“I have been handed the mantle of this day from sons of Christmas…”
Photo: SantaRob

Caribou Corners.
A lifeless tundra as some might see it.
Barren and cold. Hundreds of years old
and aging fast. Every last woman and man
born as raised in this place will defend her beauty
as their undying duty to God and this gentle land.
Coming into the light of a bright Aurora Borealis night.

We get busy around here once Labor Day comes around. And I know, it doesn’t help getting everything done in one night and sitting with my feet elevated until the Autumnal Equinox. It isn’t all that great for my waistline, but hey, it’s a part of my charm, although my back hurts. But I can’t worry about that now. There’s much to do between now and the Solstice. That’s when it’s “Showtime”!

The scene is astounding as the snow is mounding,
providing a hiding place for every small face playing;
the little ones, gloved hands and half frozen cheeks,
peek around the corner, pulling back just in time.
All work and no play makes for a dull day, or so they say.
But their work IS child’s play! Fun and games, by any name,
will bring as much joy as any hand-made toy.

Out of my big picture window, I see the glow reflecting off of the new fallen snow. It adds to the mood and that’s good. It’s hard to gear up for the best day of the year when the skies are clear and sunny. It’s funny, for a warm and fuzzy guy, I’m not a big fan of the warm and sunny. Heh, go figure! The diminutive ones are catching a good game of snowball. There is no fight up here. It’s just a game of back and forth. So what if once in a while you take one in the “moosh”! They’re having fun for now, but later today we will get serious (but, not too) and put our work on the front burner.

The breezes freeze the lake, preserving its serenity,
offering certain sanity in its perfection. From any direction
you can hear the sounds of icicles forming, their chime
performing a symphony in harmony with all of nature.
And those of small stature add their voices, soft lyrics
of an unknown, but haunting melody lifting in song,
as a throng of caribou comes closer to add their flair proudly.

Oh, it appears that the games have ceased. It sounds so peaceful out there. I can see handshakes and embraces, happy faces and traces of a wistful  nature. I think they know the time for play is over until the “Big Day”. I love this part, where they gather near the frozen pylon holding hands and singing their songs. Beautiful renditions of all the Missus’ favorites. I love all of these carols as well. Ha ha, look over that ridge! The reindeer are coming home to begin their preparations as well. It’s a swell time to be alive and I am glad for the reminder that this season is more than just shopping battles and commercialism. Peace and goodwill should be a daily ritual. But, I’ll keep working toward that end.

“WoooHoooooooooo!” the lumbering trumpets blare loudly.
“WoooHoooooooooo!” the response from behind the stables.
The call drips with familiarity, which is a rarity for these parts.
Hearts torn apart; old friends, lost loves, familial ties that bind
not unlike the leather strapping that harnesses their power.
From my chair nestled near the hearth of comfort and longing,
I smile inwardly. Warming me. A knowing nod and smile.

The beasts have join in the song. Loud and powerful, their wail tells the tale. It’s time to begin. Much like the factory whistles, it calls all present to be accounted and the small groups are mounted on the reindeer backs to carry the elves back to the Grand Hall for our meeting and “Get Re-Acquainted Soiree”. The first of many for the season. As I’ve said, “all work and no play…” It keeps the spirit fresh and the morale never sullies. It is so warm near the fireplace, I had better get moving before I start to nod off. I hear Mama in the kitchen clattering her pots and pans; her not so subtle reminder that the time has come.

The while I spend in unending service
for the nervous and the innocent,
is quite reminiscent of the hours spent at my father’s knee.
The fountain of knowledge and truth was he: mentor and teacher,
a preacher of the spirit that has run through my ancestry
like a common thread woven into the fabric of my life
and all the lives it has come to influence!

I get quite reflective and slightly melancholy at these moments. I recall many people who have gone on to the “Big Workshop in the Sky”. So many people who had carried the spirit of Christmas with them three-hundred sixty-five days of the year. And whether they were from Calcutta, India or Buffalo, New York or Liverpool, England, they all perpetuated the spirit and made my job so much easier to perform. I have been handed the mantle of this day from the sons of Christmas wiser than I. I’ve done the best I could and hope I’ve made them all proud.

For in the confluence of this charming hamlet, the gamut is run.
Charity is the everlasting gift. Given in a spirit based in pure love;
given from Him above. It beats within each of us; a joyous thrill.
When everything is still, you can smell the peace and goodwill.
The evening saunters homeward, the little ones retire,
burning with desire of this their hallowed homeland, Caribou Corners –
a pleasant little knoll. You know it best as the North Pole!

This place puts the biggest smile on my face. It is home and I am surrounded by my “family”. Every last person in this charming villa has become a part of me and my appointed task – that of making Christmas the best of times in this sometimes insane world. Unadulterated by the trappings of avarice and greed, each having what they need to live a happy life. Just like me and my wife, we are happy to call Caribou Corners…er, The North Pole our home. And do me this favor. Keep the spirit alive in your heart for all your lives. It is the fuel of this joy. And also remember. I’m watching!

I am Santa Claus!