I wrote this short story a few years ago. It’s based on true events. One day, I will share the details of what actually happened. For the moment, please enjoy the short story and have a safe and Merry Christmas. If you don’t celebrate, please be safe.
A Snowflake for Mia
Mom was driving Mia to school one day. They were alone in the van. It was close to Christmas, and Mia had doubts that Santa was real. Her older brother and sister didn’t say too much about it, but Mia was starting to wonder. Mom hoped Mia would hold on to the belief for one more year. It had been a tough one. Dad lost his job and Mom was having a hard time getting a full time job. They were making things work, but Mia always seemed to take things to heart.
At a stoplight, Mom turned to Mia. “So did you write a letter to Santa this year?”
Mia shrugged. “Maybe.”
“I can mail it for you.”
Mia turned to look her mother in the eyes. “If I wrote one, you have to promise not to read it. It’s for Santa only.”
Mom smiled, but frowned at the same time. “Of course, Mia. It’s private. I know that.”
Mia sighed as Mom turned back to the road. Mia dug out the letter from her backpack, but held onto it until they were stopped in front of the school. She turned to her mom and let her take the plain white envelope. It was sealed and addressed to Santa Claus, North Pole. She had even put her name and address in the top left corner and a stamp in the right top corner. Mom looked to Mia as she unbuckled her seat belt.
“Don’t tell Maddy and Jordan that I wrote to Santa.”
“I won’t, sweetie.”
Mia gave her mom a quick hug and hurried out of the van. Mom watched Mia join her friends in the schoolyard and left. Mom placed the letter in her laptop bag and headed off to work. She was glad that Mia still believed in Santa, but unfortunately, Mia had been acting up in school and at home. She might be on the naughty list this year. Mom knew though sometimes children on the naughty list were still given gifts. No one deserved a bad Christmas.
She arrived at work, but with too many things on her mind, didn’t notice that the letter was sticking too far out of her bag. She picked everything up, closed the car door and headed inside. The wind picked up before she reached the door and pulled the letter out of her bag. It carried the letter high up into the clouds, where it joined many other letters addressed to Santa Claus, North Pole.
The letters to Santa were taken away, far, far, away, to a mailbox outside a cozy cottage at the North Pole. They settled into the box, which was soon opened by an elf. He was an old elf, and had helped Santa with the mail for generations. He hoped to be helping for a long time to come.
A happy smile on his face, he carried the latest letters to Santa and placed them on the grand wooden desk. In the fireplace, the fire crackled and sent warmth throughout the room. It lit the room up as well, but there was a candle on the desk, for more light. The elf nodded to Santa and went on his way. There were more letters, always more letters.
Santa looked down at the pile of letters in front of him. He sifted through them, separating them into ‘naughty’ and ‘nice’ by name. He knew the very bad ones, and he knew the very good ones. He knew the ones that were trying to be good, but were having problems due to reasons they couldn’t help. It wasn’t easy being good, and Santa understood that.
When he found Mia’s letter, he paused. She had been trying so hard to be good, but things were tough. He sighed but smiled. He adjusted his glasses on his nose and opened her letter with a silver letter opener. It had a candy cane handle. The envelope parted easily and he carefully took out the letter. He read it twice. He read it a third time as he composed a response in his head. He didn’t always respond, but this one, this one needed a response.
My Dearest Mia,
Life is not always easy, even for children. I know that you have been trying to be good this year, and I know what has made it so hard. You are an amazing young girl. Thank you for asking for your family to be ok. Thank you for thinking of others before yourself. I know that you will always be a wonderful person.
Because of your generosity, I am sending you a special snowflake. It is from the North Pole and will never melt. It will shine brightly like a star, but only if you truly believe. Be good, Mia and always keep love in your heart.
Once the letter was written, he placed it in an envelope and sealed it. He addressed it to Mia and placed it to the side. He called for his elves. Three came to help. Santa and his elves went to the factory and found the perfect round glass ornament. Then they dressed warmly and took the ornament outside. One of the elves took off the silver cap and handed the round ornament to Santa Claus. Santa Claus, love in his heart, looked up at the clear skies and spoke out loud.
“Now, I know it’s not supposed to snow tonight, but Mia needs a little magic in her life, right now. All I need is one snowflake.”
From the dark skies a star blinked. It continued to blink and seemed to fall at the same time. It did not grow as it came closer, but stayed small and bright. Santa caught it in the ornament, took the cap from the elf and closed it. The four went back inside, placed a bow on the cap and found a good box for the gift. They packaged it up, and one of the elves ran for the letter.
Letter and box in hand, Santa took the gift outside again and raised his hands. He whispered Mia’s name and address and the wind picked up. The gift left his hands as he laughed.
“Ho, ho, ho! Merry Christmas Mia!”
As his laughter echoed in the cold North Pole, the wind took the gift to its new home.
Many, many miles away, in another cold place called the Midwest, the gift landed on Mia’s front door. The wind, urged on by Christmas magic, rang the doorbell.
Inside the house, little feet ran to the door. Mia, expecting a friend, opened the door and looked around. No one was there, but there was a box on the step. It had her name on it. She frowned and picked it up. The return address said Santa.
“Mom! Come look!”
Mom came into the hallway as Mia was closing the door. She saw the package in Mia’s hands and frowned. “What is it?”
Mia looked to her mom in happy confusion. “It’s from Santa. Can I open it?”
Mom came to look at the package. It did in fact say Santa Claus North Pole. She felt guilty though, as she never mailed the letter. She was sure she had lost it. “Sure, honey. You can open it. Let’s go into the living room.”
Mom wasn’t sure if it was from Santa, but she didn’t want to break Mia’s happiness. They went into the living room and Mia settled on the floor in front of the coffee table. She carefully opened the envelope, read the letter and gasped. She then quickly opened the packaged and gasped again as she saw the glowing snowflake in the glass ornament. It shimmered in the glass as if alive. She took it out of the box. It wasn’t warm, but it was as bright as a star, and it wasn’t melting.
“Mom?” She looked at her mom. “Is this really from Santa?”
Mom looked to the glass ornament in awe. Like the letter said, she couldn’t see the light, but it was still a snowflake in an ornament and it was not melting. “Of course, honey. Who else could it be from?”
Mia smiled at the ornament as love filled her heart for Santa, and for her family. She placed the ornament on the tree and knew she would try and be a better person. Like the letter said, it was hard being a kid, but she would do what she could to help her family.
From the Christmas tree, the snowflake gave off more light, as if it agreed with her thoughts. It made her smile again as she turned to give her mom a great big hug.
“Merry Christmas, Mommy.”
“Merry Christmas, Mia.”