It was 11:30 p.m. and Santa woke Jessie from where she slept in front of the fire. She dozily looked up at Santa, yawned, and turned in a circle to lie down and go back to sleep. She thought that it was much too late.
“Wake up Jessie! It’s Molly’s birthday and we’re going to celebrate. Let’s go outside and see what the elves are up to.” Santa pulled out a jacket Mrs. C had made for Jessie and gently put it on the squirming dog.
“Now, Jessie you need this jacket. It’s really cold out tonight. Even the deer are huddling together to keep warm”
Jessie was not happy but sat still for Santa. When he was finished she took a look at herself in a nearby mirror. She was adorned in red and green plaid from head to toe. Her outfit even had matching booties to protect her feet. Jessie hung her head low. She raised her legs up and down trying to free them from her booties.
Santa laughed. “I know the shoes are uncomfortable Jessie but they are necessary. You’ll get used to them. Now let’s go outside. Mrs. C. is waiting at the eggnog station.”
At the sound of the word eggnog Jessie’s ears perked up and she walked to the door as quickly as she could. She wasn’t used to the shoes and her movement looked like a combination dancing and wobbling.
Santa smiled when he saw the dog but didn’t laugh. Jessie had to wear the clothing to protect herself from the bitter wind. He didn’t want the dog to dislike the clothing any more than she did now.
Santa and Jessie walked outside the door and headed around the steel tree. Jessie stopped and looked around. There were so many elves surrounding them that Jessie couldn’t count them. There were big elves, little elves, young elves and old elves. Each of the elves seemed to be in a merry mood.
Wherever Jessie looked the elves were having fun. Some of the elves were building snow sculptures and snow structures. Others were rolling fruitcakes down a slope knocking down the snow creations. On a big stage several elves stood in front of a microphone. They held mugs of chocolate and were singing as loud as they could. The result was a large tinny noise that bothered Jessie’s ears.
Jessie shook her head from side to side. The little hat on her head slid down over her eyes. Jessie tried to pull the hat off using her front foreleg. She almost had the hat off when Santa chuckled, reached down and put the hat back in its original position.
Jessie sighed but was too interested in what was going on to worry about the hat. Directly in front of her was Mrs. C. She was standing at a little station where two were helping her dispense eggnog and sugar cookies to crowd. When she saw Jessie she smiled and chuckled.
“Santa tells me that you don’t like your coat Jessie. Well I can see why. You look like a couch in that plaid and you hat is way too big. I tell you what. We’ll pick out some fabric together and I’ll make you a new outfit tomorrow. Now, someone here likes eggnog. If you shake my hand I’ll give you a saucer full.”
Jessie’s tail wagged causing small tornados of snow flying behind her. She sat down and raised her hand for Molly. Molly smiled and gave the dog her saucer of eggnog.
When Jessie was finished with the treat Santa petted her on the head. “Come on Jessie. It’s almost midnight and I always lead the count down to Molly’s birthday. This year you can help me. Come on girl. Let’s go up on the stage.”
Jessie wasn’t sure what Santa meant by a countdown but she would follow him anywhere. She walked with him up on the stage where a young elf dressed in sequins was holding a microphone. When Santa approached she handed him the microphone. Santa looked at his watch and then began counting down numbers. Five… Four… Three… Two… One… Happy, happy birthday Molly!
The circle in front of Jessie erupted with singing, toy drums, trumpets and an electric guitar. The noise was almost unbearable for Jessie, and she began to back away. Santa reached down to steady the dog. He held up his hand and the noise surrounding them ceased.
Santa began to talk to the throng “I’d like to thank Molly for her work this year, and for her continual love and support.” Santa leaned over and kissed Mrs. C on the cheek.
“Now for what everyone has been waiting for. Let’s start the light show.”
Santa raised his hand and from somewhere out on the tundra beautiful music began to play. Softly, slowly lights in the sky began to ebb and flow in time with the music dancing in and out of the stars. Jessie watched as green, blue and purple ebbed in and out of view. The combination of music and lights were so beautiful that Jessie whimpered and leaned against Santa’s leg.
Jessie was happy Molly was having a birthday party. She had grown to love Santa and Molly in the short time she had lived with them. Somehow she knew that the next year was going to be happy for her. Somehow, it seemed like this was a celebration for her too. To her it was a celebration of finding a home and a family.
Jessie looked at the light show again. Somehow she knew that this was truly Santa Magic. It was full of love and caring and Jessie knew that this is where she belonged.