Peter’s First Christmas (part seven)

People were being awoken to the sound of the bell, ringing outside their window. They rubbed their eyes to make sure they were not imagining the snow falling outside. Could it possibly be snowing, they thought, maybe the Christmas spirit isn’t lost. A hundred years without snow hadn’t felt like Christmas and now the town felt revived.

Poor MacFie dropped down on the snowy mountain, exhausted and out of breath. The mountain overlooked the town, MacFie watched dreamily. He didn’t know if he made a difference, but he hoped Peter could enjoy his first Christmas with snow. He wondered if Peter had heard him. He had rang the bell as hard as he could, just like Father Clery had done. He couldn’t stop now. He got up, filled the sack with snow and rushed back to town. In a feeble state, he started to fly back to the mountain when he felt something fall on his shoulder. He was about to brush it off when he noticed it was snowflakes.

More snowflakes fell and then more. MacFie looked up at the sky and saw it was snowing. It was snowing! It was really snowing. MacFie was exulted. He had one more thing he needed to do. He grabbed the old coat and pulled it on. Took the bell in one hand, the lit lantern on the other and began walking the streets, as he rang the bell. “Merry Christmas!” He yelled as loud as he could with a rumbling joy. “Merry Christmas! Merry Christmas!” He went through the whole town shouting the same words over and over. A few lights came one, then more lights, till the town awoke in wonderment.

MacFie didn’t stop until morning came. He flew back to the orphanage, and ditched the  old coat, the lantern and the gunny sack behind the shed. He heard the boys laughing, and hid behind the school to see the boys playing in the snow, Peter was among them.  Though, he was debilitated from his ordeal, he didn’t want to miss the joy he brought to Peter on his first Christmas.

“Did you hear him, did you hear him!” said one excited younger boy. “I heard him yelling out, merry Christmas.”

“I heard him too,” said another.

“Oh, yeah, well I saw him!” said an older boy.

“No, kidding!” was another boy’s surprised.

“You saw, Mr. Bogie?” said Peter.

“He wore a white coat. I couldn’t see his face but he held a bell and a lantern,” said the older boy.

White coat, thought MacFie, it wasn’t white or at least it wasn’t before the snow began to fall. But they all thought they had seen and heard Mr. Bogie. MacFie wanted to hear more, but Father Clery called the boys in. MacFie sat down against the wall.

“MacFie,” a sweet voice called out to him. MacFie knew who it was. Evelyn slowly came into view. “MacFie, you made Christmas what it should be.”

“Did I make everything right?” MacFie said.

“You made everything all right. You brought back the Christmas spirit to a sleepy town,” she smiled at him.

“I wanted Peter to enjoy his first Christmas.”

“He will. The day isn’t over,” she bend over MacFie and kissed his forehead. “Merry Christmas, MacFie.”

“Merry Christmas!” beamed MacFie. Evelyn disappeared and MacFie went to rejoice with Peter. That morning, the boys went caroling with Father Clery and instead of being greeted with disdain, they were greeted with mirth and friendly smiles. They even collected enough money for charity. The town found their Christmas spirit giving goodwill onto others. Maybe MacFie, wasn’t the only one to learn what Christmas was about.

The jubilant boys returned to the orphanage and exchanged their Christmas cards with one another. Later on they had their feast with all the trimmings. It felt like MacFie had restored the social harmony and well-being that had been lost. Only one can find the Christmas spirit within themselves.

Merry Christmas, from Mr. Bogie.