Once Upon A Time there lived an elf named Mommy. Mommy lived in her little hut with Daddy the elf, and Duds the Littlest Elf. Every day, Mommy went to her job with her boss, Crankshaft, and her co-worker, Mr. Casper. Everything was normal until one day, a magical sound rose through the air. When the sound reached Mommy's ears, a funny thing happened.
Her toes twitched
and her nose itched
and a warm glow started to spread
from the tips of her toes to the top of her head.
And when Daddy saw it start, he smiled. He'd seen this before; it happened every year, at just the same time. "It's almost time," he winked to Duds the Littlest Elf. "Soon you'll see."
And when Grandma Elf saw it, she smiled. "It's coming," she whispered to Duds.
"What is it?" Duds asked.
"Christmas!" Grandma said. "Soon you'll understand."
And as time went on, the glow started to spread. Duds watched as Daddy started to glow; then, Grandma started to glow! Duds wondered when she would glow too. The sound was everywhere now; all around Duds, other elves were glowing, though none as brightly as Mommy.
Then one day, Mommy took Duds to work with her. Duds was so excited! She wanted to see Crankshaft and Mr. Casper glow just like Mommy. Would their noses itch, and their toes twitch? But when she and Mommy arrived at work, something strange was going on. The sound wasn't here. And when Duds saw Mr. Casper, she gasped. He was gone! In his place was a terrible, shrunken gray man with a scowl on his face.
"Where is Mr. Casper?" Duds asked, horrified. She clung to Mommy's shirt.
"That's Casper Scrooge," Mommy whispered. Her glow was completely gone now.
Duds thought Mommy's work was strange. There was no glow, no happy sound. Crankshaft seemed to be oblivious to everything around him, while Casper Scrooge scowled and complained all day long. And Duds missed the sound; when she snuggled up to Mommy real close and pressed her ear to her heart, she could hear the sound, very very faintly. Several times, Duds watched as Mommy's toes started to twitch. The first few times, the toes stopped on their own. But as the day wore on, the toes refused to stop. Then Mommy started to hum under her breath. Duds looked carefully, and the glow was back! It was in Mommy's eyes, creeping out along her cheeks.
But just then, Casper Scrooge looked up and glared at Mommy. "None of that!" he screeched in a gravelly, whining voice. "You cannot ignore our deal! Until the month is past, those toes cannot twitch, that nose cannot itch. There will be no glow here!"
Duds watched, heartbroken, as the glow retreated back into Mommy's eyes, and the toes stopped twitching. A small sigh escaped Mommy's lips, and she went back to work. Duds watched all the rest of the day, but the glow never returned.
It was like that for a long time. Days and days. Mommy would leave every morning, the wonderful glow surrounding her, but when she returned from work, the glow was gone. Daddy would take Mommy in his arms, and the glow would slowly return, but never as brightly as the first time Duds saw it.
Then one day, Mommy came home from work, and she was glowing more brightly than Duds had ever seen! She swept Duds up in her arms and danced her around the room.
"Oh, Duds, can you feel it? Do you sense that something is in the air? It's Christmas! It's coming so soon! Just 23 days." Then she set Duds down, and continued to spin. Then she showed Duds a photo. It was the prettiest tree Duds had ever seen. It sparkled and shone bits of red and spots of gold. And atop it all, there was a miniature snowman. "That's the tree at my work that I decorated today," Mommy sang. "And it sits atop the filing cabinet, and shines and shines."
"But Mommy," Duds said, both dazzled and confused by this new transformation. "What about Casper Scrooge?"
"We don't have to worry about him anymore," Mommy answered. "You see, Casper Scrooge hates Christmas. He feels no joy for it, and thus thinks that no one should feel any joy. Many months ago, he forced me to make a deal with him. I promised that not a word of Christmas, not a twitch nor an itch, would appear in our office, until it was time for Christmas. Casper Scrooge thought he had me beat, but he forgot one thing. The time for Christmas is now! It's December, the month of Christmas! So this very morning, I strode purposefully to the storage closet, and I took out my little Charlie Brown Christmas tree, and I decorated it beautifully so that it sparkled and shined! And when Casper Scrooge saw the tree, he shouted, 'No! You must honor the deal! There can be no Christmas here!' but I said, 'Oh yes, Casper Scrooge, there is Christmas here! The deal is done! The month of Christmas is here!' And then, Duds, then I could feel it!"
My toes twitched
and my nose itched
and I started to glow
from the top of my head to the tips of my toes!
And Duds saw the glow. And she heard the sound. And she knew that Christmas was finally, at last, here.
Listen to me now, Charlotte. There will always be the Scrooges of the world trying to take away your glow. But you hold tight! There is magic, and love, and I can't wait to put up our Christmas lights at home so that you can see it all firsthand.
I love you.