“Christ! It’s cold out!” My words were weak and died before they had a chance to echo. I was lucky though – This late December night was clear and the moon was full and filled the field with yellowish brown light. The moon was so bright, it overwhelmed every star with the exception of Jupiter and Saturn. These were my three companions; these far way lights in the sky. My best guess was that the nearest living soul was hundreds, if not thousands of miles to the north. I should have been paying more attention to where we were going. In all the years I’ve been making these trips I never had to worry about the itinerary or which stop was which. That was the ‘Big Guy’s’ thing. Me? I just sequenced the packages to save as much time as possible on this trip. My mistake was not wearing my seat belt and one hairpin turn to many I was ass over apple cart and alone on this empty field that looked like it went on for miles in every direction. Canada maybe or Iceland. They all looked the same from altitude.

After I recovered from the shock of landing I yelled and yelled hoping someone would hear me and come to my aid, but alas there was no one. Even the animals knew better than to brave this cold night. I came down with 3 packages and had to collect them as they fell a bit away from me. I came down like a bullet, they floated down as the wind caught their edges and took them afar field. Once I realized that I was going to be here for a while I opened them up to see if there were a sweater or satellite phone or bottle of brandy in them. I had seen Castaway, the Tom Hanks movie where he refused to open that one package. You know the one with the feathery wings on it. The package that had the short wave radio in it that would have gotten him off that deserted island in 4 days, not for years. I mean if you had Helen Hunt waiting for you wouldn’t you rip open every package? No sweater, no brandy, no nothing, just toys and not anything with batteries, wooden toys you pulled with string. Ah, Helen Hunt is too tall anyway.

I did however have my magic stockings on. I pulled one off and stretched it out till the toe was really long, thin and coiled. I snaked in as deep as I could go and settled in for the long winter’s night. I must have dozed off, or hallucinated because I thought I heard bells. I peeked my head out over the lip of my impromptu sleeping bag. There he was! The big guy. I WAS SAVED! I stood up with the stocking bunched up around my knees. I shrugged. He smiled and motioned to our ride, the sleigh. As I climbed in, I could hear him chuckle behind me with his hearty “Ho, Ho, Ho.”

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