Halloween was over and they were looking Thanksgiving square in the eye.  It was crunch time, the danger zone, 11th hour.  He took a deep breath as his hand ran through his hair knocking his hat askew.


His barked command was met with a scuttling of feet and a shuffling of paper before, “Printed, ah, in duplicate, and out for round one.”

He looked up with furrowed brow “You’re sure?”

“Positive sir, absolutely.”

“Good.  Transportation!”

“Aah!  Hemhem.  Uh, good sir.  All in fine running condition.”

This time the look in his eyes was almost quizzical.  “Everything’s fine?”

The question within the question hung in the air as Transportation read back over the slightly crumpled report in her hand.  “No it is sir.  Lights are a go, speed checked out, it’s … It’s all good?”

He sat back in his chair swiveling back and forth thinking.  “Utilities?” the question was quiet this time almost unsure.

“Well, we’re well within the range.  I mean not full capacity but … You know solid.  I mean If tonight was a go we’d make it.”

His hand shook slightly as he pulled the crooked hat from his head.  “Production what do you have for me?”

“Sir I’m proud to say that we are ahead of schedule.  We haven’t missed a quota since July one.”

“So what your telling me is that Christmas is only 45 days away and you cannot find a single problem.  No issues.  None whatsoever?  Not with the naughty/nice list, the sled, the reindeer, Christmas’s spirit, or the gifts!”

“Number One, sir, isn’t that a good thing?” The elf from production asked.

“Well Production let’s see.  Records!  What happened the last time nothing threatened Christmas?”

“Sir?” the tiny elf holding a giant leather bound book squeaked.

“You heard me Records.”

“It’s just …” he poured over pages of script, “It’s just …”

“It’s never happened Production.  You get it yet?  No problems, no Christmas miracle, no …”


“Yah not on my watch Production.  Now talk to me people how are we going to ruin this Christmas?  We have millions of children depending on us.”


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