The Magic Of Christmas (by Storm)

Summary:  Here is my Christmas story I hope you like it.

Rated: K+  1800

 

                                                                                 The Magic of Christmas

“Pa when’s Adam gonna be home?”

“Joe we’ve been over this. Adam is at school far away and won’t be home for Christmas.”

“But pa I wrote Santa. I asked him if he could get Adam and bring him home. If in he can go around the whole world in one night he get Adam here. Sides I told him that’s all I wanted.”

“Joseph.”

“Pa Adam’ll be here I just know it.”

Ben wished he had his son’s faith. A faith he knew he’d see destroyed on Christmas morning when Adam didn’t appear. Ben supposed he could tell his son the truth about Santa but Joe was only seven and Ben just didn’t have the heart to do that.

**********

Ben went around decorating and trying to feel the joy he usually did at this time of year but it was becoming increasingly difficult. It had taken him until Christmas Eve to finally bring himself to help his sons go pick out a tree. That was something Adam had usually done with his brother’s while Ben stayed home and unpacked the decorations and reminisced over them. Joe’s belief that he’d see his eldest brother on Christmas morning was so strong it had begun to infect Hoss. Ben felt that Hoss still secretly believed in Santa. Ben thought perhaps giving the honor of placing the angel on the tree to Joe would help to ease the pain soon to come. Joe took the angel but seemed hesitant.

“Pa can we leave the angel for Adam?” Joe knew that his father was sad because Adam wasn’t home but he also knew tomorrow morning when Adam came down everything would be okay and his pa would smile.

Ben was about to protest that if the angel wasn’t on the tree Santa might not come but he had a revelation. Maybe he could use this opportunity to keep Joe’s belief alive one more year. A simple letter to Adam would help to make the story live. Ben felt it would be simple enough to put the angel in its place after Joe and Hoss had gone to bed then tell Joe that Santa must have indeed brought Adam home but they only had enough time to allow Adam to put the angel on the tree as a way to prove that he was there. If Adam didn’t return with Santa, he’d tell his youngest son, it would take too long for Adam to get back and he would miss too much school. As to why Adam hadn’t woken everyone to say hello? They would have seen Santa and Joe knew that was not allowed. Ben knew the story would be a small comfort to his youngest son but he was certain Joe would accept it. He would weave such an elaborate tale maybe he could fool himself into believing it as well.

**********

“Pa you gonna come to bed?” Hoss felt his older brother’s absence just as keenly as his father did. Normally he would talk to his father about how he was feeling but he knew his father was suffering enough sadness without him adding to it.

“Pa if we don’t go then Santa can’t come. If he don’t come then he can’t bring Adam. Pa we just gotta go to sleep.”

That was truly a Christmas miracle and it brought a smile to Ben’s face. His youngest son arguing to go to bed. “Okay Joseph. Did you put out the cookies for Santa?”

“I’ll go get them. Hop-Sing said he’d leave them in the kitchen. He made sugar cookies and he made them look like stars and Christmas trees. He said he’d leave a glass of milk too.”

Ben waited until the plate and glass were placed where Joe wanted them. “Okay then lets go to bed.”

Hoss went to his own room to get ready and Ben went with Joe. Once he was satisfied that Joe was tucked in he went to check on Hoss. Satisfied that all was well he turned to make his way downstairs.

“Pa you really miss Adam don’t you.”

“Yes Hoss I do. I miss him every day but it’s just harder this time of year. He’s never been away from home at Christmas time. I’m sure it won’t be the last time he is but it is the first.”

“Pa you think Adam misses us? I mean in his letters he sounds like he’s having a real good time learning and all.”

“I’m sure he does Hoss.” He was sure Adam was having a good time and he knew that Adam loved to learn but Ben was also certain he could read a small amount of melancholy between the lines. Just as he was certain his son wasn’t writing of his longing for home to spare his father’s feelings.

“Night pa.”

“Good night Hoss.”

“Pa you know Little Joe is gonna be real disappointed when Adam ain’t here tomorrow morning.”

“Who knows Hoss maybe we’ll get a miracle.”

“Maybe pa.”

Ben didn’t have the strength to face the angel and the tree just yet. He would go lie down for a little while then go down and set the deception in motion.

**********

Ben awoke with a start.

“Pa it’s morning! Can I go wake Adam?”

In between Joe’s jumps Ben’s thoughts raced. Oh Lord. Adam. The angel! Maybe if he found a way to stall Joe and hurried he could get the angel n place before Joe made it downstairs.

“Joseph stop jumping.”

“Sorry pa.”

“Joseph why don’t you go get Hoss first then you can both go see if Adam is there.”

“He’s there pa I know he is.” Joe ran to the door.

“JOSEPH, let me get up first.” Ben started to regret trying to deceive his son but when he looked into the innocent and faith filled eyes Joe turned towards him he just didn’t have the heart to tell him the truth. Please let me get the angel on that tree.

**********

“Pa Joe’s going to get Adam.” Joe wanted Hoss to go with him but Hoss just couldn’t face the empty bed he knew he’d find. Maybe he was being a little bit of a coward letting his younger brother face it alone but Hoss knew if he saw it he would start to cry and that would a been even worse for Joe. Hoss had expected his father to go up and comfort Joe who by now was probably sitting on Adam’s bed in tears but all his father was doing was standing and staring at the tree. “It sure is a pretty tree ain’t it pa?”

“Yes Hoss it sure is.”

“Hey pa did you put the angel up there?”

“Don’t be silly Hoss. Adam did just like I told him.”

Ben almost fainted when he looked to see his bleary eyed yet truly present eldest son being dragged behind his youngest son by the hand.

“Good morning pa, Hoss.

Hoss looked at his father in stunned silence.

“Adam?” Ben was afraid to speak too loudly lest the magic spell be broken.
“Pa couldn’t you have stalled him a few hours more. It’s barely dawn.”

“Adam?” Ben thought maybe if he kept repeating his name he would really be there.

Adam was surer on his feet half asleep then most men were fully awake and that was a good thing because if he wasn’t he would have landed on his backside as Hoss barreled into him in search of a hug.

“Adam how’d you get home?”

Boy Joe thought how could Hoss have forgotten. “Hoss I told you I asked Santa to bring him.”

“No really Adam how’d you get home?”

“I really don’t know Hoss. I fell asleep in my bed in Boston and I woke up on the settee here in Nevada. I saw Joe’s note lying next to a plate with only a few cookie crumbs left on it and an empty glass. I read how he’d saved the angel for me to put on the tree. Thanks for that Little Joe. I put the angel in her place and then I went to bed.”

“Adam is that all you remember?”

“You know Joe I’m not sure. I do remember hearing bells and someone laughing quite jolly like. I remember having a dream that I was in a sled but it wasn’t a regular kind of sled. See instead of gliding on snow it glided on the sky.”

“It was Santa’s sled Adam!”

“Guess it could have been Little Joe.”

Joe ran down to his father. “See pa I told you Adam would be home. Can we eat now pa.”

“Don’t you want to open your presents Joseph?”

“I got presents too? All I asked for was Adam.”

“Why don’t you and Hoss go look under the tree and see what you can find.”

“COME ON HOSS. WE GOT PRESENTS!”

Ben sat down and laid his hand around his sons shoulders when he joined him on the settee. “Adam I’m afraid I sent all your gifts to Boston.”

“That’s okay pa.”

“Hey pa I found one for Adam!” Joe liked to open presents but he liked to give them out too.

“Yeah and here’s one for you pa.” Hoss was still in a state of shock but it was quickly fading thanks to the abundance of gifts that bore his name. Ben knew he’d gone a little overboard with the presents but he had been trying to compensate for Adam’s absence with them.
The gifts were pushed into the two mans’ hands then Hoss and Joe went back to their gifts.

“I didn’t think they would arrive in time let alone early.” Ben knew he had delayed in posting Adam’s gifts. Doing so had made the fact that he wouldn’t be there for Christmas definite.

“Early pa?”

“Yes, in time for you to bring them back with you.”

“Pa I didn’t bring anything back with me.”

“Adam how did you get home?”

“Like Joe said pa, it must have been Santa.”

Ben knew Adam could lie with a straight face but something in his son’s eyes had him questioning if he was lying. “It doesn’t matter how it was accomplished it is a miracle.”

“PA! Tell Hoss to let me see!”

Ben got up. “Merry Christmas son.”

“Merry Christmas pa.”

“JOSEPH. I want you to stop…”

Adam rested his head back and closed his eyes. Among all the discord he could hear the harmony that made this home.

 

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