When I was about thirteen my parents stopped putting up a Christmas tree. Don’t think that I was abused and deprived of Christmas. My sister and I were included in the decision. Even though we shunned the Christmas trees and Christmas wreaths there was one Christmas tradition that my mother just couldn’t get rid of…Santa Mouse.
You’ve never heard of Santa Mouse? Well let me tell you the story.
Santa has always been a bit sloppy with his food. He spills crumbs all over the floor. To maintain his hefty physique, he has to eat some pretty rich food. Needless to say Santa’s house is the perfect residence for a mouse or two.
There is one little mouse who used to watch Santa happily filling his sleigh with presents every year and that mouse would say to the other mice, “That looks like so much fun. I wish I could give people presents and make them smile.”
Normally, people don’t smile when they see a mouse..especially not a mouse in their house. Normally, they shriek with disgust and jump on a chair. That’s why the mice have to try their best to stay out of sight. This mouse didn’t want to scare people though. He wanted to make them smile.
One year, he decided that he was ready to leave the North Pole with Santa to deliver a very special present to a little boy or girl. He had his mother make him a little red hat just like Santa’s and he wrapped up the perfect little present and tied it with a yellow ribbon. “Call me Santa Mouse,” he told the other mice in Santa’s house.
When Santa had finished packing his sleigh, Santa Mouse jumped on board and hid amongst the presents. It didn’t take long before the sleigh took off. The ride was bumpy and Santa Mouse found himself wishing that he’d taken something for motion sickness before stowing away. He crawled out from under the presents to stand on the edge of the sleigh hoping that feeling the wind on his face would ease his nausea. As he did, the sleigh hit some turbulence and Santa Mouse went tumbling out landing in a giant snow drift. His present landed a few inches from him.
It was call and Santa Mouse was scared because he’d never been any place but the North Pole. He didn’t know how he would possibly find his way back to his friends and family again. Just as he was about to clasp in the snow in despair, he noticed a house in the distance. The house was all lit up with Christmas lights so Santa Mouse knew that Santa must be going to that house. It was far for a mouse to walk, especially clutching a present and holding his hat to make sure it didn’t blow off. Finally he made it to the house and was able to sneak inside. Sneaking in was no problem for him. It is second nature for mice.
The house had a beautiful big Christmas tree and it was so nice and warm in there. Santa Mouse climbed up into the Christmas tree to wait for Santa. In the warmth, he started getting sleepy and before he knew it he fell asleep.
“Ho, ho, ho,” Santa bellowed awaking Santa Mouse with a start. Santa Mouse scurried down the tree and climbed unnoticed into Santa’s sack. When Santa put his sack in the sleigh Santa Mouse climbed out and got a ride all the way back to the North Pole. Can you guess what the little boy who lived in the house where Santa Mouse slept found in his Christmas tree the next morning? He found a tiny little present wrapped with a yellow ribbon.
If you ever find a little present with a yellow bow in your tree, you’ll know that Santa Mouse has stopped at your house.
That’s the story. Since we no longer had a Christmas tree my mother would wrap a little present with a yellow ribbon for each of us and hide them in the shrubs in the front yard. Every Christmas morning we’d all have to go out in the yard in our pajamas to hear the Santa Mouse story and get our gifts. It’s very cold on Christmas morning in New Jersey and I swear my mother made the story longer every year, but it was still a great Christmas tradition.
Painting by HikingArtist.com