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Max's Christmas Wish (Updated 12/7)

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Happy holidays, everybodies! Over the next few days leading up to Christmas, I'll be uploading this short Christmas-themed story. I hope you enjoy ^^

Max's Christmas Wish

by Mina Taylor

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On December 9th, in his eleventh year, Max Redding listened in dismay as his childhood ended with five little words. For a moment, he just sat there, not sure if he had just hallucinated the words as they came from his father’s open mouth. They didn’t seem real. They seemed to be a direct contradiction… no, a direct attack on everything he had been led to believe. “Max,” his father addressed him as he sat between his mother and father. “Did you here me? There is no Santa Claus.”

Max’s heart sank as he realized he did hear his father, that it wasn’t his mind playing tricks on him. His own parents, the pillars of all his beliefs in the unknown and unseen, especially during Christmas, were siding with the bullies on the school playground, with the taunts of his sister, with everyone that he was absolutely positive were giving him a bunch of bull.

His parents stared at him, and he realized he wasn’t responding, their apologetic gazes were turning more and more concerned the longer the silence went on. Max gulped as a handful of words landed on his tongue and leapt out from between his lips. “Then who brings the presents that say "From Santa"?”

“Those are from us, too,” his mother said. “Your father writes out the ones from us, and I write out the ones from Santa, so you would think they are from different people.”

Max bit his lip, fearing that every new question would pull away the magical veil surrounding Christmastime, but he had to question it. There had to be something they couldn’t explain. There had to be something they couldn’t prove.

“The milk and cookies?”

“Dad ate them,” his mother said.

“The yearly phone call when Santa tells us he got our letter?”

“That’s one of my co-workers,” his father said.

“The… the…” Max struggled, but his mind was blank, not because he had given up, but because he was too afraid to get any more answers. Did this mean there was no Easter Bunny? No Tooth Fairy? He sat there in silence, closing his hands on top of the kitchen table, looking down at his almost-finished plate of spaghetti. His mother reached across to put her hand, warm and gentle, on top of his.

“You’ll still get plenty of presents, Max, but you’re getting older and Rachel told us you got into it with another boy on the bus today because you said you still believed in him… and sweetie, we don’t want you to get picked on. It’s time you knew.”

“Well, how does Rachel know anyway?” Max grumbled, thinking about his nine-year-old sister upstairs, watching TV while he was down in the kitchen having to listen to this miserable truth.

“Rachel came downstairs last year and saw me,” his dad sighed, stroking his temple, likely at the memory of the event. “She took it even worse than you’re taking it now. She wasn’t lying to you. She was right that there is no Santa Claus.”

“Well, not entirely, “ his mother stepped in to soften the blow. “You know about Santa, Max. He’s real as long as we believe in him.”

“Well, you three obviously don’t,” Max spit, the sinking feeling in his heart turning into a smoldering fire, growing in heat and intensity.

“Max, watch your attitude,” his dad warned, but the words poured over him like gasoline and just made the anger worse.

“You just sat there and told me Santa isn’t real, but to keep believing in him anyway? Which is it? Is he real or is he a pile of crap?”

“Max, language!” his mother interjected.

“Up to your room,” his father said, putting down his glass of milk. "Right now.”

“Good, I didn’t want your crappy spaghetti anyway,” Max said, getting off his chair and slamming it into the kitchen table.

“Then you can brush your teeth and go to bed!” his father shouted. “I don’t want to see a single light on either! You’re done for the night!”

Max didn’t care. His father’s shouting hurt far less than the half-hearted admittance of a truth Max had spent the last few years desperately fighting off. Christmas was his favorite holiday. He loved the food, the decorations, the music, and especially the presents, but what he loved most was the magic. There was a sense that anything was possible simply by the means of it being Christmas, and the biggest symbol of that magic was Santa.

He was in all the movies, all the TV specials, all the songs (well, unless they were about Jesus), he was at the shopping mall, in the parades, and Max never cared to wonder why Santa could be in all these places all the time, because he was the embodiment of Christmas magic. If anything could happen during Christmastime, then it was clear to Max, that Santa was capable of making anything happen.

Of course, he always believed he shouldn’t put those beliefs to the test. His parents had told him Santa wouldn’t bring presents if he wasn’t in bed on Christmas night (and, now that he thought about it, he felt like a real sucker). Rachel had always encouraged him to help her catch the big jolly elf, but Max always told her he wasn’t going to risk being a last-minute entry on the naughty list for it.

As he slammed the door to his room, he slumped against the back of the door and thought about what he could do. If his parents were Santa, there had to be a way to test it. “A letter,” he thought, but not any letter. He gulped as he sat down at his desk. He wouldn’t have much time before his dad came upstairs to make sure he was actually getting into bed, so he hurriedly tore out a piece of notebook paper from inside his backpack and grabbed a mechanical pencil. With a few clicks, he put graphite to paper and paused.

“This is the only way to really know,” Max said to himself. “If my parents really are Santa, this can’t possibly happen. But if he’s real… if he’s really real…” he licked his lips as he began to scribble out the letter:

 

Dear Santa,

 

This is Max Redding. I’m 11 now, and even though my sister and my parents say you aren’t real, I know you are. You’re Santa! There is no Christmas without you! Well, I guess that’s not true because of Jesus, but Christmas without you just isn’t the same! I don’t want to put you out, but I have to know if you’re real. I don’t want to see you or your reindeer or anything like that. I’ll be in bed on Christmas Eve like a good boy because it’s very important I stay on the nice list… but if you get this one thing for me, I’ll know you’re real. And… it’s kind of weird, but I know you can keep a secret. In fact, I bet you already know what I’m going to ask for, so here it goes:

 

Diapers. I want diapers, like the biggest size so that they can fit around me. Santa, you’re always watching me so I know you know that sometimes I wish I was a baby again. It’s embarrassing but it makes me happy, and having some diapers to wear when it’s just me in my room would be really nice. But please don’t put them under the tree! Can you maybe put them somewhere secret? Like the hall closet? That way I can get up and check while everyone is busy with the stuff under the tree and it can stay our secret.

 

Santa, I’m really scared about what my parents said, about you not being real. They had really good explanations for a lot of the things I thought were things you did, but I know you're real, and I know you won't let me down. You're Santa after all, and I can't wait for you to stop by our house this year.

 

Best wishes and Merry Christmas,

 

 

Max Redding

 

 

“Max! Lights out!” his dad barked with a sharp knock on the door.

“Just a sec!” Max stammered as he folded the letter and shoved it into his backpack to be sealed in an envelope in the morning. He flicked off his desk light and his bedroom light as he changed into his pajamas and hopped underneath the covers, his heart racing. He was really going to do it. This was going to be the year he asked Santa for diapers, and then he’d know the truth, the real truth.

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great start.  looking forward to the adventure till Christmas.  

 

Edited by babybb
mistake

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Short update tonight. Thank you for all the positive feedback :)

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The next morning, Max fumbled between eating his Froot Loops, apologizing to his parents, and making it to the junk drawer from an extra mailing envelope as the clock ticked closer and closer to the moment he’d be ushered out the door to the bus stop. As his parents made sure his sister had her school project ready to go, Max dashed for the drawer, grabbed an envelope, and scribbled out his return address on the top left and in the middle:

SANTA CLAUS


NORTH POLE


EARTH

He snatched the letter from his backpack and crammed it inside, sealing it up and putting it back in his backpack as he heard a familiar annoying voice ringing out. “What are you doing?"

Max looked up at Rachel, one eyebrow cocked as she looked at him with his hands in his backpack.

“Just making sure I got my homework,” Max lied. Not only was Rachel on his parents’ side regarding Santa, but if she saw it, she’d want to read it, and he’d rather die than let that happen. She couldn’t be allowed to find out about the letter.

“You put your homework in an envelope?” Rachel smirked.

“That’s how the teachers want it when you get to sixth grade,” Max shot back at her. “You’ll have to do it too.”

“I’ve never seen you do that before today,” Rachel replied, not buying it for a minute.

“Well, it’s a new rule,” Max sighed heavily, zipping up his backpack. “I don’t care if you believe me or not.”

He put his breakfast bowl in the sink, grabbed his jacket and put his backpack on. “I’m going to go now,” he said. His parents would be taking Rachel today to make sure her science project made it to class in one piece, so they said their goodbyes and saw him off. As soon as the door closed behind him, Max walked down the driveway, the early December air nipping at his cheeks as he fumbled for his winter hat. Even though it hadn’t snowed yet, it was clearly winter.

He counted with every step he took, getting to 15 when he made it to the end of the driveway. By now, his parents wouldn’t be watching him, but Rachel, and making sure she was getting her jacket and hat. In these precious moments, Max unzipped the pocket of his backpack, slipped around the mailbox, pulled it open and slid the letter in, closing it just as fast. The deed was done. With a sigh of relief, he grinned as he strutted down the street to the bus stop. There were only fourteen more days until Santa came, and hopefully the diapers too.

Max’s happy mood lasted all the way until he went to bed that night, when he realized what a terrible mistake he had made.

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awe so short :)  but still enjoyed it.  cant wait to read more

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