This year, I bring you something a little bit different...12 Holiday Excerpts and Flash Fiction!
Author Jen Frankel is the first to spin an original holiday tale!
Merry Whatmas! Love, the North Polar Bear
BY JEN FRANKEL
“Bear!” bellowed Santa.
It was pretty clear who had perpetrated the vandalism. With most of it above the seven-foot level, all the elves and Mrs. Claus were ruled out immediately. The reindeer seldom came into the House at the North Pole, and anyhow, their hooves were not particularly well-suited for writing implements.
A sheepish North Polar Bear emerged from behind the twenty-foot tree. “Yes, Santa?” he said tentatively.
“Merry Christmas question mark?” cried Santa. “What kind of message of cheer are we sending here?”
For yes, on all the iterations of the traditional Christmas message around the Great Hall and the North Polar village, an underline had been added under “Christmas” and a question mark at the end, turning a well-wish into an interrogative.
The Bear stumbled out a mumbled explanation.
“What?” bellowed Santa, unable to hear it. The commotion by now had attracted Mrs. Claus as well as all of the elves who were in the House at that moment. An angry Claus was cause for concern for all.
One of the elves stepped forward, and placed herself between Santa and the Bear. “It’s all my fault, Santa,” she said, lifting her chin resolutely, but there were tears in her eyes as well. “You know I just got back from my holiday tour around the Equator with the National Geographic Society.”
Mrs. Claus smiled fondly. “Ah yes, the Society is so good to run mystical creature tours in addition to their regular expeditions.”
“And I had a wonderful, wonderful… eye-opening time.” The elf concluded and glanced around at the defaced Christmas greetings. “I was telling Bear about all the different places in the world that celebrate different holidays around this time of year, and at others as well, and I think he…” She trailed off, not sure how to continue.
“Merry Christmas question mark!” rumbled the Bear. “So many people and so many holidays! I got confused.”
Santa and Mrs. Claus exchanged a long look.
“Also, Santa,” said the elf. “I would like to change my name. Out in the wide world, Ivy-Anka sounds a little… problematic.”
Mrs. Claus coughed. “Oh yes, I see that.”
“How about Hollyamory?” suggested the Bear, but Santa had another idea.
“What about simply Bella?”
“Yes! That’s lovely,” said the elf.
“And about the other thing, Mrs. Claus and I have been discussing this very issue for the last few years. We can’t keep our heads in a snowbank and pretend the rest of the world doesn’t matter, or even exist. Since we’ll have to replace all the signs at the Pole anyhow, I have a suggestion about how we can at least start to be more inclusive. So, everyone, Happy ChristmaKwanzaKkah!”
And it was a Happy ChristmaKwanzaKkah for all.