffling, thought about it for a moment. “Ok. Since it’s not YOUR gift, I guess I can tell you. It’s a Mercedes car for John at the Pocopson Home. But it’s supposed to be a full sized one! But my division only does toys! This was supposed to be forwarded to the Full Sized Division. What am I going to do? I need to be in Florida in a half an hour! I’m never going to finish my early deliveries!! I’m going to get fired!” He began to cry again.
“I don’t think Santa would fire you. It was an easy mistake. John & I were talking about toys. And things are always so hectic at the holidays.”
He looked at me hopefully, his tears stopping. “You know about this?”
“I do,” I said.
“You know where John is? And you could get this to him? Even though it’s only a toy.”
“Aren’t we all elves at Christmas time?” I asked the little man. “I would be happy to deliver it to John.”
The Elf ran over and hugged me around my knees. “Thank you so much!”
And with a poof he was gone and the Mercedes was left with me. I smiled at the bag sitting at my feet. It might not be the Mercedes that John was looking for, but at least Santa had heard him.