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Special ed teacher.................................. Happy Anniversary
Sugarplummed Suze ................... Congratulations on your GS
Merry Christmas ....................... Here's a children's tale I wrote........
THE STORY OF CHRISTMAS TIME
A long, long, long time ago, before you were born. Before your mommas and daddies and even before your teacher was born.
Father Time had two daughters.
His first daughter was named Christmas, but everybody called her Christy.
Christy loved the forest and all living things.
Father Time's other daughter was named Merry.
Merry liked things that sparkle like diamonds and stars.
Since both Merry and Christy were daughters of Father Time, they were each endowed with a special magical power.
Christy could turn herself into a beautiful evergreen tree.
And Merry could turn herself into a big shiny star.
But Merry and Christy could not change themselves back.
Only Father Time could change them back and he was happy to do so as long as it wasn't winter. Father Time lost all his powers on the first day of winter and he didn't get them back until the first day of spring. And since the magic endowed to Father Time and his daughters became permanent on New Year's Eve, they couldn't change anything that had happened from the year before. So if Merry or Christy changed themselves after the first day of winter and before midnight on New Year's Eve, they would stay that way forever.
One day a handsome, young woodcutter named Nicholas came into the forest where the girls were picking flowers.
"He's dreamy," Merry said.
She thought he looked like a prince.
But Christy got mad, because the trees in that forest were her friends.
She marched right up to the woodcutter and yelled, "You better not cut my friends down or I'll have my dad turn you into a toad!"
Nicholas stopped in his tracks. He was so struck by Christy's beauty that he buried his axe in the snow and swore to never ever cut another tree down.
Merry didn't like that Nicholas was looking at Christy instead of her.
She stayed hidden in the forest, and pouted.
"I saw him first," she said.
Nicholas had fallen in love with Christy the first time he saw her, but Christy wasn't sure. She didn't know if she could trust a man who cut down trees.
Nicholas came to the forest every day to helped Christy take care of her friends, the trees.
After a few months Christy did learn to trust Nicholas, and even to love him, for by then, she could see that Nicolas had a kind heart.
Several years after they first met, on a cool autumn evening, Nicholas fell to his knees and held up a beautiful diamond ring.
"Christy, my love will you marry me?"
Christy took the ring from Nicholas and slipped it on the third finger of her right hand.
"Yes," she said. "I will marry you at the beginning of the New Year."
Merry got jealous when she saw Christy accept Nicholas's ring.
She wanted Nicholas to love her, not Christy.
She also wanted Christy's sparkling diamond ring.
Merry was so jealous that she hatched an awful plan to get back at her sister for stealing Nicholas and his beautiful ring.
First she stole her father's calendar and changed the days.
Since the calendar belonged to Father Time, no one questioned whether it was right or wrong.
It snowed on the first day of winter, which fell on December 22nd that year, but everybody thought it was only the 19th.
Then on the 24th, Merry went to Christy and asked, "Can you change into that beautiful evergreen tree one last time before you get married?"
Since Christy thought it was only the 21st and she loved her sister very much, she said. "Of course I can." Then she changed herself into a tree right there in the meadow beside their house.
Merry quickly pulled the ring off one of Christy's branches and ran into forest to meet Nicholas.
"Where is Christy?"
Then he saw that Merry was holding the ring that he had given to Christy.
"Has something happened to your sister?" he asked.
"No," Merry lied. "She asked me to give this ring back to you and tell you that she changed her mind."
Heartbroken, Nicholas fell to his knees in the snow.
"Don't worry," said Merry. "You can marry me instead."
Great big tears rolled down Nicholas's cheeks.
"No, I miss Christy's warm heart and her beautiful smile. I could never marry anyone else."
Tears leaked then from Merry's eyes as well. She loved her sister, Christy, and missed her beautiful smile too.
Merry was sorry for what she had done.
"It's all my fault." Merry said. "I tricked Christy into changing herself into a tree and now," Merry cried. "Now she'll stay that way forever."
Then Merry turned and ran back to the meadow where her sister had turned herself into a tree.
"I'm so sorry, Christy," Merry said. "I promise I will stay with you forever."
Then Merry climbed to tip top branch of Christy's tree and changed herself into a very small star.
Hours later, Nicolas followed the single set of tracks that Merry had left in the snow. The tracks led him to a small meadow where he found Father Time kneeling beside a tree with a single star at its top.
Silver tears fell like streamers from Father Time's eyes and froze into icicles that hung from Christy's branches.
"My magic is gone," Father Time said. I can not change Christy or Merry back."
Nicholas laid his hand on Father Time's shoulder.
"Is there anything I can do to help?" Nicholas asked.
"There is but one hope left. You must find Mother Nature.
Take my staff into the mists of Avalon that rest on the far side of the meadow.
If their mother can't help them, then no one can."
"Hurry now, the girls only have until New Year's Eve."
The weather was calm and sunny on this side of the mist, but Nicholas walked straight into a blizzard on the other side.
Blinded by the fierce winds, Nicholas pushed on, hoping against hope that he could find Mother Nature.
Some where along the way, Nicolas lost his green hat. His cheeks turned rosy red from the cold, and ice frosted his hair and beard, turning them as white as snow.
Nicholas stepped on a soft spot in the snow and fell into a deep hole. Surrounded by icy walls of snow, he tried to climb out, but he fell back to the bottom. He tried and tried to climb out of the hole, but every time he fell back to the bottom until he got so tired that he curled up next to the icy wall and went to sleep.
That would have been the end of poor Nicholas if a band of elves hadn't found him and taken him into their home.
Nicholas woke up the next morning beside a warm, cheery fire.
On the floor around the hearth, twenty elves were cutting and sewing yards and yards of thick red velvet, stitching it to a roll of white fur.
When Nicholas told them the story of Merry and Christy, the elves became very sad.
They had magic, but it was only good for making things. They couldn't help Christy or Merry and they didn't know how to find Mother Nature either.
"All we can do is give you this magic hat and coat so you will never get cold.
Nicholas knew time was running out for Merry and Christy. He had to get a move on if he wanted to save them. So he put on the magic hat and coat and set off once again to find Mother Nature.
With the new magic hat and coat, Nicholas could travel faster and further than before, but he still didn't know where to find Mother Nature.
He asked the trees and squirrels, the rabbits and the wolves. He even asked a lonely old polar bear but no one seemed to know where Mother Nature was.
Tired and near the end of his hope, Nicholas stumbled upon a herd of Reindeer.
But these weren't just any old reindeer.
These reindeer were flying.
"Yes we know where Mother Nature is," they said. "She is up in the palace of winds.
It seems Old Northy got loose and she's been trying to capture him all winter."
"We can fly you to her if you'd like."
"Thank you," Nicolas said.
When they got to the palace of winds, Nicholas told Mother Nature what had happened to Merry and Christy.
Mother Nature was so sad that great big drops fell from the sky and melted all the snow, turning it into slippery, wet ice.
"You're too late," She said. "The New Year has already come and gone. My daughters must remain in the forms they chose forever."
Nicholas was very sad then, too.
"I've failed them," he said. He opened his hand and let Father Time's staff fall to the slippery ice.
The staff lit up as it spun and skittered across the icy floor of the palace grounds.
"Wait a minute. Is that Father Time's staff?" Mother Nature asked.
"Yes it is." Nicholas replied.
"There might be a way for you to turn my daughters back for a day or maybe even more, depending on how much of my magic you can gather."
"Gather magic? You mean you don't have any magic left?" Nicholas asked.
"Oh I have magic. I just don't keep it with me. My magic is spread out all over the world. You can find it in an apple tree, in the spring, when its branches burst into blossoms, or when a baby chick first cracks out of its shell. My magic is everywhere, even in the smiles of children."
Then she pulled a jar out of her robe. It was filled with seeds.
"These seeds will grow as they gather magic and then they will change colors when they are filled."
"But you must go back in time, first. Hold Father Time's staff up high and turn a full circle counter clockwise. You'll be taken back to January 1st."
"That will give you all year long to gather as much of my magic as you can until December 24th."
"Then weave all the magic seeds into Christy's branches. The girls will change back to human one minute after midnight on New Year's Day, and they will remain human until the magic in the seeds runs out."
Nicholas raised Father Time's staff, turned a full circle counterclockwise and went back to New Year's Day.
He took Mother Nature's seeds to an apple orchard and waited until the trees blossomed, but the magic seeds did not grow very much.
Hatching eggs were hard to find, but Nicholas found a few.
He looked at the magic seeds with a very sad heart because they hadn't grown very much at all and none of them had changed colors.
There was only one last thing for Nicholas to try.
"How am I going to get a child to smile," he said.
Nicholas stopped at a village where there were lots of children.
A little girl, who lived there, named Tiffani, invited Nicolas to her birthday party. Nicholas enjoyed the cake and especially the cookies and milk. Then, when it came time for Tiffani to open her presents, he took one of Mother Nature's magic seeds out of the jar. Nothing happened to the seed when Tiffani opened her first present.
The socks were very nice and they would keep her feet warm, but they weren't the very special present that Tiffani had wanted.
She got baby dolls for her second present and that made her smile, but Mother Nature's seed had hardly changed a bit.
Tiffani's third present was in a basket and it made a funny noise when she picked it up.
She set the basket down quickly, opened the lid, and out jumped an orange and white kitten.
Tiffani's heart jumped with joy, for this was the very special gift that she had wanted for her birthday.
Mother Nature's seed popped like a piece of popcorn and then it turned bright red with a golden ribbon at its stem.
Nicholas got an idea, then.
He remembered the elves that had made his magic hat and coat.
"Those elves sure did like making things.
Perhaps they would be willing to make the gifts I need."
Nicholas also remembered the reindeer and how they loved to fly.
"Maybe I can get them to fly the special gifts to me so I can give them to the kids."
There was only one problem.
"How am I supposed to find out what the kids really want?"
Father Time appeared out of thin air, right in front of Nicolas.
"I think I can help you with that," he said.
"I thought you had lost your powers," Nicholas replied.
"That I did my boy, but today is the first day of spring so my powers have returned."
"I`ve been watching you and I brought you three gifts to help you save my daughters."
"The first is a looking glass that will let you see into the hearts of children."
"Next is a flying sleigh so you can deliver all the special gifts that the elves make."
"And last of all, is a time delay bag. Mother Nature's magic will last longer if it is gathered all on the same night.
Just put the magic seeds in the bag with the presents you deliver throughout the year. Then neither you, the reindeer, the presents nor the sleigh can be seen until you weave the magic seeds into Christy's branches and speak both my daughter's names."
Nicholas set off. with Father Time's gifts.
He went to the elves who were overjoyed at the idea of making special gifts for children.
So many reindeer wanted to pull the flying sleigh that Nicolas had to draw their names from a hat, because the sleigh only had harnesses for eight reindeer.
Arnold was the biggest and strongest of the reindeer. He was elected to carry Nicolas's to the cities, towns and villages, that had children. He even flew Nicholas to the lonely little cottages that dotted the edges of the wilderness to find every child.
Nicolas used his magic mirror to look into every child's heart. And as long as the kids were good, he would add their secret wishes to his Nice List.
The reindeer that weren't picked to pull Nicholas's sleigh, carried the Nice Lists into the mists of Avalon to the elves.
After the elves filled Nicholas's magic bag, Arnold would fly Nicholas back into Avalon.
Then Nicolas would hitch the reindeer to his sleigh and deliver the presents.
Nicholas worked through Spring, Summer, and Fall. Right up until three minutes to midnight on December 24th. Just enough time for Nicolas to weave Mother Nature's seeds into Christy's branches and shout, "MERRY CHRISTMAS."
The presents all appeared at the stroke of midnight on December 24th and some lucky kids even saw Nicolas.
Each present came with a small tag that said.