It was Christmas Eve at the North Pole Workshop. Santa's elves bustled around the sleigh packing toys. Mrs. Claus filled Santa's lunch box, and Piccolo the smallest elf, ran up with a huge thermos of hot chocolate. "Where can I put this?" he asked. Grumpy, Santa's oldest elf growled, "Hold it on your lap. There's no room!"
Piccolo wedged himself into the passenger seat with the thermos on his knees. "At least I'll be warm!" he said cheerfully.
Santa appeared, trying to button his coat as he ran. "I'm late! Where are my mittens?" he asked.
"Here, dear" said Mrs. Claus.
The reindeer stamped their feet as Santa climbed into the sleigh. Alfie, the head elf, tried to get one more toy in.
"Gotta go, Alfie," said Santa.
He picked up the reins and the reindeer raised their heads.
"Goodbye, dear," he said to Mrs. Claus. "I'll be back by morning."
"Have a good flight, Santa," she said.
"On Dasher, On Dancer!" he cried.
The sleigh rose into the air and disappeared into the cold Polar night. The other elves gathered at the window as Alfie came in.
"Goodbye Santa!" called Betty.
"Have a good trip!" said Danny.
Carol waved, "Goodbye Rudolph, bye Dasher and Dancer, bye Prancer and Vixen and......"
Mrs. Claus sighed , "such a long journey for my Santa."
"There there," said Carol, "Piccolo will look after him."
"You're right," said Mrs. Claus. "I just worry so. Anyway, we have to get Christmas breakfast ready for everybody."
"Don't forget Betty, we have to wrap presents for the reindeer." said Carol.
"Wrap presents!" said Grumpy, "Do you know how many presents I wrapped last month? Zillions! Do you think the reindeer care if their presents are wrapped?!"
"I care! It looks nice!" said Alfie.
"How about presents for us?" asked Danny.
"Oh, Danny," answered Carol, "we have every toy in the world to play with all year. We don't get presents. We give presents."
"Well how about Santa then?" asked Danny, "how come he never gets a present?"
The elves stopped and looked at each other in surprise.
"I never thought of that," said Carol. "Santa works all year so every boy and girl will have a present for Christmas and he never thinks of himself."
"We don't think of him either, I guess," said Betty.
"That's awful." said Carol.
"Terrible," agreed Betty.
"Miserable," Carol added, "what do you think Mrs. Claus?"
Mrs. Claus said, "I'm sure it never crosses Santa's mind that he doesn't get a present. But now you mention it, it would be fun to give him something. What were you thinking of Danny?"
"I don't know," said Danny.
"What would he like?" asked Betty.
"A game?" wondered Alfie.
"A toy!" said Betty.
"Santa isn't a kid, you know," said Grumpy, "besides, he can borrow any toy he likes from the workshop."
"We could go to the Polar Mall," said Carol.
"What could we get there?" asked Grumpy.
"A snowmobile!" said Danny.
"He goes everywhere by reindeer," said Alfie, "think how that would hurt their feelings."
"A satellite dish!" said Betty.
"He's ordered one from Hughes Polar Vision TV." said Mrs. Claus.
"A swimming pool!" said Danny.
"Can you get one at the mall?" asked Grumpy.
"We could get him some socks," said Mrs. Claus, "Santa loves nice warm socks."
"He has some new red and green ones already," said Betty, "I saw him putting his boots on."
"I'm afraid he loves to shop," said Mrs. Claus.
"What can we do?" asked Carol.
"Well," said Mrs. Claus, "we could go to the Mall and wrap the presents and put them under the tree. Santa would certainly enjoy that. Or....I have another idea. Gather around and I'll tell you."
The long night passed. The elves worked hard cleaning the North Pole Workshop and getting Christmas breakfast ready for all the elves at Polar City. The clock struck six and Mrs. Claus entered carrying a large red and green package. She set it down by Santa's chair.
"It's beautiful Mrs. Claus," said Betty.
"He'll love it," Carol agreed.
"I can hardly wait.," said Mrs. Claus, "have you made plenty of waffle mix?"
"Gallons," answered Carol.
"I suppose I get to do the dishes again, as usual," said Grumpy.
"Oh, Grumpy, we'll help," said Carol.
"That's what you said last year," said Grumpy. "You all fell asleep and left the kitchen a mess."
"Don't fuss, elves, " said Mrs. Claus, "Santa will be home soon."
Danny was looking out the window. "I see him! I see him!" he said.
"Go help him Danny," said Mrs. Claus.
Soon Santa came in. His beard was covered with ice, his eyes were half closed. He sank into his favorite chair and Piccolo ran to pull off his boots.
Santa sighed, "What a night! All those presents! So beautifully wrapped Grumpy."
"Thanks!" Grumpy said.
"We have a present for you Santa!" said Danny.
"For me?" Santa asked, "a present for me?"
Alfie, Betty, Carol, and Danny each picked up a corner of the very large box and placed it in front of Santa.
"What's this?" asked Santa.
"Open it! "said the elves.
"What can it be?" asked Santa. He tore off the red and green paper and opened the box. Inside, there was a box wrapped in blue and gold. He reached down and lifted it out.
"Another box?" asked Santa.
The elves giggled. Santa opened the next box. Inside it was a box wrapped in rainbow colors.
"I think it's a box," said Santa.
The elves giggled again.
Santa opened the rainbow box. Inside that was a red and gold one with blue ribbons. And inside that was a green and blue one. Then there was a silver one with red ribbons and then a purple one. Santa kept on unwrapping boxes until the room was filled with Christmas colors and he held a small red box in his hand.
"This has got to be the last one," he said and opened it.
Inside there was a tiny red candy heart. Santa smiled.
"It's our love for you, Santa," said Mrs. Claus, "the biggest present we could think of."
"It's the best of all possible gifts," Santa said and smiled, "ho,ho,ho,ho,ho! Thank you elves, thank you my dear." He put the heart in his mouth and smiled again. "It's chocolate!"
"Of course, my dear," said Mrs. Claus," now lets have a Merry Christmas everybody!"
"Here come the elves!" said Carol. "Let's make waffles!"