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(A little girl, about 6 years old, and her mother stand at the kitchen counter, frosting Christmas-shaped cookies)
Girl: “Mommy, why do we give Santa cookies on Christmas?”
Mother: “Because Santa gets so hungry when he delivers all those presents to so many little kids all over the world. Since he’s being so nice to us and leaving us presents, it’s the least we can do to leave him a little treat”.
Girl: “But mommy, doesn’t other people leave him cookies? Why do we have to leave him them too when he already has so many?”
Mother: “Now, what would happen if everyone thought that way? If everyone relied on everyone else to bring him cookies, he wouldn’t get to eat anything! No, it’s best to do things yourself if you want them done, just in case others fall short. Besides, his elves need cookies too; if Santa gets too full to eat them all, then he brings them back to the workshop!”
Girl: *considering*. “But mommy, how does he fit all those cookies on his sled with all the presents?”
Mother: “It’s a magic sled. It never gets too full”
(A boy, about 13 years old, walks in)
Boy: *taking a cookie* “Oh, give me a break”
Girl: “Hey! Those cookies are for Santa! Give it back!”
Boy: “There’s no such thing as Santa. Aren’t you getting a little old for this delusion?”
Mother: “Tommy! Be nice to your little sister! Of course Santa Claus is real!”
Girl: “Yeah! He’s the nicest man in the world! You have to believe in him or you don’t get any presents!”
Boy: “Oh, please. I haven’t believed in him since I was 9 and I’ve still gotten presents every year”.
Mother: “Well. I guess Santa Claus is just too nice to let any little boy go disappointed. I wouldn’t push your luck, though; if you continually advertise your lack of faith, you may well end up without that new phone you want” *she meaningfully glares at him*.
Boy: “Whatever”. *leaves room*.
Girl: “Mommy, why doesn’t he believe in Santa?”
Mother: “Sometimes, people get all caught up in the whirl of reality, and they forget about magic. It happens when you get older.”
Girl: *anxiously* “But you can still do magic, right?”
Mother: *Smiles*. “Yes, Winifred. I can still do magic.”
(Mother presses her palm to Winifred’s, and purple sparks flicker between the two. Winifred’s face lights up with elation, and she gazes in wonder at the light).
End of Scene.
Mother is tucking Winifred in to sleep on the couch by the Christmas tree.
Mother: “Are you sure you want to sleep in here? Wouldn’t you rather be in bed?”
Winifred: “No! I want to be here when Santa comes!”
Mother: “Alright. Just make sure you call me if you get too cold and want to sleep in your own bed.”
Winifred: “Ok mommy.”
Mother: “Well…good night, then”.
Winifred: “When Santa gets here, I’m going to yell and wake up Tommy so that he can believe too!”
Mother: “Oh, no, don’t do that. If you try to wake up Tommy, Santa will only leave. Only the little girls and boys who already believe get to see Santa; otherwise, it’s unfair for all those other little boys and girls who don’t believe.”
Winifred: “Okey doke.” *smiles* “I can’t wait to see Santa!”
Mother: “Well…if you don’t see him, don’t be too disappointed. Remember, Santa is very good at his job. He can be very quiet, so you may just not wake up”.
Winifred: “That’s ok, mommy. I’ll wake up. I know how to make myself wake up”. (she wiggles her fingers and smiles widely) “Remember?”
Mother: *laughs warmly*. “Well, ok. I’ll let you tonight – it’ll be my Christmas present from me to you. But remember…don’t let anyone know but you and me. It’s our little secret”. (she taps Winifred on the nose, and Winifred scrunches up her face and smiles).
Winifred: “Can I tell Santa?”
Mother: “Oh, Winifred. Santa already knows”.
End of Scene
Winifred is fast asleep on the couch. There is some very faint scratching and rusting around in the chimney, and a large figure slides nearly silently into the fireplace. Winifred bolts upright, tossing off her blankets. The figure does not take notice, and beings to quietly search around inside his bag.
Winifred: *whispering*. “Santa?”
(the figure does not turn around. Winifred gets up from the couch, walks up to him and taps him on the back) “Santa!”
Santa: *jumps violently* “What! Who are you? What!”
Winifred: “Hi! My name’s Winifred. And you’re Santa”.
Santa: “I…you can see me?”
Winifred: “Of course! You’re standing right in front of me! Why wouldn’t I?”
Santa: “I…I…I thought I put on my invisibility spell! Oh my goodness, has it been off all this time?!” (he begins frantically rummaging through his bad) “This is bad, this is very very bad…”
Winifred: “Mommy says those spells don’t work on me because I can do magic too”
(Santa stops going through his bag abruptly. He turns around, and gazes at her in wonderment)
Santa: “You are a gifted child?”
Winifred: “That’s what mommy says!”
Santa: “Why…I thought I’d never see another gifted child! Especially after the witch burnings began.”
Winifred: “What are the witch burnings?”
Santa: “Well…people used to think that the only people who could do magic were witches. And they were afraid; they thought it meant evil. So…they decided to try and stop people from being witches by – well, you’ll learn more about that in school when you’re older. The point is, after that no one wanted to be magical, and so anyone who was born with powers never admitted they had them. It was very sad – I always felt very alone”.
Winifred: “Oh…but then, what does make a person a witch?”
Santa: *chuckles* “Perhaps that’s something you’d best ask your priest about. I didn’t come here to talk about gruesome topics. I’m still very exited to finally meet someone like me again!”
Winifred: “My mommy can do magic too”
Santa: “Of course she can! The gene is recessive! Your father can do magic too, you know”.
Winifred: “My daddy went away for a long long time. Mommy says I won’t see him again until I leave for where he went.”
Santa: “Oh…that’s what she said, huh? Well…I’m very sorry”.
Winifred: “It’s ok! Mommy says we all go there eventually if we’re really really good while we’re here. She says to not feel sad, because he’s really happy there and if I’m happy here then I’ll be happy there too”.
Santa: “Well, I’m sorry that your father couldn’t be with you here, but I think your mother has it about right. Your father is very happy where he is now”.
Winifred: “Santa, don’t you have lots of presents to deliver? What if you run out of time and someone doesn’t get a gift?”
Santa: “Oh, don’t worry, Winny-girl. I never run out of time. All the presents will be delivered!”
Winifred: “Even for my brother?”
Santa: “Of course. Even your brother.”
Winifred: *leans in closer and whispers* “Tommy says he doesn’t believe in you”.
Santa: “That’s ok. Sometimes, it’s hard for people to believe. I’m afraid your brother did not inherit the same gift you did. When one is non-gifted, they sometimes can’t understand why I’m real, or how I’m real. Their minds just close off.”
Winifred: “Does it make you sad, Santa?”
Santa: *Sits quietly for a moment* “Sometimes.”
Winifred: “I believe in you, Santa. Mommy believes in you”.
Santa: *Smiles* “Thank you, dear. It makes me happy to hear that”.
End of Scene
(Winifred’s mother is asleep in her bed. Winifred runs up and begins shaking her mother awake)
Winifred: “Mommy mommy mommy mommy mommy!”
Mother: “Mm. What? Is it morning already?”
Winifred: “Mommy I met Santa Claus!”
Mother: “Did you now? Was he nice?”
Winifred: “Yes! And he said there’s no one else like me cause they all got burned up!”
Mother: “Wait, what?”
Winifred: “And he said that my daddy is in a happy place and that we need to believe in him cause it makes him sad when people don’t, and he said that he’s even bringing Tommy a present!”
Mother: “Well, that’s lovely dear! I’m glad you got to meet him. He’s a very dear friend of mine. Very old, and very dear”.
Winifred: “You know Santa Claus?”
Mother: “Of course! Oh, we loved each other. We loved each other very much. But…there were complications.”
Winifred: “Like what?”
Mother: “It’s not important right now. I’ll tell you when you’re older”.
Winifred: “Mommy, what happened?”
Mother: “Well, he wanted to travel the world, and make toys. I wanted to raise my little girl.”
Winifred: “Your little girl?”
Mother: “Why, yes. My little girl. You. I wanted to raise you, but I couldn’t do that in a toy workshop”.
Winifred: “Did he know my daddy?”
Mother: *pausing* “Winifred, you said he told you that he’d never met anyone like you, correct?”
Mother: “Well, the truth is, there is no one else like you. Only Santa Claus and me. We were the first to wield these powers. And you were the first child born from them”.
Mother: *hesitantly*“Winifred…Santa Claus”
Mother: “Nicholas Claus…”
Winifred: *worriedly* “Mommy, what?”
Mother: “He is your father.”
(Winifred sits quietly for a few minutes, taking it in. Then she smiles.)
Winifred: “Thank you, mommy”
Mother: “For what?”
Winifred: “For finally telling me. Thank you.”
Mother: “I’m sorry I couldn’t tell you earlier. I wanted you to meet him first”.
Winifred: “It’s ok, mommy. I’m glad I got to meet him. And now I can visit his workshop, right? It will be fun. And I’m glad I have a daddy, too”.
Mother: *laughing*. “You’re such a sweet little girl. Come on; let’s go see what your father left us!”
The two exit the room, and go downstairs. Calls are heard for Tommy to come open presents.
End of Scene