“How does Santa get into our house – we don’t have a fireplace?” my kids asked when they were little. They had a point. After seeing birds and bats get caught in the chimney for our gas furnace, the kids certainly did not want Santa befalling the same fate. We had to come up with a fable that would satisfy their razor-sharp logic.
Rummaging around our decorations, we found a little stuffed mouse with a Santa hat. “There!” we exclaimed. “The Santa Mouse will sit at the top of our Christmas tree”. I can’t remember if we had an angel or star as the topper for the Christmas tree – but it was usurped by the Santa Mouse. Precariously, we tied the little stuffed toy at the top of our Christmas tree with a gold thread.
We created the following story. We had no fireplace for Santa to easily and safely come and go during his deliveries. Santa could only come through the front door to deliver the Christmas presents. There was still a problem because the doors were all locked. Santa needed some inside help. When Santa arrived at our house, the Santa Mouse at the top of our Christmas tree would magically come to life. Santa Mouse would scamper down the tree and open the door for Santa. Once Santa was finished and leaving, Santa Mouse would lock the door and climb back up the Christmas tree and go to sleep until the next year.
On Christmas Eve, we would get the kids ready for bed. Before they retired, they put out a plate of cookies for Santa, a carrot for Rudolph and some cheese for the Santa Mouse. They would wake the next morning with presents under the tree. Santa had surely come because he had eaten the cookies and left behind some crumbs. The teeth marks on the carrot were proof that Rudolph had visited too. And the Santa Mouse had done his job because the cheese was all gone.
The Santa Mouse has done his job for over twenty five years. He’s worn and falling apart. We do out best to repair him. A few times, we’ve suggested that he should be retired. This leads to loud protests from my adult children. So every year, we gently and lovingly place our Santa Mouse at the top of our Christmas tree. Every year, he magically comes alive to open the door for Santa. Every year, he lovingly opens our hearts during the Christmas season.
Merry Christmas everyone.