It was the day before Christmas.
The whole neighborhood had come alive with lights, colours and decorated Christmas trees. Everyone in the village was brim with the spirit of Christmas.
But little Lola wasn’t as happy as her friends. She sat on the window sill, moping.
‘What is the matter Lola? Where is the smile on your face?’ asked her mother.
‘Mom, when is Daddy going to be back home?’
‘Ah, your Daddy will come home in two days, in the morning on 26th December.’
‘And when is Christmas Mommy?’
‘Christmas is tomorrow my dear.’
‘Can we ask Santa Claus to come after two days and not tomorrow?’
Her mother smiled at the innocent wish.
‘If you pray for it, maybe he will listen to you !’
And little Lola, seated on the window sill ,whispered a prayer with hope.
On Christmas Eve, she spent most of the her time indoors, praying still that Santa arrives on a day after Christmas, when her father is at home.
She fell asleep that night praying still.
On the 26th of December, early in the morning Lola’s mother found her waiting at the doorstep, dressed in her new clothes.
‘Lola, you woke up so early !’
‘Yes, Daddy will come today won’t he?’
‘Yes, anytime today. Are you excited?’
‘Yes very very much !’
There was a knock on the door.
‘Maybe that’s Daddy!’ she exclaimed.
She rushed to open the door.
And there stood a mighty man dressed in Red wollens, with a flowing white beard. He let out a loud guffaw of a laugh.
It was Santa Claus!
‘Oh Santa is here Mommy! He listened to my prayer !’
‘Come in Santa. You have to wait until my father arrives Okay?’
‘I am in a bit of a hurry my dear. And I am tired from riding on my sledge all night.’
‘Mommy can you make him a Hot Chocolate? By that time, Daddy will be home.’
‘Such a considerate little girl you have miss!’ Santa remarked.
Soon Santa had a cup of hot chocolate in his hands. He rocked gently in the wooden rocking chair next to the fireplace. He felt calm, as if he was at home.
But Lola’s heart knew no calm.
Her eyes flitted from the door to the clock and then to Santa, hoping her father shows up before it’s time for Santa to leave.
‘Are you looking for your father my dear?’
‘Yes, he should be here any minute, please wait sometime Santa.’
Santa let out a big laugh.
‘Come and sit on my lap little Lola. I can make your father appear right now. ‘
‘Really? Can you?’
‘Yes of course ! Now I will need your help though. Here, hold my beard.’
‘Okay’ she said resting in Santa’s lap.
‘On the count of three you have to pull my beard real hard and your Father will appear. Okay?’
She hung onto Santa’s beard with all her might. His flowing white beard and moustache was now in Lola’s hand and she found herself sitting in her father’s lap !
‘Ah Daddy it’s you !’ she shouted gleefully.
Her mother stood next to them with a content smile.
That day little Lola learned a lesson.
Christmas is not on the 25th of December.
It is when the people who you love with all your heart are close to you.
It is about the spirit of togetherness.
It was the 26th of December,
And it was the best Christmas of her life.