© Copyright 2019 by Deon Matzen
Mikey figured he was now pretty grown up. Last year, at Christmas, he had finally figured out that Santa was really Dad and Mom. Now that he knew the truth, he felt he had grown up, no longer a baby. It was OK that it was Mom and Dad, but it did take some of the fun out of the holiday. Now he knew that it was about giving and love, not the big guy who just delivered presents once a year.
He, however, isn’t going to ruin that fantasy for his little sister Ariel. Ariel is six and Santa is still a very big part of her holiday joy. She visits him in shops and has her photo taken sitting on his lap. She waves to him during the annual Christmas event where he rides through Langley on his fire truck. She whispers in his ear what she really, really, really wants for Christmas, a dollhouse. She doesn’t just whisper it to him, but has written him a letter, told the whole family what Santa is going to bring her for Christmas.
One day Dad and Mikey were browsing in Good Cheer in Langley, the area’s favorite thrift store, and, to their surprise, and almost as though that it was meant to be, they discovered a two story dollhouse. It wasn’t in the best of shape, looking kind of worn out. Some of the shingles were missing and it was in need of painting.
Mikey told his Dad, “Let’s get it! We can fix it up and make it beautiful for Ariel.”
“Well, it would take some work, but maybe I could help you with that,” said Dad.
They snuck it home and into the garage without Ariel seeing it. She was at ballet. Now for the big job of making it beautiful. Each of the tiny rooms needed paint in different colors. Small pieces of wood needed to be cut to replace the lost shingles. Mikey could hardly wait to begin. He worked hard for a month when Ariel was playing with her friends or at ballet. Mikey carefully painted rugs on the floor, replaced some of the missing acrylic windows, and put a chimney on the roof and a fireplace in the parlor. How would Santa get in without a fireplace? He had found a small, wooden Santa when he bought the dollhouse and planned to put him inside.
Finally it was finished. It was a beauty, looking almost brand new and glowing with fresh paint. He wrapped it in two rolls of Christmas paper and put a big bow on it and hid it behind the Christmas tree. He was very proud of his gift for his little sister. It was a gift from his heart made with love.
Since he didn’t want to ruin Ariel’s fantasy of Santa, he carefully made a card and signed it “Santa.” Ariel would never know of all of Mikey’s work and time and care creating the perfect gift for her from Santa, and Mikey wouldn’t tell her. His real gift was letting Ariel believe in Santa for another year.