Christmas Story 2020 part 1..

First Sunday of Advent

Four candles are placed in a circle of pine on a bed of white felt. The coloured Christmas garland is placed under the pine so the coloured lights shine through the branches. A few pine cone are strewn around the candles. One candle is lit.

Scary sounds came from the enormous kitchen. Shouting, clattering of pots and pans. The sound of something hitting the floor – breaking. It sounded like someone had broken in and was in the middle of searching through everything. The sound of crying could be heard behind the noises. Pepper Mintstix ran as fast as he could towards the kitchen. He was afraid. He had been a security-elf for the whole Northpole village and everyone in it for hundreds of years, but never had he heard the manual alarm go off. Until today.

When he reached the open kitchen door he stopped dead in his tracks. He was chocked! Baking sheets were strewn all over the floor. Flour was covering most of the surfaces, baking utensils everywhere. Drawers and cabinets open and everything in them was tossed on the floor. Worst of all; the ovens weren’t turned on! That had never happened before! Sugarplum Mary – who normally was the nicest and sweetest elf imaginable – shouted incoherently while she ran around in the kitchen and removed everything from tables and kitchen cabinets. She seemed to have lost her mind, but she was the top assistant for Mrs. Claus and she knew excactly how devastating this catastrophe was.

The sound of someone crying came from a corner in the the kitchen. The usually happy and cheerful Mrs. Claus was sitting in her rocking chair and couldn’t stop crying. Pepper ran to her. “What happened? Are you allright?” he asked. She looked at him, then said: “I’m not hurt, but..” tears filled her eyes. “The Big Recipe Book is gone! Without it I can’t bake the magic of Christmas into the cookies. It takes very precise doses and I can’t remember all of them by heart. There are thousands of them. Without the book I cant bake..” She went silent and big tears rolled down her cheeks.

Mary rushed through the kitchen. “Pepper!” Pepper turned around, startled. “How could you let this happen?! I’ve looked everywhere and the book is simply gone! What do you have to say?!” she demanded. “I.. no automatic alarm has sounded in my command center. I don’t understand it. The system is coded to sound the alarm if even the tiniest thing is removed from the village. But no alarm has gone off”. He didn’t know what to say. She scared him a little right now.

Mary looked at him. She was known for her temper and it wasn’t wise to get in her way if she was angry, but before she could shout some more, a voice from the kitchen door was heard: “What’s all the commotion about?!” Mary turned around and så Shinny Upatree stand in the doorway. She made a visible effort to get her anger under control.

Shinny was Santa’s oldest friend and everyone had the deepest respect for him. He listened patiently while they explained what had happened. He thought for at minute or two, then said: “Mary? Please bring the kitchen back in order. And Pepper? You have to find out how this happened. I’ll take Mrs. Claus to see Santa. Together we’ll figure out what to do.” He walked over to Mrs. Claus and spoke very softly to her: “Come my dear. We must go and talk to Santa.” She nodded, got up and took his arm.

When Shinny and Mrs. Claus had gone, Pepper and Mary looked at each other. They both knew what this meant; without recipes there were no magical cookies. Without cookies the reindeer couldn’t fly and without the reindeer Santa couldn’t bring gifts to the children of the world. Without cookies the elves coudn’t find the Christmas spirit and the toymaking machine in the workshop couldn’t work without that. Nothing would work. It was a disaster! He had to examine his alarm system. There had to be something wrong – somewhere..

Noone saw the two yellow eyes that looked as if they were floating in the air. They hovered just over the tallest kitchen cabinet. They were looking attentively at Mary while she cleaned up in her usual effective maner. Her madness seemed to be gone now. Suddenly she stood still, listening as if someone or something had made a strange sound. She turned and looked around but she saw nothing. She waited a moment – confused, then turned around again and continued her work. The eyes opened again – only they were visible against the wallpaper. The owner of the eyes waited..

To be continued…

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