by Becci Irving
"Hurry! Hurry!", he pleaded with the elves and reindeer. "I can't be late. Not tonight of all nights", he exclaimed. He scurried off to the sled and slid in, laying a small package beside him. "Off, Dasher, Dancer, Prancer, Vixon. Come on, Comet, Cupid, Donner, Blitzen, and, for heaven's sake Rudolph, up with that nose!". The sleigh took off like a shot and headed for the star shining brightest in the distance.

It seemed like hours that they had been flying when they finally headed down to Earth again. The sleigh landed with a big "swoosh" and Santa quickly exited while trying to primp himself as best he could.

He walked past kings, beggars and peasants before he came to the dimly lit manger. And there, before him, lay the most beautiful child he had ever seen. As he looked around he saw stacks of gold and silver. There were exotic spices and fabrics from all over the world. He looked down at his small package and cringed. He walked up to Mary slowly, hoping she would not see the bright red of his face. He layed the present down and quickly backed away in embarrassment. Mary picked up the package and removed the brown wrapping exposing a tiny box inside. As she lifted the lid, a smile spread across her face.

"It's empty!", someone yelled, as a grumble started spreading across the crowd. "No, it's not", whispered Mary. "Inside are the hopes, dreams and wishes of all the children yet to come. Santa has given to the baby the best that can be given. He will bring these gifts, every year, to the world, so that we all can smile a little brighter when celebrating my son's birth."

And now you know how Santa's mission began...................