Wow, does time fly. Let me put down my Christmas cookies. Ok. Sorry about that. So where were we, oh yes? The last time we left the Present giving crusader of Christmas, the gang was checking in the former Mrs. Claus in the Retirement Facility, which is Top Secret North Pole stuff. I have to say that it is in my contract. Levonne was being checked in and was on a tour of her new home. Brodie accompanied her on the tour. Richard met a woman who left him speechless. Ladies and Gentlemen, it is a Christmas miracle. And Chris was left dumb founded by the comment made by Richard that Levonne’s nurse, Ashlee was going to be the new Mrs. Claus. I hope you have one of those Christmas tins of popcorn and some tissues, because this is going to be the most emotional roller coaster Christmas Finale….Yet!!!

“Seriously, how do you know you are going to be with her for the rest of your life? That is a little crazy don’t you think?” Chris asked me. And maybe he was right, but there was just something different about this situation. There is a different kind of feeling in the air.

“Sometimes, you have to listen to the heart instead of the mind. I have listened to my mind for so long and it got me nowhere. Last year, when the old Santa gave me the opportunity to take the job, I had a struggle. Do I listen to my mind? My mind told me how horrible it would be as Santa. No matter what happens around the world, people are going to hate me because I didn’t get everything on their list. That absolutely scares me deep down inside. But instead of listening to my mind, I listened to my heart. The only thing I could think about is the opportunity to give people something that I cherished more than anything at time, The Christmas Spirit. I feel that this is one of those times that no matter what happens, I am going with my heart. And yes, it may not work at all, and yes, I may not get to be Santa anymore after this is over, but damn it, I tried.”

Chris was shocked to see the passion flowing through me on this subject, but it is true. It is was Christmas is about. It is about decisions of the heart. I am not sure how I am going to be able to pull this off, when it is all said and done, but as God as my witness, this will be the most amazing Christmas for someone.

“Brodie is coming back!” Chris decided to tell me as if I was not able to see down the hallway like a normal person.

“Richard, can I speak to you for minute? Away from your new online girlfriend?” Brodie just had to say that in front of her.

“I thought we would not bring that back up, that was the rule of the car!”

tinder2a-576x1024Brodie just looked around for a minute. “I don’t think we are in the car, are we? So does that rule actually apply in this situation? Let me answer that for you. No. So Ashlee…..Richard here is trying to meet a woman, two of his employees decided to try to set up on Tinder.”

“You would have better luck on Craigslist.” Ashlee said snickering.

“See this girl gets me. She knows the struggle to find love is real.” I decided to pipe in.

“Well, let me add the last date was with…..Chris.” And Brodie is on the floor laughing. The only thing I am thinking is that he is wearing the jacket I got him for Christmas, and this is why we can’t have nice things.

“I am not judging, but I want to know, did you put out on the first date?” Ashlee said to Chris, and not everyone is laughing. I am wondering if any of you at home reading this right now have any Aloe Vera, I could you know use it.

“Brodie, you wanted to talk to me?” I say in a huff because well I am tad bit pissy at the moment. If you make a rule in the car not to bring up something again well, damn it, you don’t bring it up. It is that simple. You keep that damn rule, and in some countries, if you do not follow the rule, you get a very stern letter.

We walk outside to the car where Brodie is pulling out his rule book, and looking it over.

“I want to talk to you about one of the clauses that you need to fulfill. There is someone in that building right now, who no longer feels the spirit of Christmas. They couldn’t care less if Christmas were to actually come around or not. And I feel that you need to show this person, the past, the present, and the future.”

“Well, we are already here, it would make things a lot easier, than trying to navigate the Database at the Northpole for a name. Who is it?” I asked Brodie.

Brodie has kept his eyes down on the binder during the entire conversation. It seems that he may not be telling me everything.

“Brodie, who is it?” I yelled at him in the parking lot.

“Richard, its Levonne.” Brodie said as his eyes came up from the binder to look directly into mine.

“I can’t. I can’t. There is no way I am going to do that. There is no way. Brodie, do not make me do this! Please?!”

“Richard, it is either you showing Levonne, the past, present, or the future or there will never be another Christmas with Santa delivering gifts to all the boys and girls again.” Brodie said to me. I have never been more taken back by a situation in my life.

“I have no other option do I?”

“No!” Brodie replied.

“When am I supposed to do this, Brodie?”

“Tonight, or you are may never get a chance to make the run on Christmas Eve.”

I feel the pressure coming down on my chest, I feel that I have just taken in the entire weight of the world. It is the same feeling I get when I go to an all you can eat Chinese Buffet. I can’t mess this up, but something tells me this will not be the easiest thing in the world to do. I am still not sure how I am going to do this.

The three leave Levonne with her nurse, Ashlee. The idea is to go find the outfits that Richard will be wearing to become the three ghosts of Christmas. So the three go to the only place they know, a costume store. Well, I have seen better ideas from Kardashians.

“So what do you think about this one? I understand it is a cow costume but it make it a tad bit more light hearted if you wear it.” Brodie says to me as if I am from a different planet.

Cow Costume 29115“A cow is your idea of the three ghost of Christmas? A cow. The damn thing has udders. Fucking udders. I could squirt Chris in the face and it would be part of a balanced breakfast.”

“Yes! Please.” Chris decided that a cute statement was needed at that utterly terrible moment.

“Not funny. And Brodie, the only way this costume would work is if the entire Clause was sponsored by bloody Chick-Fil-A!”

The three of us agreed that the cow costume was not the best idea for trying to get the Christmas Spirit back for someone. I am not sure what the people in the costume shop are thinking but they are handing some of the weirdest options that I have ever seen in my life.

“I am not sure fat Elvis is what I would like to see when I am trying to relive the past. Maybe, I am wrong. Nope, I am not wrong.” And that was the first time in any Christmas story that Chris was right.

“Darth Vader is a no. Wait, does it come with the breath thing, cause that would make it kind of awesome.” Brodie said, as Chris and I shook our heads emphatically No!

“Guys, I just do not think I have the body to pull of sexy bumble bee. I kind of look like the girl in that Blind Melon video, if she grew up addicted to food and sex.” I say.

The final costume was also a bit of a controversial one to say the least. There was just something about it that may or may not cause mass hysteria at the retirement facility.

“I am all for the black cloak, it hides who I am, and it is the closest I will ever get to the cloak of invisibility. But guys, if any of the other people who stay in this little community see me, you do realize they are going to think death is knocking at their door. There is a possibility here that Levonne could spray in the face with pepper spray to ward off death. Nobody wants me in the fetal position crying.”

“He has a point Chris…..We will take it. If anything Chris and I will get a good laugh while we watch.”

The three of us head back to the facility as I am freaking out in the back seat. I am not sure where this is going to go. Right now, I either look like death or I am getting ready to start a cult at a community college, either way it is not going to be great.

“It is time do this thing Richard. Go Save Christmas. Chris and I will be watching.” Brodie says. “If you are able to give her the Christmas Spirit lost, you will have accomplished a lot. May the Force Be With You.”

It was at that moment that I realized I kind do look like a Sith Lord. Bad ass. This may be the best revelation yet. I suddenly have a boost of confidence as I start walking to the door. No, one can see my face. I am like John Cena. I open the door, and right at the nurse’s station is my first test. Ashlee. She will not recognize me at all. Apparently that may have been a little too much wishful thinking in my department. Just as I was walking by, she caught me.

“Richard? What are you doing?” Ashlee said to me with a puzzled sound to her voice.

“If I told you I was here to clean the toilets, would you believe me?” She shook her head no. I am kind of running out of ideas on this one. I just wave my hand in front of her and say, “These are not the droids you are looking for.”

“I don’t understand.” She says to me.

“Ashlee, I am not sure you are supposed to.” I fire back at her. “Do not judge me for what I am wearing, it’s a fashion statement.” As soon as I said those words, I knew I was going to be in danger. I just never thought it was coming from her but from someone who apparently just saw death walk into their retirement facility. You have never looked fear in the eye until you see an elderly person think they are looking at death. I may have pissed myself. One person comes at me, a second person, a third. Have you ever tried to out run a hover round? Neither have I until 7 people over the age of 70 think you are going to touch them and take their life. I am being threatened by canes, by walkers, one guy is trying to hit me with a box of prunes. I am too old for this shit.

I finally lost the OG angry mob outside what I believe is a McDonalds that only sells coffee and small hamburgers.

I finally was able to arrive in one piece at Levonne’s door. My normal clothes reeked of prunes juice, I feel that I have suddenly then thrusted into the nightmare of the California Raisins. Apparently the black cloak doesn’t really soak in the juices very well at all. It happens in life.

I breathe in with hesitation before knocking on Levonne’s door. I know once I do this there is no turning back, but it does mean everyone will be able to have a Christmas this year. It is something that I am willing to sacrifice for the greater good, it is also the reason I smell like prunes.

I knock on the door in a menacing way. If you could imagine that. I have to disguise everything there is about me so that she can’t tell who I am. The door slowly opens, and there stands the woman that had been the backbone of Christmas past. The woman who made sure that I had Christmas every year, the woman who made sure that you had Christmas every year. I feel the statement is so true that behind every good man is a great woman. The moment had arrived. Brodie and Chris were watching on, and looking at the book of rules. I feel at least they are cheering for me every step of the way. I have to do this.

My voice thunders loudly, a guy can get used to this. I sound like a night DJ in the 70s. “Levonne, I am the ghost of Christmas Past, Present, and Future. Tonight, I am going to show you why it is important to hold on to your Christmas spirit even in the difficult times. Will you come with me?”

Levonne eyes look up at my cloak, and shakes her head yes. “Levonne, take my hand. Our first stop is 1949.” Levonne reaches out and grabs my hand. Now, I should explain how the traveling is going to be working. Remember in the past when sleigh would travel to different Christmas stories and there would be a giant white light and poof, we were gone. Being Santa allows me to get the same device made for me in the form of a Bic Pen. It is freaking sweet. I hit the button and poof……….Blinding White poof. Still can’t get used to this.

Jack_Skellington“What’s This? What’s This? There’s Color Everywhere! What’s ThisioLFShlghflsdhfoafhgfhiafhighafihjafh.” Levonne looks mortified. I am on the other hand am laughing my after puberty deep voice’s ass off.

“Levonne, can you excuse me for just one sec…..” She of course nodded as she was still mortified that we had just killed someone, and someone is Jack the Pumpkin King. I walked over away enough to make a phone call to……

“Chris is that your phone?” Brodie looked puzzled as to why his phone was going off.

Chris answers his phone and is not shocked that I am on the other end. Chris didn’t even get a hello, or any sort of greeting. All I said to say to him is… “THE JOKE LIVES ON DAMN IT!!!!” We both had a good laugh for around another 13 to 18 seconds depending on what time zone you live in. And then it me, there is a mortified woman over there that we need to get her Christmas spirit back. And somehow, killing the Pumpkin King for the sake of a running gag may not have been my best idea. Oh, who in the hell am I kidding, it was a wonderful idea.

I walk back over to Levonne after cackling like hen. “I am very sorry about that. Please take my hand, 1949 awaits you.” Levonne hesitantly grabs my hand. Honestly can you blame you after what just happened? Giant white light poof!

We are transported to the year 1949. We are the suburbs of the city of St. Louis. Across the street is a drug store complete with what appears to be Soda Fountain and Soda Jerk. The place is hopping with teens and young adults. As we cross the street, you can see Levonne trying to fight the tears back because she knows where she is at. This is the moment that she meets the love of her life for the very first time. This is the beginning to a story that will always be eternal because of love. A young Levonne is sitting at the counter, drinking a 7UP. Yes, they actually do come from fountains apparently. Levonne is seated next to her best friend in the entire world. The next person who walked into that little drug store made Levonne’s world come to a complete stop. A young man, with wavy black hair, and a smile that would make you melt comes and sits down right beside her. Now, Levonne was a little shy and what young adult would not be when you see someone that you want to be with. In this situation, there is a reason that you have a best friend with you at all times. Levonne’s friend introduces the two of them.

“We talked all day about nothing. We had so much in common, and yet, were so different. Thank you for bringing me here.” Levonne says to me.

“It’s my job.” I reply.

As the two were parting ways, because they just killed all day at drug store. The two young adults traded phone numbers and the rest was history. Oh….except for one thing that Levonne happened to say to her best friend after that day. Young Levonne turns to her best friend and………POOF! White Blinding Death.

The two of us are transported to the future, but still the past. It is Christmas morning and Levonne and Walter are spending one of their first Christmas’ as parents. Levonne can’t stop smiling as she is watching her child’s face on Christmas morning. She watched as the child opened gift after gift. Hugging Levonne and Walter after each and every gift. The parents were just as excited as the child was.

“This was my favorite thing to do in the world. I remember waking up, having coffee with my love and being able to sit and watch our pride and joy be a child. It was something that the two of us talked about every year. We could never forget those mornings.” Levonne says smiling, but the smile started to fade a little. “But ghost, he is no longer here. I will never be able to discuss those memories with Walter.”

I take Levonne’s hand and we poof back to the present.

“Levonne, the spirit of Christmas that Walter and you shared is not gone. You have to believe that, and I am honestly going to prove that to you….”

Levonne looks at me puzzled. This is a moment that will make or break Christmas for everyone.

“Brodie, get in here. Same for Chris!” I said in my deep voice and something tells me those two came running to that room like a couple of puppies who knew they should have peed on that pad.

I hit the button in the room to call for the nurse. Everyone is confused as to what is happening, including myself, but sometimes you have to throw your balls against the wall and see what sticks. I throw the robe off, only to be dressed in my Santa attire. I know I can do this, I have on my fierce boots.

“Brodie, I am going to say this as nicely as possible. Screw the rules. I am going off script and I am not sure there is much you can do here. I am not going to keep taking Levonne on an emotional roller coaster into the Present and Future, because the present and future is happening at this very moment. And there is not a thing any of us are going to do to stop it. See this woman, this woman gets it. Gets what the meaning of the holiday, gets what the meaning of love is. Try to find that now, it is almost next to impossible…..”

Ashlee enters the room, “Does anyone need anything?”

IMG_20151215_135713I get down on one knee and show her one of the most beautiful rings in the world!

“And I have found the impossible. Ashlee, the readers of this story think all of this has been happening for the span of two days. However, it has been longer than that. It may not seem like over half a year, in all honesty, everything with you seems like it has only been three days long. I have never met anyone like you in my life. In the short amount of time, you have shown me what it means to feel loved. We can laugh together, we can cry together. I do not want to go back to knowing a life without you. I want to spend the rest of my life with you. Ashlee, I want you to be my Mrs. Claus. Should I have mentioned that I am the real Santa? I want to experience every first with you. I do not want to live without you anymore. Ashlee, will you be my wife?”

Tears begin roll down Ashlee’s face, she doesn’t know what to think. The only thing she can do is shake her head yes.

“Ashlee, I know you are getting to know Levonne. But I want you to ask her what she told her best friend the day she met Walter.” I say to Ashlee.

“Levonne, what did you say to your best friend when you met your one.” Ashlee asks Levonne.

Levonne begins crying. “I told my best friend that I knew I was going to marry him.”

Ashlee is crying, Brodie is crying, Chris is crying, I am crying. Somehow there is a lot of crying in this story.

Ashlee is at work, and has to pull herself together.

“Guys, could you leave Levonne and me alone for a minute?” Brodie and Chris still trying to pull themselves together acceptingly leave the room.

“Richard, thank you for showing me that the Christmas Spirit is not dead. And I really like her, she is absolutely perfect for you.” Levonne says to me.

“I am glad I was finally able to put the smile on your face. I know losing Dad was the hardest thing to happen, but it is time to start something new at Christmas. I love you Mom.”

“Love you too son!”

I leave the room, take a deep breath. Walk by the nurse’s station, give my bride to be a kiss. Now, I have some unfinished business to take care of.

I walk outside as if I am John Wayne. “Brodie….I think overcame the odds here. I believe that I answered all that you wanted me to sir.”

“You did. So I guess you need to deliver some toys.” Brodie says as we all high five as if were in a beer commercial. It has been the only manly thing Chris has done the entire story.

“So I guess this means we are planning a wedding after Christmas?” Chris asked with way too much excitement.

“Is that a hint of forshadowing I smell?”

We hoped you enjoyed the 2015 Christmas Story, A Probable Claus.

Have A Merry Christmas and Happy New Year from all of us.