Santa was tired. He closed his eyes and that's when he sensed something terribly wrong.
It was Christmas time at the North Pole, and Santa Claus was busy with preparations. The North Wind had set and the elves and reindeer were busy gearing up for Santa's long trip across the world.
“Boy! This just gets tougher and tougher every year,” thought Santa as he sank into his chair and switched on the TV.
As much as he liked bringing gifts to children, he knew he had to catch up on some rest. He loved the fact that children loved him so much. Father Christmas, Saint Nicholas, Papa Noel, Sint Klaas – children from around the world called him so many names. But life couldn't be better. Snow flakes on the window pane, carols in the air and the comforting fragrance of freshly-baked cookies from the kitchen.
At that moment, there was a bright, blinding light outside the window and an eerie silence. Santa peeped out to see his worst nightmare come true. The whistling North Wind was gone, and the snow had melted, and before his eyes stretched miles and miles of barren land. At the reindeer barn, all his reindeer were restless and panting in the heat. The elves were nowhere in sight and the news was breaking on TV too, that all the snow had melted in the North Pole. This was Nature's give back time for all the years of exploitation and abuse.
Santa broke out in a sweat. The fact that he could do nothing about it only made Santa feel worse. His eyes watered and the rosy cheeks turned bright red. There was a black cloud of smog clouding his window pane.
Just then, Santa Claus felt a soft hand on his shoulder, shaking him. He woke up with a start to find Mrs. Claus smiling down at him with that familiar twinkle in her eye. The hot chocolate she had left on the table had gone cold, but Santa was so relieved to see the glistening snow outside his window. The sleigh bells jingled outside his window as the elves were busy fixing his sleigh and he was relieved to find this was just a nightmare and his world was still intact.
But Santa knew it was time to ring those warning bells — and it had to be now!
“Shinny, Spark, Blitzy, Janny…” he called out to the elves. “We have to save the world, and let's start with the children, for it's no use relying on summits and laws. Let's teach the kids to protect and nurture the earth — for it's the only one we have. So take away those toy factory sets billowing smoke, the concrete jungles, glitzy fuel-guzzling cars and trucks, and replace them with models of eco-friendly hybrid vehicles and bicycles. Let's give them solar-powered toys and energy-efficient appliances. Do away with plastics and use bio-degradable stuff instead. Let children play with animal toys, so they'll learn to love and protect all species on earth. And throw in a bag of seeds for every child, so they can plant a tree wherever there is none!”
“And let the children know, there's more to Christmas than just the glossy gifts and endless shopping lists”, said Santa. “True Christmas is sharing the love, joy and peace that Jesus brought into the world, with everyone – for He is the reason for the Season.”
And so when Santa took to the skies on Christmas Eve, with his reindeer-pulling sleigh, he brought every little boy and girl not just their Christmas wish, but their hope for the future too.