A Visit from St. Nick
She listened by her bedroom door and didn't hear a sound. Tiptoeing back to her bed, she grabbed her pink blanket and her Pad-ton Bear Nana Emily gave her, tucking them under her arm. Cracking the door, she peeked into the hallway. No one was in the corridor, so she crept down the hall, and then down the stairs, stopping and sitting on the step fourth from the bottom.
Leaning her back against the wall, she kept her eyes trained on the giant tree in the family room. Patiently, she waited for Santa to come. She had to see him; she needed to ask him for a very important gift. It wasn't for her it was for her mommy. She asked her big brother, Phillip to take her to see Santa, but he was too busy and forgot.
Pad-ton shivered in the chilly air, so she hugged him tight and covered them both with her blanket, pushing the ends around her legs just like mommy did when she tucked them into bed at night.
She yawned; her eyes drooped closed, her head slumping forward. A minute later, she heard the tinkling of sleigh bells. Her eyes flew open, and she scrambled to her feet. Santa was here, and she didn't want to miss him. Hurrying down the remaining steps, she ran into the family room and spied the red-clad man slipping presents under the tree.
"'Scuse me, Santa." She tugged on his coat to get his attention.
Santa grumbled a little, like Uncle Robert when he falls asleep in front of the TV, and then turned to face her, "Well, if it isn't Miss Stetson. You're not supposed to be awake. All the good little girls and boys are tucked up in their beds fast asleep."
She hoped she didn't make Santa mad. If he thought she was a bad girl, then he wouldn't bring the gift for mommy. "I did go to bed like a good girl, but I had to see you. I have something ‘portant I need to ask you."
He scrunched down the way mommy and daddy did when they talked to her. "You do?"
She nodded her agreement. "It's for my mommy. She's the bestest mommy in the whole world. She takes care of all of us, even Pad-ton." She hugged the bear tighter. "Mommy misses daddy. He had to go away for busi . . . busi . . . work, and he's going to miss Chris-mas. Mommy's sad. Can you bring my daddy home?"
"Well, young lady, as you know, my elves and I make toys."
She nodded and tried not to cry, but she couldn't stop a tear from escaping.
Santa caught her tear on his fingertip. "Oh don't cry. I can't promise to bring your daddy home, but I can promise I'll try my best. Is that okay?"
"All you can do is try your best. That's what my Grandma says, so, okay, try your best, please."
"I will. Now, young lady, let's get you back to bed." Santa picked her up, and carried her and Pad-ton back to bed.
After snuggling the covers around them, he touched a finger to the side of his nose and winked at her. "Ho, Ho, Ho. Merry Christmas!" He laughed before disappearing from sight.
Closing her eyes, she fell back to sleep with a smile on her face.
It was still dark outside when she woke up. She didn't care; she had to see if Santa brought her special present. Grabbing Pad-ton's hand she tiptoed down the stairs to peek into the family room.
Turning the corner, she spotted her daddy, sitting on the floor. He was not quite under the tree. Guess he was too big for Santa to leave with the other presents.
"Daddy!" She ran, and jumped into his lap.
He caught her in his arms and snuggled her into his chest. "Merry Christmas, munchkin."
"Merry Chrismas, Daddy. Did you get to ride in Santa's sleigh? He told me he was going to try an bring you home for mommy."
"He did, did he?"
She nodded her head. "I asked him when he came tonight to leave presents."
"I'm glad you did." He kissed the top of her head. "I didn't want to miss Christmas. Why don't you run upstairs and wake the others, and we can see what else Santa left."
"Okay." She crawled off her daddy's lap, and raced up the stairs shouting. "Santa came, Santa came! Get up every one! It's Chrismas!"