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Mrs. Claus Takes a Stand

Mrs. Claus sighed deeply as she removed the cookies from the oven. Their warm, sugary scent made the whole house smell nice and sweet. It was snowing outside as it always was at the North Pole and she usually enjoyed the task of preparing Santa's snacks everyday. But for some reason, she was beginning to feel let down. There had to be more to life than baking cookies and preparing hot cocoa.

"Hi, Mrs. C."

Mrs. Claus looked up as Santa's head elf, Jingles walked into the kitchen. "Whatcha making today, Santa's favorite cookies?"

"Oh. Hi, Jingles." Her voice was quiet and soft as she placed the cookies on a rack to cool off.

The small, cheerful looking elf walked over to Santa's wife, noticing the sad look on her face. He rubbed his snow white beard thoughtfully. "What's wrong, Mrs. C.? You feeling all right today?" It was the day before Christmas eve and the last thing they needed to worry about was Mrs. Claus coming down with a bug.

"I feel fine." She assured him as she looked at him, resplendent in his bright red and green suit. "I'm just tired of baking cookies, that's all."

"Tired of baking cookies?" He asked her in disbelief as if this was the most unheard of thing in the world. "But you do it so well, Mrs. C. You're the best cookie baker in the whole North Pole."

She put her hands on her ample hips and eyed the elf curiously. "That's because I'm the only cookie baker in the North Pole."

"Well, you wouldn't let Jangles bake any cookies and he wanted to."

"That's because he almost burned the entire kitchen down. Oh Jingles." Tears filled her blue eyes. "Tomorrow is Christmas eve and I want to go out with Santa. I want to take the ride with him tomorrow night."

"You can't be serious, Mrs. Claus. I don't think Santa is going to go for that."

"That's why you're going to talk to him about it."

"Me?" Jingles put his hand on his chest as if he knew that doing that was going to give him a heart attack right then and there. "I can't talk to Santa. You know how he feels about you going out with him. He's not going to like that idea at all."

"Tough. This year I'm taking a stand." Mrs. Claus looked around the kitchen thoughtfully. Everything was so neat and pretty. She was a housewife and while the elves certainly helped her, she was the reason why their home at the North Pole was so comfy and cozy. Everything was decorated in Christmas colors of red, green and white. The house was always filled with the wonderful scents of the things that Mrs. Claus cooked and baked. But it was not enough. This time, she was going with Santa and that was final.

"Mrs. C..."

Mrs. Claus held her hand up to Jingles. "Ah ah ah. I want you to talk to him, Jingles. You're his head elf and he respects your opinion. Don't you think that I should go out with him if I want to?"

"Well, I..."

"Of course you do. I thought so." She held up a plate of freshly baked cookies as enticement. They smelled heavenly and were sprinkled with red and green sugar.

"As you wish, Mrs. C." Jingles sauntered out of the kitchen with his head held down.

He found the boss in his workshop, overlooking last minute details. He knew that Santa was a very busy man at this time of the year. They were all busy but still, asking the big man if Mrs. C. could accompany him on his famous sleigh ride was going to send him into a tizzy.

"Santa, are you busy?" Jingles approached him, feeling shy with him for the first time in his entire life.

"Of course I'm busy, Jingles." He looked up from the candy cane striped clipboard he was holding on to. "What is it? And why aren't you down at receiving?"

Jingles felt his already rosy cheeks grow redder. Santa could be a bit of a grouch when he didn't have his snack. But he knew he would have to speak to him before he went to the kitchen for his cookies and milk.

"Santa, I really need to speak to you. It's about Mrs. Claus."

Santa immediately put the clipboard down. "Well, what is it? Is she ill? Does she need someone to help her in the kitchen?"

Jingles looked up at the big man. He was impressive in his red overalls and white t-shirt that had a picture of reindeer on it. He could sense Santa's concern for his wife. They loved each other very much and Santa simply adored her far more than anything else in the world.

Which was why he was going to go through the roof when he found out that she wanted to join him on his sleigh ride.

Jingles shook his head. "No, Santa. Mrs. C. is fine. It appears to be that she wants to come with you tomorrow night and is not taking no for an answer."

Santa's cheeks grew as red as his overalls. Jingles could see how angry the boss was even under his snow white whiskers. Without a word, he marched out of the huge workshop and headed up to the kitchen.

Santa found Mrs. Claus taking out another batch of cookies from the oven.

"What's this I hear?" He asked her, trying to be stern with her. But the mouthwatering aroma from her cookies was weakening him by the moment. "Jingles tells me that you want to come with me tomorrow night."

She looked at her husband and could sense his displeasure. But she wasn't backing down. "That's right, Santa. I don't want to stay home tomorrow night. I want to come with you and see the world for a change."

"Now you know how I feel about that, dear. It's a long, tiresome journey and I don't think you'd enjoy it. Wouldn't you rather stay home with the elves and prepare my snack for me for when I return?" He couldn't stay mad at her even if he wanted to. Her blue eyes always made him weak, as did the scent of her wonderful cookies.

She shook her head of neat, white hair. The spectacles on her face shook with her movements. "No, Santa. I want to come with you. Just let me come this once and I promise that I will never ask again."

But Santa could be as stubborn as his wife. "No, darling. I don't want to risk anything happening to you. I would prefer you stay home where I know you'll be safe. That's the end of the discussion. Now please, may I have my snack now? I'm hungry. I've been in the workshop all morning and..."

But his words fell on an empty room. Mrs. Claus had walked out, leaving Santa all by himself. He shook his head sadly and began to walk out to find her. He thought better of it and went back to grab a warm cookie from the rack. Then he went to look for his wife.

He found her in the reindeer's stable. She was feeding them corn. Of course she was next to Vixen's stall. The small, female reindeer was her favorite.

"Honey." Santa went to his wife and put his arm around her. She was wearing a bright red coat over her red and white striped dress. "We've talked about this before. You know how I feel about you coming out with me."

She looked up at him with tears in her clear blue eyes. "But Santa, I want to experience the ride with you just once. I want to come out and see the world with you. Can't you see how much it means to me?"

He nodded as he pulled her close to him. "Of course I do, dear but it's a long trip and you know I'm gone most of the night. The change in the temperatures as I go across the world might not agree with you. You're so delicate as it is."

"But Santa." She pleaded with him. "It would mean so much to me. "Can't you see that? I promise not to be a bother. And I promise to make a snack for you when we return. We can even bring cookies and enjoy them during the ride."

"But love, the children always leave me cookies and milk. I...oh dear." He saw the look of wanting in her eyes and he knew he could not deny her anything. As much as he did not want her to come along because he loved her, he knew he would let her come because he did. "Okay." He agreed, though hesitantly. "You can come."

"Oh Santa!" Mrs. Claus threw her arms around her husband's neck in joy. "Thank you, Santa! Thank you! You won't regret it, I promise!"

But Santa had a feeling that he already was.

Christmas eve found Santa and his elves bustling about getting the sleigh ready. It was polished to perfection, its bright red coat of paint as fresh as holly in the new snow. The reindeer were groomed and had fed well. Rudolph's nose was shining brightly and Santa knew that they would have no problem navigating through the storm that hung over Ireland. All day long he thought about taking his wife on the trip and it still didn't sit too well with him. Still, she was excited and he enjoyed watching her as she bustled about the kitchen.

She sang Christmas carols as she prepared sugar cookies for their journey and a batch of creamy hot cocoa.

Once the sleigh was packed and the reindeer hooked up, Santa got inside behind the reins. He looked his jolly old self in his bright red and white suit. His black boots had been polished that day by Dingleling, his personal elf. Santa always loved his annual ride but this year, he wasn't quite certain.

Mrs. Claus got in beside him with a huge grin on her face. She carried a picnic basket filled with cookies and a huge thermos of cocoa for them. She also had corn and fresh water so the reindeer could have a snack too. At once Santa admired her thoughtfulness. He had always forgotten to bring snacks for the reindeer whenever they went out.

"I'm ready, dear!" She told him as she kissed his rosy cheek. "Let's go!"

Jingles stepped in beside Santa. "Good luck, boss." He whispered in his ear and watched as they took off.

"This is so exciting!" Mrs. Claus said as they flew in the air, led by Rudolph and the team.

Santa couldn't help but smile. He was seeing the journey for the first time in his wife's eyes and he realized that she deserved to enjoy this trip too. The night air was cool and still, lit up by that bright star that had foretold of the Messiah's birth in Bethlehem so many years ago.

They sang Christmas carols and ate cookies and talked of Christmases past. As Santa went from rooftop to rooftop going down the chimneys, Mrs. Claus stayed behind in the sled and gave the reindeer their snacks.

Santa had to admit that he was pleasantly surprised by this turn of events. The ride wasn't so lonely and it was rather romantic too.

They hit some rocky weather in Ireland and Southern California but other than that, it was smooth sailing all the way. And though Santa had originally not wanted his wife along, he was glad that she was there. It was the nicest trip he had ever taken and he knew that he wanted his wife to accompany him every year from now on.

They returned to the North Pole by the crack of dawn, smiling and happy.

"That was so exciting!" Mrs. Claus said as Santa helped her out of the sleigh. "I had a wonderful time, Santa! See, you were so worried! Everything went well. Don't you think, dear?"

"It was wonderful." He agreed as he took her in his arms. "I'd like for you to come with me every year from now on."

"Oh Santa, do you really mean that?" Mrs. Claus' eyes filled with tears of joy.

"Of course I do, love. Merry Christmas." He whispered and bent down to kiss her on her rosy cheek.

"Merry Christmas, Santa." Mrs. Claus hugged her husband, knowing that he had just given her the most wonderful present of all.
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Upload Date: 31/12/1969

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