I’m home alone tonight as I write this. I’d dozed off after watching yet another Christmas fantasy movie which probably brought on my weird dream. My pepperoni pizza supper might have had something to do with it also.

I dreamt I heard the doorbell ring, but it sounded different, more like a jingle. I opened the door but didn’t see anyone out there in the snowfall. Then a high-pitched voice from below said, “Genie Newman?”

Looking down I saw a short white-bearded fellow in a green suit, furry tassled hat and pointy red shoes. “Genie Newman?” He repeated the question.

Gene Newman,” I said. “Nobody’s called me ‘Genie’ since my last schoolyard fist fight about that in the third grade.”

“Did you write this letter?” he asked and handed me a wrinkled sheet of yellowed notebook paper filled with writing and ink blots. The handwriting looked familiar and then I noticed the P.S.. “Santa, I live on the top floor of the red house on 9th Street. You kant misit.”

“Hey, this is my letter! Where’d you get it?” I asked. “I wrote that back in….back in….let me see.”

“1937”, the little man said. “That year a bundle of letters got tossed behind a workshop cabinet and wasn’t discovered till a month ago when we were renovating. Sorry about that.”

“Oh, that’s okay,” I said. “Thanks for returning it. It’ll be fun to read to my grandkids. Did you notice the nice handwriting? I got the Palmer Penmanship medal that year.”

“And you probaqbly also got a C minus in spelling,” the little guy quipped. “But I’m here because you asked for a lot of things. Your Mom and Dad must have read the letter and bought you what they could afford, but not everything.” I couldn’t recall everything that was on my list, but I did remember Christmas that year was typically joyful. I’d had no complaints.

I started to explain that, but he waved me off. “We had a meeting about the lost letters and decided to do what we could to make up for the foul-up. So now I’ve taken care of you and have dozens of other calls to make tonight, so please initial this letter and I’ll be on my way. Merry Christmas!”

“Wait a minute,” I called as he climbed onto a sled that had pulled up at the bottom of my front stoop. “What do you mean you’ve taken care of me?”

“Your pony is tied up in the back yard,” he said and disappeared like the down on a thistle.

I think it was a dream I hope it was a dream. That was an hour ago and I still haven’t looked in the back yard, but I’ll have to investigate. I can’t leave a pony out on a night like this. I guess he could sleep in the guest room.

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