Shakespir Edition, License Notes
Thank you for downloading this ebook. This book remains the copyrighted property of the author, and may not be redistributed to others for commercial or non-commercial purposes. If you enjoyed this book, please encourage your friends to download their own copy from their favorite authorized retailer. Thank you for your support.
This story is for all people searching for the Christ-mas spirit of peace and goodwill towards all of us.
Most people don’t realize the challenge of doing Santa’s job. I mean, you probably think he spends all his time drinking pumpkin spice chocolate and singing inspiring Christmas Carrols or playing races with the ornery reindeer and ho-ho-hoeing with the prankster elves. You probably assume that the only thing he ever worries about is getting the toys built by Christmas. You’re probably surprised to hear that much can bother the usually jolly old man.
Just for your information, he has his hands really full at the North Pole. Just the other day, a Snowmonster accidentally stepped on an elf’s house. His huge feet crushed the little cottage. I’m sure I don’t need to tell you about the enormous relief felt by everyone that no one was in the home at the time. The Snowmonster apologized profusely, but the elf kept keening that it was done on purpose. Grover Elf, who had a bit of a truth problem, proclaimed over and over again that the Snowmonster was jealous that elves had a special place in Santa’s Christmas organization.
“After all,” Grover Elf stressed, “we elves are the backbone of Christmas!”
Do I need to tell you the ruckus this statement caused amongst all the creatures at the North Pole?—especially those in Christmas Village?
“You’re wrong!” the reindeer burst. “We take Santa to his destination! We’re the backbone of Christmas!”
The Snow beings got in the act too. “Are you saying that the rest of us don’t matter?” Coldy Snow-woman questioned. “We matter too!”
“You don’t matter as much as we flight coordinators do!” snapped one of the reindeer. “It goes without question that we’re the backbone of Christmas! That’s a fact!”
“You’re all absolutely WRONG!” the elves exploded. “Grover is RIGHT! We build the toys—we’re the backbone of Christmas. No question about it.”
Well, the Snowmonsters felt really bad that it was one of their own that started this war at the North Pole. You see, for all their hugeness, they’re really quite gentle creatures unless you cross them with ugliness and cruelty. Then you’ll see a different side to them.
Anyway, by this time Santa found out what was happening and stepped in as only he can do. He was very disappointed with the goings-on in his corner of the world.
“So all of you insist you’re the backbone of Christmas?” he questioned, disapproval heavy in his voice.
“Of course,” Grover Elf rushed in, “you, Santa, are also the backbone of Christmas right along with us.”
“Don’t include me in this silliness,” Santa quickly shot back.
“But, Santa—” Grover Elf started to say.
“Of course I’m not anywhere near the backbone of Christmas,” Santa asserted. “You know who is?”
The creatures eyed each other, wondering which of them the jolly old man would name. They all hoped it would be them.
“Jesus,” Santa said simply.
As soon as Santa mentioned Christ, their eyes shot to the ground in shame.
“After all, Christmas is named after him, right?” asserted Santa. “Christ-mas.” The creatures nodded and murmured their yesses. “Christmas is for Christ. Very simple. Anyone that doesn’t understand shouldn’t be working at Christmas Village.”
After that, all the creatures set aside their silly power game battle. In fact, the Snowmonsters rebuilt Grover Elf’s home.
So, you can see the kinds of dilemmas Santa faces at the North Pole. But he also cares deeply about what happens in the rest of the world—outside his Christmas domain.
“What are we going to do?!” Santa asked, anguish in his voice.
“Don’t panic, Santa, we’ll figure out a solution,” Alma Aurora said soothingly.
When Santa Claus had requested she visit him at his office work shop, the angel came right away. He let out a huge sigh of relief as soon as he saw her appearing with her beautiful fluttering golden wings. Years before, this special angel had been an enormous help to him when he had decided to teach his Christmas-hating granddaughter, Snowbella, a lesson by having her deliver the toys.
Alma Aurora had done an amazing job in accompanying Snowy on the voyage and helping his granddaughter see the miracle of Christmas. Also, in the past, Alma Aurora had been instrumental along with Snowy in helping a reality show family also understand the true meaning of Christmas.
“Alma Aurora is right, Gramps,” Snowy declared. “We’ll figure it out.”
“This situation is driving me totally nuts!” Santa bellowed.
“I know, I know,” Alma Aurora murmured. “It’s frustrating me too.”
“It is?” questioned the teen-age Snowy, perplexed. “But you’re the most patient being I’ve ever met.”
Alma Aurora sighed deeply. “Everyone has their limits.”
“Is what’s happening at Freedom Land that bad?” Snowy questioned, her eyebrows knit together. Is it possible that Alma Aurora the best angel ever can lose her patience? wondered Snowy. It’s so hard for me to believe.
“Snowy, it’s just so heartbreaking to see the awful things happening in a place supposed to be an example of God’s children working to get along,” Santa explained with anguish. “And now with Christmas coming…”
“Gramps, don’t lose faith,” Snowy declared. “If you and Alma Aurora got me to see the light then you can get Freedom Land on the right track too.”
Santa sighed with frustration. He wanted to believe his granddaughter, but the hurricane of a malignant spirit was rapidly taking over Freedom Land. Very Rapidly. Scary rapidly. And Santa was terrified it would take over the entire world. That the loving spirit the birth of Christ had brought to the planet would be forgotten, and would be replaced by bitter, all-consuming hate.
“Maybe I have to come to terms with the fact that hatred is the new love. That it’s hopeless,” Santa murmured with pain.
Alma Aurora vehemently shook her head. “No, Santa, don’t say that.”
“I just don’t know what to do with so much discord and ugliness,” Santa muttered.
Alma Aurora placed her hand on his shoulder and squeezed it. “Hope can never be lost. God created a never ending waterfall of it. Jesus is proof.”
“I think I know what to do about Freedom Land,” Snowy chimed in. “I’ve got an idea.”
“What is it, Snowbella?” Santa questioned.
“Alma Aurora and I will give out the gifts at Freedom Land,” burst Snowy, excited.
Santa solemnly shook his head. “I don’t think that’s a good idea. I’d better take care of what’s happening there myself.”
“Gramps, remember how I used to hate Christmas?”
“Yes, but what does that have to do with—”
Snowy sighed. “I know something you don’t, Gramps.”
“What is that, Snowbella?” questioned Santa with acute curiosity.
“What it’s like to not have the Christmas spirit,” proclaimed Snowy.
“But that doesn’t seem to be the problem with the people of Freedom Land,” Santa stated. “They seem to have plenty of spirit judging by decorations, carols, church attendance, and—”
“Santa,” Alma Aurora gently chided. “You know that that isn’t really the true measure of Christ-mas spirit. Not by a longshot.”
“The way I see it,” Snowy said, “Freedom Land needs a huge dose of the true Christ-mas spirit.”
“Yes, but you’re too young for such an extraordinarily difficult task, Snowbella,” Santa stated.
“Gramps, I can do it with the help of Alma Aurora. I—”
Santa shook his head. “This is too humongous of a problem and I—”
“I can do it, Gramps.”
“With all due respect, Santa,” murmured Alma Aurora. “You’ll have your hands full on Christmas Eve. Freedom Land needs total attention that night. I have full confidence that Snowy and I can take care of what needs to be handled there.”
“Well, Alma Aurora,” responded Santa, “if you say so then I guess I’ll relent,” he murmured, his voice unsure.
“Gramps,” Snowy burst, snapping her hands to her hips, “don’t you have faith in me?”
“It’s not that—”
“Then what is it?” Snowy shot back, grimacing with hurt.
“I’m concerned that you’re a teen-ager dealing with adult evils. I want to protect you from them as much as I can. In fact, I’ve come to feel guilty that I might’ve expected too much from you during past Christmases when I’ve sent you out with Alma Aurora.”
Snowy sighed. “Gramps, one day teens will grow to adults and take over the world. We’d better know what we’re in for.”
“But, Snowbella, I want you to enjoy your youth before having to deal with such horrible matters of humanity.”
“Gramps, I really feel I need to learn what’s happening to the world now.”
“Snowbella, don’t be in such a hurry to grow up Enjoy your youth. I—”
Alma Aurora let out a deep breath. “I’m afraid there’s not much of a learning curve for millennials, Santa. Unfortunately, they’ll inherit a very dangerous world where many people just don’t understand the tremendous need of getting along. Snowy is correct in wanting to quicken the learning to deal with an explosive world her generation will absolutely inherit.”
Santa solemnly nodded his head. “You’re right, Alma Aurora,” he murmured. “Unfortunately, millennials will have it very tough when they get the reins of the planet.”
For the next few days before Christmas Eve, Snowy started getting prepared for her challenging task up ahead.
The elves were in a horrific mood. It was usually the ornery reindeer that gave Snowy problems, especially during this time of year. Of course, it was only a few years ago that Snowy had had major problems with all the beings at the North Pole because of her rancid attitude towards Christmas.
Snowy told herself that this was a great opportunity to prepare herself for the problematic people of Freedom Land. The often difficult inhabitants of her home place would help show her the way.
“Can I help you with something?” she asked Grover Elf.
He shook his head, grumbling underneath his breath as he strode past her.
“How rude!” Snowy burst. She grunted as she marched over to her grandmother who was baking sugar cookies in the shape of Christmas trees.
“Grandma, what’s up with the elves?” Snowy burst.
Mrs. Claus peered over her bifocals. “Don’t worry about them, Snowbella.”
“But they’re being so impolite to me.”
“They’re a little upset. Nothing to worry about.”
“Why are they upset?” Snowy questioned.
“Papa scolded them for too much usage of their elf-phones while in the factory.”
“Yeah, they’re on those phones quite a bit.”
“It was getting out of hand,” Mrs. Claus professed. “The elves were neglecting their duties. Papa had to put a stop to it.”
“Now I understand the elves’ bad mood.”
“Toy production was suffering. Imagine giving the kids their toys late?” Mrs. Claus declared, shuddering at the very thought of letting the children of the world down.
“That would be awful!”
“That wouldn’t do at all.”
Because of what she had learned about the elves, Snowy decided to skip trying to talk to them and go over to the reindeer. I need to avoid getting punked by the elves. In their crabby attitude, they’re likely to play a very awful prank on me, she said to herself.
But Snowy was too late. The elves had already done their mischief. While she had been talking to her grandma, several of them had poured peppermint water over the road to the reindeer. They knew her so well that they had anticipated her next move.
As expected, she slid over the ice. Elves hidden in the Christmas decorated shrubbery and pine trees, giggled uncontrollably at Snowy whooshing by. What wasn’t projected was that she glided straight into thin ice.
Crackle, Crackle, Crackle!
Poor Snowy fell into the freezing water! The elves and a few stray reindeer stopped chuckling at that point. They rushed over to her. Fortunately, a Snowmonster was very close to the accident collecting pine cones for an art project with her kids. She immediately pulled Snowy out and rushed her to Santa’s house.
The doctor was immediately called. Snowy turned out to be just fine and didn’t even get a cold over the incident. She was a little bruised but nothing severe.
The elves were somewhat regretful and actually gulped down their immense pride and quietly murmured their apologies. Even the reindeer that had laughed at her expressed some sort of regret! Wow! For anyone who knows the creatures of the North Pole and their king-size egos, this is pretty major!
Still, Santa felt the need to do some stern scolding. The great man is jolly and everything, but he doesn’t hesitate to put his foot down when he needs to.
“Snowbella could’ve been seriously hurt!” he bellowed. “Behave yourselves!”
“But we didn’t do anything,” insisted Grover Elf. He had remained absolutely silent when his compatriots had uttered their repentances over the situation.
“What in the world do you mean?” Santa questioned, baffled by his response.
“We, elves, weren’t trying to make Snowy slip.”
Santa eyed him and groaned. “Why was peppermint water poured on the ice?”
“It was to give the ice a pleasant aroma—that’s all,” Grover Elf declared matter-of-factly.
“Why are you being so mean to us when all we were doing was trying to help?” rushed Grover Elf. “To make the North Pole a more pleasant place. To make this a more happy pla—”
“Grover—STOP!” Santa burst.
“Why are you infringing on my free speech?”
“Don’t I have it right to speak?” Grover Elf blurted. “To defend myself and other elves of injustice?”
Santa used all his Claus power to calm down. You see, as I’ve said before, this particular elf was a truth denier—he’d sooner lie then tell a fact. That’s why when the whole crushed house incident had occurred, Santa had gone personally to Grover’s house to make certain it had actually happened and the elf wasn’t making it up for dramatics.
“Grover,” Santa directed at him with the sternness of not putting up with the compulsive liar’s shenanigans, “you, elves, already apologized for the event. Don’t try to tell me it didn’t happen like it did.”
“We only apologized to keep the peace,” Grover Elf declared defiantly. “The reindeer were at the scene too. They must’ve done it!”
The enraged reindeer started yelling their denials. “We were there, but we were only innocent bystanders!”
“Innocent bystanders?” Santa blurted angrily. “You saw the elves pour the peppermint water on the ice, didn’t you?” The reindeer nodded reluctantly. “Then you are far from being innocent bystanders. You were silent collaborators and—”
“No, Santa, we didn’t collaborate at all,” one of the reindeer insisted. “We only watched.”
Santa shook his head with frustration. “That makes you silent collaborators, period!”
“Stop trying to excuse bad behavior!”
The reindeer hung their faces in shame.
“As for you, Grover,” Santa continued, “I’m not putting up with your lies, spinning of truth, conspiracy theories, or blame game. I won’t allow you to delegitimize the reindeer to make you look innocent—is that clear?”
Grover Elf just didn’t know when to quit. “Santa, I think you should concentrate on the importance of us elves. We try to do sooo much. Our work is vital here at the North Pole and—”
“Stop the pivot—the misdirection!”
“I’m just telling the truth,” Grover Elf insisted. “I’m giving you the facts.”
“Besides, I don’t know what the big deal is,” Grover Elf sniffed. “Nothing actually bad happened to Snowy.”
“She fell through the ice!” snapped Santa.
“On your logic, why were you upset with what happened to your home?” Santa questioned. “Nothing actually happened to you.”
“That’s very different, Santa! Way different! Why the truth is—”
Santa had had enough with his shenanigans. “Truth—you elves poured peppermint water on ice to prank Snowy—”
“With all due respect, Santa, I have already proven it didn’t happen like that. It was about the aroma—”
“STOP!” Santa pulled out his cell phone to show him where a reindeer had taken a video of the elves pouring the water and Grover Elf himself giggling loudly at the prospect of Snowy slipping on the ice. Grover Elf had actually already seen the footage, but he pretty much acted as if it didn’t exist.
“That video doesn’t mean anything,” insisted Grover Elf. “I was just kidding about Snowy. I didn’t mean it. The water was for aroma purposes—that’s a fact. I don’t know why you don’t want to believe me. You would rather believe the reindeer. That is so unfair. So—”
“I’m not putting up with your mind games anymore,” declared Santa. “Don’t come back to work until you write a ten-page report on this incident and the lies you told. Define the difference between lies and hog-monster-wash! Define lack of integrity. Throw in a few sentences on hypocrisy while you’re at it.”
As I said before—Santa has his hands full at the North Pole. I’m sure that by now you see exactly what I mean.
Christmas Eve finally came. Snowy felt the nervous jiggle in her stomach as she sat in the spare sleigh—Santa was taking the usual one.
Suddenly, Alma Aurora materialized next to her. The beautiful angel with long, straight brown hair and golden wings smiled broadly. Her light cinnamon skin tone and dark brown eyes sparkled happily.
“Are you ready, Snowy?” she chirped.
“I think so.”
“You don’t sound too confidant.”
Snowy’s eyes sullenly dropped. “I’m not sure I can be of help at Freedom Land.”
“Why do you say that?” questioned Alma Aurora, concerned.
“I had an incident with some elves and reindeer,” Snowy mumbled. “I tried to be of assistance—I really did. But I just couldn’t accomplish it.”
“Snowy,” Alma Aurora said gently, “Stop being so hard on yourself. I’m so proud of you for trying to help.”
“But I wound up almost drowning in ice water as a result. I failed.”
“You most certainly didn’t fail. You won at trying to do the right thing.”
“Stop those buts, Snowy,” Alma Aurora declared. “Stop.”
Snowy sighed. “Are you sure that it wouldn’t be better if gramps went with you instead of me?”
“I’m certain that you’re the right person for this mission.”
Snowy smiled as they lifted off the ground in the sleigh. The more experienced reindeer had gone with Santa since they had so much to do to get through this night. The reindeer that had been in training seemed mega-excited that they would finally be flying on Christmas Eve.
“You’re doing well,” chirped Alma Aurora at the reindeer. They smiled broadly at her.
Snowy, however, remained quiet. It was actually quite a bumpy ride and was doing a number on her full tummy. She had eaten several of her mama’s delicious tamales and a large glass of pumpkin/peppermint choco-milk. Snowy prayed she wouldn’t upchuck and spew such vomit grossness over the sleigh where it could land on some unsuspecting innocent bystander.
Eeeeew! she thought to herself.
She decided to concentrate on something other than the jerky ride. Her mind took her to her mama while they were making the tamales. The mouthwatering food came from a recipe straight from a village in Mexico where Snowy’s mother, Rosita, was from. Kris Jr., Snowy’s father, also loved the tamales.
“Mama, why are God’s creatures so mean sometimes?” She was obviously thinking of what had happened to her on the ice.
“Snowbella, ugliness is often just misguided intentions gone terribly wrong.”
“What do you mean?”
“This planet is full of kind beings that do ugly things.”
Snowy’s eyebrows shot up. “But why do they do that?”
“They usually don’t realize their cruelty.”
Snowy smiled while thinking of the wisdom of her awesome mother. Realization dawned on her. Concentrating on the ill-will of the elves was a bad idea. I should think about the love all around me instead. Yeah! That’s it!
Meanwhile, outside of Snowy’s memory, the sleigh arrived at a house. Crash landed was most like it. Snowy was reminded of the first time she had given out the toys and the reindeer had been upset with her. Snowy was relieved that this time it was just that the reindeer were inexperienced.
“We’re here,” Alma Aurora chanted, her golden wings fluttering.
It was clear to Snowy that the angel was excited. She, however, couldn’t help the worry flutter in her stomach. Freedom Land suddenly seemed scary to her. She had been hearing for the past few days of the extreme goings-on there.
There wasn’t a chimney, so Snowy took Alma Aurora’s hand and floated through the ceiling. The home was a small home with warm accents and many pictures of what appeared to be a happy family. Snowy let out a long breath of relief. She wasn’t sure what to expect since her friends, who kept up with world news much more than she did, at the North Pole had told her how terrible it now was in Freedom Land. It had been the land of dreams, but nowadays it was beginning to look like a nightmare to some of its residents.Snowy stared at the Christmas tree in the corner of the living room full of homemade decorations. She sighed happily. There was once a time that she would’ve looked down on it—preferring expensive trinkets but she had learned the important things in life. She had learned that decorations made with love filled the whole heart while costly junk only filled the ego.
Alma Aurora lifted her hands and waved. Gold specks flew in different directions as a multi-dimensional life screen appeared before them.
“Ready, Snowy?” she questioned, concern in her voice.
Snowy eyed her with curiosity over her tone. “Yep.”
Alma Aurora took her hand before pressing the play button on the remote that was suspended in air before them. A scene of a Mexican-American ten-year-old boy suddenly appeared like a hologram. His parents adored him—lavishing him with love and praise. His large extended family also adored Noel.
“It’s going to be hard to figure out what to get him,” Snowy murmured. “He seems to have everything.”
Alma Aurora exhaled unhappily. “Not exactly.”
“Well, I know that no one has it all, but—”
“Snowy, pay attention to the rest of his story.”
Snowy’s eyes shifted back to the screen.
“This is where it gets tough,” murmured Alma Aurora, squeezing Snowy’s hand.
Noel was at school in the cafeteria with some other friends. For some kind of reason he looked nervously around him.
“Build the wall!” The harsh words started resonating from all over. “BUILD THE WALL!”
Teachers were finally able to quiet down the cafeteria, but guffaws and mocking laughter resonated throughout the whole lunch place. Noel, along with several Latinos, looked completely crestfallen. Their whole sad hearts were on their innocent faces. Other Mexican-Americans glared at the kids who had yelled with pure hatred. Scorching hatred.
Snowy’s heart started to explode with fury. “Alma Aurora, cast a spell on those rotten kids! Stop them! Punish them!”
“You know I can’t do that, Snowy.”
“Yes, you can! You just won’t!”
“My mom is from Mexico!” snapped Snowy. “They could easily be yelling, ‘Build a wall’ at me! Easily!”
“I know,” she murmured.
“You must do something!”
“I mean something drastic!” Snowy burst. “I mean, you’ve got to use your angel powers to change their ways!”
Alma Aurora sighed. “Snowy, you know that I’m not authorized to do something like that. We angels cannot and should not interfere with human free will.”
“Even if their free will is cruel, ugly, and disgusting? Even if it trashes people’s hearts?” Snowy questioned, incredulously.
Snowy furiously crossed her arms in front of her. “So we can’t do something about this?”
“I didn’t say that. I—”
“So what can we do?” Snowy shot back. “It doesn’t seem like we can do much.”
“We can do a lot. Noel can really use our help.”
“I don’t see what we can do for him. I don’t think a toy from Santa or spiritual gift-magic from you will help him much,” Snowy grumbled. “He’s being so horribly bullied!”
“Snowy, remember our previous mission rides together and everything we’ve accomplished.”
“I guess…,” she begrudgingly muttered.
Alma Aurora placed her hand on Snowy’s shoulder. “C’mon, my friend. You know better than not to have faith. Believe.”
Snowy nodded. “Okay, Alma Aurora. I see your point. It’s just that this case with Noel is very personal to me.”
“What would’ve happened if my mom hadn’t been accepted at the North Pole? That she would’ve been treated horribly. The thought of it makes me sick to my stomach.”
“Unfortunately, earth is full of mistaken ideas.”
“Yeah, big time!”
“But, I guarantee you we can help.”
“I hope so,” Snowy murmured. “I hope so with all my heart.”
“The first thing to do is get Noel his gift.”
Snowy pulled out an empty box from Santa’s spare red Christmas bag. “I have no idea what to get Noel. You’ll have to help me think of something.”
Snowy grew pensive as she thought about what to give Noel. “Do you think he’d like the newest model hoverboard?—with all the bells and whistles?”
“Think harder, Snowy. Think with your heart and not just with your mind.”
“But a hoverboard is such an awesome gift! He’d be the envy of everyone.”
“Snowy, you know better,” Alma Aurora murmured gently. “An expensive gift doesn’t always equal better—not for God’s purposes so therefore not for our purposes.”
“I just want to get this poor bullied boy something really awesome.”
“Remember that you need to get him something he needs and not necessarily something he just wants.”
“I can’t think of anything.”
Alma Aurora smiled patiently at her. “You will.”
“I don’t know about that.”
“What does he need at these moments?”
“Well,” stated Snowy, “I know that one time when a mean polar bear bullied me, my confidence dropped to the floor, and I felt really alone.”
“You felt, to a certain extent, unloved?”
“Yeah, right. Noel must feel really alone, really like an outsider with others screaming, ‘Build the wall.’”
“But he’s not an outsider,” murmured Alma Aurora. “He’s of Mexican descent—an ethnic group that came about with the Spanish getting involved with the indigenous.”
Snowy nodded fervently. “And the indigenous were the first Americans which is why we often call them Native Americans! Also the Iroquois constitution was a model for the American constitution. There are so many more alsos.”
“Humanity is a huge web of intricate interactions. Contributions come from everywhere. Unfortunately, human beings often don’t recognize the contributions of others.”
“Why is that?”
“To aggrandize themselves. That way they don’t give credit to people outside their circle.”
“That doesn’t seem fair!” Snowy burst.
“It isn’t. And furthermore, God is saddened by it. The Creator created people to need each other. It’s the way God, a parent, wants it.”
“I think I know what to give Noel!” Snowy burst excitedly.
“What is it?”
“A toy robot that says, ‘You are a chosen hero in this universe. Stay strong. Stay smart. Stay yourself. Keep sharing. Don’t allow anybody to make you feel less. DON”T.’
“Well done, Snowy!” gushed Alma Aurora.
As Snowy smiled shyly, the box in her hands suddenly grew heavy. Because of the abilities she had for that one night, her thoughts filled up the container with the special robot. She quickly placed the now hefty gift under the Christmas tree.
“Now it’s my turn,” declared Alma Aurora. Snowy followed her into Noel’s bedroom which the angel located because of her God-given abilities. Noel was sound asleep in his blue racer shaped bed. He looked so peaceful, unlike the grief stricken kid at school, that it nearly broke Snowy’s heart.
Alma Aurora’s hands flew up. Gold sparkle specks flew from them as she waved them towards the window and then Noel’s head.
Once she put her hands down and the flecks stopped flying Snowy asked, “So what spiritual gift did you give him?”
“Tomorrow a kaleidoscope of many hues of sunlight will hit his window. Shimmering and breathtaking,” explained Alma Aurora. “Then the thoughts, ‘All colors are important. They make the world a better place in their differences. God loves these differences because they add to the rich human fabric. You are fully loved by God. You are unabashedly adored by Jesus. Be strong like he was when he was on earth and getting lied about and punished for his differences with leaders. You can do it.”
“Wow, that’s awesome!”
“I’ve been thinking about the thoughts you gave Noel,” Snowy murmured. She and Alma Aurora were already on the sleigh in route to their next destination. The ride was much smoother as the reindeer seemed to be getting the hang of their flight capacities.
“What have you been wondering about?”
“I know Jesus had it really rough on earth, but I had never thought about his life in terms of his differences with others.”
“He had a lot of variances with certain people,” Alma Aurora declared, her wings fluttering. “The one issue with humans is that they crave sameness.”
“Human beings get stuck in the tyranny of the same things. It’s really a rut of fear.”
“Fear of differences,” explained Alma Aurora. “Fear of stepping out of the orbit of habits.”
“I guess we do like our habits. I mean, my mom practically had to force me to try pumpkin spice chocolate chip cookies. I wanted the regular kind but when I finally tried the pumpkin ones, they quickly became my favorite cookies. Now I know that I ought to keep an open mind and try new things.”
“That’s a good illustration, Snowy.”
“Habits and sameness—something to think about,” pondered Snowy.
“Habits in sameness. This sameness builds walls all around, so that new ideas or beliefs don’t penetrate the comfort zone,” Alma Aurora sighed. “That’s what happened to Jesus. Certain people just didn’t want to even consider what he was saying because they wanted to stick to their sameness. To their human based power in their sameness.”
“Human based power?”
“It’s a very miniscule type of power that serves only to fill people with false pride. God’s incandescent power that heals, builds, and loves is the most potent of all. I wish that all humans understood true Godly power and they wouldn’t be committing such ugly acts upon one another.”
Once Alma Aurora and Snowy arrived at the next home, they were able to fly in through the chimney. As soon as Snowy reached the bottom, she beheld the pretty French country type home with a smile. Christian figures with Bible passages on pretty paintings hung on several walls along with a ceramic cross decorated with the elegant wording of the golden rule. At the bottom of the huge Christmas tree sat an intricate porcelain Nativity scene. Snowy had seen one like it during a religious show, and she knew how expensive it was since it was lined with actual gold.
As Alma Aurora waved her hands, the life screen appeared. She hit the play button on the remote. Snowy gasped when the same scene as before appeared—the school cafeteria. The very same one she saw when she was at Noel’s house.
“Why are we looking at this again?” Snowy questioned. “I don’t understand.”
Suddenly, the scene zeroed in on one of the boys yelling, “Build the wall!” Alma Aurora sadly shook her head as she pressed the rewind button. The same boy with the dirty blonde hair and laser sharp blue eyes was with a group of other kids.
“Hey, you!” he snickered, pointing to a multi-racial group of students at another lunch table. “Build. The. Wall!”
“So that brat got that mess started!” snapped Snowy.
Alma Aurora solemnly nodded. “Yes.”
“Why would he be so cruel?”
“Watch.” Again, Alma Aurora pressed the rewind on the remote control. This time the scene took place in a classroom. Both Noel and the instigator where there. The teacher suddenly called attention to the class when the principal stepped in the door and notified her of something.
“I just wanted all of you to congratulate one of your classmates,” the teacher announced.
“Noel just won the best essay of the school,” declared the principal. “Good job, Noel. Great essay on multi-culturalism and why we need to get along.”
The instigator openly frowned as Alma Aurora turned off the life screen. Snowy was speechless for a few moments.
“Seems to me that the brat—”
“His name is Ellery.”
“Ellery gigantic brat—”
“Snowy,” chastised Alma Aurora.
“But he’s a—”
“A terrible kid!”
“He does terrible things, but we must help him understand the error of his ways.”
“We’ll think of something,” answered Alma Aurora.
Snowy sighed with frustration. “I don’t see how. By the decorations in his house he seems to be in a Christian home and hasn’t learned the Jesus lessons. Unless you tell me this isn’t really his home.”
“Yes, this is his residence. His father is a minister.”
“His father is the Reverend Gordon.”
“Are you kidding me?” Snowy burst. “Ellery must hide and never go to church.”
“Actually, he attends every week.”
“Then I really don’t understand. If he knows Jesus then—”
“Just because someone goes to church doesn’t mean they know Jesus.”
“I don’t understand,” Snowy murmured, confused.
Alma Aurora placed her hand on Snowy’s shoulder. “Hearing about love is one thing and opening up your heart is another.”
“Do you mean to tell me that you can be hearing about Jesus again and again and not understand him?”
“But how can that be?”
“Human beings often interpret things the way they want to interpret them—not paying attention to the actual reality,” Alma Aurora said lightly with sadness.
“But how can Ellery know about Jesus’ love and mercy and go on to treat Noel like he does?”
“It’s actually very simple. Noel ignores Jesus’ love and mercy.”
“But how can he? It seems to me that to ignore Jesus’ love and mercy is to basically ignore Jesus.”
“Good observation, Snowy.”
“How can Ellery be a Christian and—”
“Unfortunately, Christian doesn’t always mean Christ-like. It would be wonderful if it did, but it so often doesn’t.”
Snowy grunted with frustration. “I don’t understand?—how can people who assert they love Christ not try to be Christ-like?”
“They get so bogged down with certain side issues along with demonstrating their supposed Christian-ness to other Christians that they forget what was most important for Jesus—‘love God with all your heart and mind’ and ‘love thy neighbor as thyself’ instead of ‘an eye for an eye’.
“But how can you forget that?”
“Easy. Human beings often lie to themselves to excuse themselves when they’re doing the opposite of what Jesus taught them. Ellery does that.”
“How do you know?”
Alma Aurora turned on the life screen again. She rewound it until she arrived at a certain scene where Ellery was in his room kneeling by his bed and praying.
“Dear God,” Ellery said with a humble voice, “I’ve been a very good boy. I go to church every week without complaining. I pray every night. I’m good to my friends. Please have Santa get me a new bicycle for Christmas. In Jesus’ name, amen. Oh, and P.S. that thing with the outsiders at school—I’m just trying to fight for you and Jesus. Fight for what’s right. Fight for what’s rightfully ours. I’m your warrior—fighting for you. Those outsiders are actually devils, and have to be stopped before their evil takes over.”
Alma Aurora quietly turned off the life screen.
“Where does he come off saying other people who are not like him are outsiders and devils?!” Snowy snapped.
“It’s the way he excuses his bad acts.”
“So he makes himself believe his horrible doings are not bad acts?” Snowy asked incredulously.
“Exactly. Many human beings do that—twist bad things they do to others in their minds so that the ends justify the means.”
“That’s really bad,” Snowy declared.
“It’s really sad. You see, Snowy, human beings can’t grow in God’s way if they can’t see the difference between bad acts and loving acts. If they refuse to see the difference between Godly ways and evil conducts because they’re stuck in their own arrogance of power, they’re completely lost to the ways of God.”
“So Ellery is stuck in his own arrogance of power?”
“The huge problem is that he doesn’t have an inkling of where his behavior really stands with God.”
Snowy sighed. “But how can he not know that demeaning someone is against the tenements of God?”
“People tell themselves fiction stories all the time. That way they don’t face reality. They don’t face their own feelings of backlash. To Ellery, he and his own are special to God. Others are not. So he thinks he has a right to squelch others because of his supposed superiority with God. Superiority thinking.”
Snowy grew pensive. “Superiority thinking,” she murmured.
“Unfortunately, many humans suffer from that malady because they think in their low self-esteems that they have to be superior to others for confidence. But Jesus already proved to them that no such disorder is needed. Jesus’ self-esteem never depended on his ability to best others.”
“Yeah, that’s right.”
“Can you even imagine a gladiator Jesus?” Alma Aurora questioned.
“It’s devastating when you see so-called Christians believing deeply within, even though they’d never admit it even to themselves, in a gladiator Jesus,” Alma Aurora declared. “They forget to give good testimony to nonbelievers and instead make Jesus look bad.”
“So, Snowy, the ball is now in your court. What are you going to give Ellery to help him see the light?”
Snowy grew pensive. “I really don’t know what to give such a brat,” she grumbled.
“Snowy,” chastised Alma Aurora, “stop calling him a brat.”
“Set aside your anger at him and think in terms of God’s love.”
“I’ll try,” grumbled Snowy.
“You can do it. I have faith in you and I’m sure Jesus does too.”
Snowy nodded solemnly as she grew even more thoughtful. A spark suddenly lit her eyes. “Ellery prays.”
“Yes, he does.”
“How about a train set that travels around figurines of Jesus on a mount with children of all different cultures sitting close to him as he says, “Love thy neighbor as thyself.”
“Wonderful, Snowy,” gushed Alma Aurora. “A truly exceptional gift.”
Snowy grinned at Alma Aurora as she took a box from Santa’s bag and placed it under the tree.
“Now for my present,” Alma Aurora murmured as she led the way to Ellery’s room. He was sound asleep.
“He looks so innocent,” guffawed Snowy. “But he’s a—”
“He’s a difficult child.”
“Well, we’re here to help him.” Alma Aurora waved her hands until gold specks flew above Ellery’s head. After a few moments, she dropped her hands to her sides as her wings fluttered and the flecks floated for a few seconds longer.
“What spiritual gift did you give him?” questioned Snowy, curiosity thick in her voice.
“A dream,” asserted Alma Aurora. “An empathy dream.”
“An empathy dream?”
“Empathy can be even more important than sympathy. There’s no love of Jesus without understanding and living his gift of empathy.”
“So what will be his empathy dream?”
“He’ll be on the other side of his harsh taunts. He’ll feel every sneer, every mock, everything associated with the cruelty he’s heaped on others he deems inferior for his own superiority thinking. For his own sameness. He’ll know exactly what it feels like to be treated horribly for no other reason than to be an other.”
“Wow, nice house,” remarked Snowy once she and Alma Aurora had reached the next home. Her eyes darted around the lakefront mansion full of priceless art pieces throughout. Everything in it was carefully chosen by a renowned decorator for maximum visual effect of modern style.
Alma Aurora calmly shrugged.
“I forget that you don’t see objects the way we humans do. You feel vibes.”
Alma Aurora smiled. “That’s a good way of putting it.”
“The people here must be very wealthy.”
“Don’t worry Alma Aurora, I know from previous times with you not to admire wealth for wealth’s sake.”
A few seconds later Alma Aurora waved the life screen to appear. By this time Snowy was filled with curiosity as to what would surface since it was obvious that the angel wasn’t too happy with something she sensed in the residence.
Once the 3D picture unfolded, Snowy understood where Alma Aurora was coming from. Snowy was horrified. A young boy by the name of Jordan Addleston lived there, and his best friend was Ellery.
“G-r-r-r,” growled Snowy as Jordan kept yelling, ‘Build the wall’ along with the rest of Ellery’s group.
“Sad,” murmured Alma Aurora, solemnly.
“That boy is Ellery’s right hand guy!” snapped Snowy as she saw Jordan taking a marker and writing, “Leave my country,…” He’d end it with racial slurs of different ethnic groups. “Doesn’t he know the difference between good and bad?”
“Sure he does. God gave all humans a conscience but some pile on heavy emotional coats so as not to listen to it.”
“Well, the minions around Ellery and Jordan aren’t listening to their inner God voice at all.”
“Unfortunately, that’s true,” murmured Alma Aurora.
The scene changed to one of Jordan acting unabashedly cruel to even the minions of his own group. He’d call them ugly names such as fatty, stupid, and so forth. He’d ridicule everyone except for Ellery and even cyberbullied them.
“Why are they still loyal to Jordan?” Snowy questioned in disbelief. “He’s so horrible!”
Alma Aurora sighed. “He’s wealthy.”
“Wealth for wealth’s sake is often admired amongst human beings. Remember how you mentioned affluence when we first came into the house?”
“But isn’t there a limit when it comes to putting up with someone as childish and a jerk as Jordan?”
“People who are wealthy are often given a free pass,” asserted Alma Aurora. “Admiration for monetary success is often inherent in certain individuals. Damaging traits are often overlooked because of prosperity as if money washes away the poison and stench of ugliness.”
“It’s mindboggling! How can we, humans, be okay with such hideous behavior just because someone is rich? How can we accept that and normalize horrendous, gross ways as if it’s not a big deal?”
“I’ll keep saying it—often human beings admire the wrong things. They often give a free pass to what goes completely against God. They may justify what they’re doing by twisting facts and ideas and pivoting away from reality but make no mistake—God doesn’t condone the exalting of people just because they’re prosperous or the belittling of them because they don’t fit a certain mold. Money means absolutely nothing to God. ”
“I should hope not.”
“God is an inclusive God—not an exclusive one. Neither God nor Jesus have much use for exclusivity—especially when it comes to their human family.”
“Yeah, Jesus didn’t have much use for wealth while he was here. In fact, didn’t he say that it was easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than a rich person?”
“That’s right. Human beings need to think long and hard as to why Jesus said that.”
Snowy sighed. “So many people have it so wrong when it comes to how they treat others.”
“Take a look at this.” Alma Aurora pressed the rewind button on the remote.
Suddenly, the picture changed to one with a Muslim girl winning a spelling bee competition at school. Jordon and Ellery were grimacing violently. During lunch, they and other group-think students had plenty to say.
“Habib must’ve cheated—cheated big time!” Jordan spat out.
Ellery nodded vehemently. “You bet! It’s sooo true!”
“But that’s not true!” Snowy burst. “It’s a gigantic lie! We saw Habib study hard on the life screen.”
Alma Aurora sighed. “To humans perception is everything—perception of what they want to believe.”
“But what about reality?” Snowy questioned incredulously. “Ellery actually used the word true.”
“Ellery and those like him tell themselves and others that what they believe it is true. They keep using that word to quell God’s voice inside of them trying to anchor them to reality, but they drown out the Creator’s spark in favor of their superiority thinking.”
On the screen, Jordan and Ellery discussed their poison assuring that no one like Habib should’ve been able to win a contest of that sort.
“Are they implying that Habib isn’t smart enough to win the spelling bee because of her ethnicity?” burst Snowy, upset.
Alma Aurora sighed. “Yes.”
“That’s so racist!”
“They’d never admit to being racist.”
“But they are!” Snowy blurted.
Alma Aurora nodded solemnly. “Human beings seem to hate the word, so they avoid being labeled at all costs with it even if their behavior proves that they’re indeed minimizing the others to make themselves grand. Superiority thinking. They twist words to get out of facing who they are.”
“I don’t understand.”
“Ellery’s people basically think they’re only defending their own and have a right to question the others’ validity. Superiority thinking. The thought is, ‘You, others, can’t possibly be more superior than me when me and my own are so obviously ahead of you on everything.’”
The life screen next showed Jordon complaining loudly.
“This really stinks!” he blurted. “Habib only won because the school is giving people like her and Noel a break! You know how Noel got a best essay award! It doesn’t make any sense. Those people can’t beat us fair and square! No way! The school is pulling a fast one! Cheaters! What about us! What about our rights! Who gives us a break?!”
“Yeah!” Ellery chimed in. “Those people think they’re so good—they’re not better than us!”
“No way can they ever be better than us!”
Snowy’s mouth dropped open. “Why are they acting like that?” she asked Alma Aurora.
“Backlash. Their superiority thinking feels threatened by the others. Their sense of self is threatened. They just can’t see the falseness of how they feel. ‘See no evil, hear no evil, speak no evil’—ignore evil.”
Later, on the sleigh, a pensive Snowy went deep inside herself. Alma Aurora sat quietly next to her sensing that Snowy was gathering her ideas before speaking to her. Of course, Alma Aurora had the ability to read Snowy’s thoughts but the young woman had made it clear one day that Alma Aurora should stay out of her thoughts. The angel respected Snowy’s wishes.
Finally, Snowy spoke. “Earlier, you said that humans should think long and hard about what Jesus said about a rich man entering heaven.”
Alma Aurora nodded. “Yes.”
“Is it because money can buy so much—including people’s minds? I mean just look at how Jordan gets away with so much because it seems people are brainwashed into following him.”
“Group-think is a huge problem on earth.”
“I think about the time we helped with the Worthingtons. London Blair Worthington was so admired because of her fabulous clothes, home, and moneyed life. Yet, she and her family had so many problems.”
“I’m glad you remember that.”
“This is what I’ve learned from our time together—money can buy a lot of cool things and even people, but true happiness is really about sharing—sharing love and spreading it. Hate is not happiness but misery.”
“Very good, Snowy.”
“I think I know what to give Jordon,” Snowy declared.
“What gift will he get?”
“Several toy UFO’s from different galaxies on one experimental spaceship. Each one says something different. One says, “We must get along or die in wars.’ Another says, ‘We must respect one another to work together to reach our destination.’ Still another says, ‘My God-given abilities don’t depend on anyone’s talents being lesser than mine. Theirs are great and so are mine.’”
“You’ve got such a knack for this,” Alma Aurora asserted. “Your grandfather would be so proud.”
Snowy beamed. “It’s just so important that I get this right. I’m so afraid for my world.”
Once Snowy placed Jordan’s gift under the tree, she and Alma Aurora stepped into Jordan’s bedroom. He, of course, was fast asleep. Alma Aurora waved her hands and out came the gold flecks. As soon as she was done, Snowy quickly asked her about the spiritual gift.
“Will it be a dream?”
Alma Aurora smiled at her. “Not this time.”
“Will it be the sun streaming into his windows so he can see himself clearly?” Snowy was recalling Alma Aurora’s past spiritual presents.
“Not this time.”
“Well it be a camera so he can stop and see God’s beautiful world instead of being stuck in his own selfishness?”
“Not this time.”
“Will it be a poster with the words of the toy UFO’s printed on it?”
“No, but that’s not a bad idea. Still, I think I’ve got something better.”
“So what will it be?” Snowy questioned.
“Thoughts of what the toy UFO’s say repeating in his head over and over again as memories float in his head.”
“Memories of people from different ethnicities and cultures helping him and his family,” stated Alma Aurora. “The human family is so interwoven, and it’s hard to believe people can’t see how one thread interweaves with another one with contributions from the diversity of so many. Take chocolate for example—traced back to Mesoamerica with the Mayas and Aztecs but now chocolate is a worldwide phenomenon with different cultures putting their spin on it.”
“What would the world be without chocolate?” burst Snowy.
“The fact is that it took many different hands to create various delicious versions of it. Unfortunately, certain individuals can’t see the thread of one human accomplishment with another. So much superiority thinking happens causing superiority games, importance games, ego games when people of different talents and experiences need one another.”
“There’s a reason God made everyone different.”
“It’s simple. So that people need one another.”
“Need one another?”
“People can especially act like families when they’re in need.”
“God likes families?”
“God loves the human family.”
“If only people like Jordan saw the human family,” sighed Snowy.
“His memory will take him to many places he’s forgotten.”
Alma Aurora smiled. “Like to his mother’s Muslim doctor or his dad’s Asian-American boss or obvious things he’s not paid attention to like the African American hairstylist who cuts his hair or the kind Latino neighbor who welcomed his family to the neighborhood when they moved in. There are a zillion memories.”
“I never thought of it, but you’re right that there are so many kinds of people who influence our lives.”
“Each transaction is an opportunity for growth.”
“It’s an opportunity to get out of the tyranny of sameness and experience God’s world of a full spectrum of colors. Imagine having a rainbow with only one color.”
“That would be boring.”
“Boring and stagnating.”
“I guess that if you’re stagnated then you’re not learning.”
“There’s that saying, ‘Absolute power corrupts absolutely.’ That’s what the tyranny of sameness becomes—absolute power,” asserted Alma Aurora.
“So people like Jordon and his gang become corrupt because they don’t learn from differences?”
“They keep playing the same song over and over again not learning the value and richness of new arrangements and words.”
“But they think others don’t have anything valuable compared to their own superiority,” Snowy declared.
“Hence the corruption of exclusivity.”
“I get it! Exclusivity—excluding a whole world full of color.”
“Remember, Snowy, God is inclusive—not exclusive.”
Leaving the Ellery and then the Addleston households, Snowy was hoping she’d seen the worst of what was happening at Freedom Land. She was mistaken. Very mistaken. Freedom Land was indeed full of overwhelming difficulties.
Hate acts…Hate speech… Tearing abuse… Hate crimes…Vandalism… Lies… Bigotry… Discrimination… “You’re inferior to us.”…Danger…Stoking fear…Hate undercurrent…Slashing others…Ripping others…Misunderstanding others…HATE…Intimidation…No sympathy…No empathy…Just me, me, me or mine, mine, mine…My values—you valueless…My God…My Jesus…MINE, MINE, MINE—NOT yours.
“I shouldn’t have volunteered to come in the first place!” Snowy burst with sorrow.
“You’re doing great, Snowy,” Alma Aurora asserted.
“My heart is broken.”
“Your heart is strong.”
Snowy’s hands flew to her face as she wiped the tears. “I’m not sure I can stand seeing any more disgusting animosity. Seeing any more hate graffiti—swastikas, totally disgusting name-calling, the ugliest of words. I don’t know how much more I can take.”
“You are the hope of all those misguided souls.”
“Yes, giving them toys that will make them use their minds and enrich their thoughts is a remarkable ability. You are certainly your grandfather’s granddaughter. There’s a human saying by Albert Einstein, ‘“The world is a dangerous place to live, not because of the people who are evil, but because of the people who don’t do anything about it.’ You’re doing a lot.”
“You’re most certainly following the Jesus manner in finding ways to spread love and kindness through teaching their meaning.”
“You think Jesus would be pleased with what I’ve tried to do so far?” Snowy questioned shyly.
“Yes. He’d be proud of you for seeing clearly what needs to be done instead of falling prey to superiority thinking.”
“What do you mean?”
“It would be so easy for you to look down on the kids we’ve been seeing because your grandfather is the great Santa Claus. Instead you’ve reined in any arrogance that may flow from a place of insecurity inside you.”
“I just feel so bad for some of the kids like the little girl who cries herself to sleep because she thinks her parents will be deported.”
Alma Aurora sighed unhappily. “People like her parents have been vilified because they don’t have documents. Because of frustrations, boiling anger, and unrelenting fear, the undocumented have been scapegoated. Fake facts and fake news have become the norm.”
“Isn’t that what got Jesus crucified—fake ideas?”
Alma Aurora nodded forlornly. “Yes. Lies that he was dangerous. Lies that he committed evil acts. Lies, lies, lies.”
“Fake ideas running rampant then as there are widespread fake ideas now.”
“The truth is that about half the field workers are undocumented. They feed the people of Freedom Land but they’re looked down upon in superiority thinking because of their status and the misguided notions of what defines important people.”
“Important people,” Snowy murmured, thinking deeply about the two words. Alma Aurora had once taught her that acting important was different from being important. The former was about optics and the later about doing good things even when no one was watching. Pride and pageantry verses the heart.
“God defines importance so differently from the way human beings do. So, so differently from status and wealth. From who owns the most things.”
“And the undocumented usually don’t fit into some people’s superiority thinking of who is worthy in their eyes,” Snowy declared.
“Scapegoating the undocumented as all being just takers is ignoring facts.”
“It’s an us versus them tactic,” murmured Snowy.
“You know, Snowy, religious leaders used the tactics of us verses them to accuse Jesus. They called him a devil but also a foreigner to insult him. To espouse that his teachings had to be wrong because he was an other—an evil other according to them.”
Snowy sighed deeply. “What a horrible world! So much demonizing in superiority thinking. So much self-righteous hate. I really don’t think I can go on tonight.”
“I really need to call gramps so he can take over,” she muttered tearfully. “I’m so overwhelmed.”
“Snowy, we’ve been through this conversation before,” Alma Aurora affirmed gently.
“On our first ride together, remember?”
Snowy grew pensive as her eyebrows knit together. Suddenly a light hit her eyes, and she snapped her fingers. “That’s right! It was after I saw the awful things in the world!—awful wars and the like! I didn’t want to keep going with the night then either.”
“Do you remember what I told you?”
Snowy went deep within herself for the answer. “You asked me if the horror was all that I’d seen.”
“What did you answer?”
“I answered, “Well . . . yes.’”
“Then I asked you if hadn’t seen love, kindness, togetherness, and compassion. Hadn’t you seen all the goodness Jesus brought with his birth? I asked if sadness, glittering lights, and toys were all you saw out there.”
“You told me I was missing Christmas,” Snowy murmured.
“Are you missing it now?—in Freedom Land?” Alma Aurora’s eyes were moist. “Don’t forget the beauty we’ve seen here.”
“Of people working together—defending others. Really understanding the Christ in Christmas. Taking Jesus seriously.”
“I guess I shouldn’t just look at the bad.”
“That’s right, Snowy. Now, let’s get going. We only have a few more houses to go.”
As Alma Aurora and Snowy stood in the living room of a middle-class home with an attractive country décor, they stared at the life screen for only a few seconds. The 3D picture came to the forefront.
Carly, a pretty blonde girl with light blue eyes and slim body, was at school with the Ellery/Jordan group.
“A minion,” groaned Snowy.
“Look at her as a person and not a stereotype,” Alma Aurora murmured.
“But she’s with that awful group!”
“Yes, she’s misguided. She needs our help.”
As the scene progressed, Snowy realized that Carly was actually avoiding doing the terrible acts her group was intent on committing.
“Why is she with that gang?”
Alma Aurora sighed. “Unfortunately, human beings indulge in a lot of copycat behavior.”
“But she doesn’t seem to believe in what they’re doing. She only does bad stuff when forced to.”
“It’s still copycat behavior—group-think.”
“She’s doing what she does to belong?”
“Why would she want to belong to Ellery and Jordan’s mess?”
“Fear?” questioned Snowy.
“Fear of not self-preserving. See, Snowy, most human beings do what they do to self-preserve. They fight, kill, abuse, bully, and believe false ideas of importance for a deceitful sense of self-preservation.”
“They end up self-preserving arrogant egos, false ideas, and harmful poison by telling themselves they’re preserving their self-esteem. If only they understood that they don’t need to because God chose them to be born, so they’re automatically special. No self-preservation needed for self-worth.”
“I like that,” murmured Snowy. “No self-preservation needed for self-worth. Carly is wrong for doing it for false self-worth.”
The screen showed Carly’s eyes drop downward every time someone in her group demeaned a person of another ethnicity or wrote ugly graffiti on walls.
“Deep inside she knows her gang is wrong!”
“Of course she does.”
The next scenes showed Carly grimacing when awards and praise were bestowed on the others. She would eye them suspiciously when they gathered.
“So many of them,” she murmured to Ellery, deep disapproval in her voice.
“Yeah, it stinks! They want to take over the school—home of the Tigers!”
“It’s our school!” snapped Jordan. “Not theirs! They don’t belong here with us Tigers!”
Alma Aurora frowned. “Carly makes herself believe that even though she knows that kids in her group are doing wrong, they are right about the them taking over. Them versus us. Self-preservation fear. Backlash. ”
“Even though she doesn’t do all the bad the others in her gang do, I don’t think she should be given a free pass,” Snowy declared strongly. “She still supports hate. It’s as simple as that.”
“Unfortunately, she supports the evil and false narrative of superiority thinking. Jesus himself turned away from it when he was in the desert preparing for his ministry. Evil tried to get Christ to do his bidding by trying to appeal to Jesus’ hunger pains and ego. It most certainly didn’t work because Jesus knew the mind game being played on him and loved God more than his human necessities and ego.”
“If only we could be more like Jesus,” Snowy asserted, solemnly.
“Humans can be more like Jesus if they stop justifying why they won’t,” murmured Alma Aurora. “If they stop distortions of reality that make excuses for their often fragile egos.”
“I’ve really got to think about what to give Carly,” declared Snowy. “What would help her see the way to true Christ-mas spirit?”
“She needs to realize that standing up for what’s right is critical,” espoused Alma Aurora. “Ignoring the suffering of others to soothe her own insecurities is definitely not the way. Twisting facts and pivoting away from truth to make herself feel better is definitely problematic for her soul. I’ll say it again—God is inclusive. Not exclusive. God doesn’t just care about part of the human family. God cares for all.”
Snowy grew pensive. “This one’s a hard gift.”
“I have faith in you, Snowy. You’ll think of the perfect present.”
“I notice that through the life screen she likes to read.”
“How about a book on heroines from across the globe?”
“What kinds of heroines?” murmured Alma Aurora, her eyebrows up. “Warrior women with spears and the like?”
“I see what you’re asking. First of all, the book will define hero.”
“What will be the definition?”
“Someone who cares for others and does for others.”
“I mean superwomen who’ve done right even when it wasn’t to their own benefit. Leaders who cared about inclusivity.”
“I think that’s a great idea. Women like Mother Teresa felt the need to administer to the poor and sick even when she could’ve stayed in a comfortable convent and kept teaching to students who loved her. She left safety to enter the unknown difficulties where she was often mistreated. She helped those dying on the streets. Those unwanted and thrown away like trash. She definitely didn’t have an attitude of us versus them. Of us or them.”
“She was awesome.”
“There are people like Eleanor Roosevelt who said , ‘No one can take your self-esteem without your permission.”
“That was an excellent observation.”
“Also there is Dolores Huerta who is still alive and fighting for the rights of field workers—as you said before, those people who work so hard to put food on our table. There are so many heroines.”
Snowy took a box out of the bag and placed it under the tree. She and Alma Aurora climbed upstairs to her bedroom where she snuggled with a Teddy Bear while asleep. Gold flecks floated as Alma Aurora waved her hands. They landed on her hands and eyes.
“What is the spiritual gift you’re giving her?”
“Visions,” announced Alma Aurora.
“Visions as she reads the book of what she could be—a heroine who stands up for others, not just her own.”
“But why did the flecks of gold also land on her hands?”
“She’s got the ability to do the right thing in her hands.”
“Her hands will feel electrified when the visions cross her eyes. She’ll imagine herself as the heroines but she’ll also see herself listening to her conscience to do right by God’s family.”
“I’m so glad we’re at the last home,” murmured Snowy. “It’s really taken out of me.”
“Yes, this job is very taxing,” Alma Aurora asserted as she pressed the play button on the remote. She and Snowy were standing in a small, cozy living room full of family pictures with smiling faces.
A three-dimensional scene came into focus. In it a Native American girl named Sacheen Eagle was a natural leader in the way she helped and defended other kids. Ellery and his gang especially hated her for being so smart and assertive.
“Go back to where you came from!” Jordan sneered.
Sacheen stared at him levelly in the eyes with disbelief. “Are you kidding me?” she burst.
“Go back!” Ellery burst. “Leave!”
Snowy sighed with frustration. “That’s their go-to line! They kept yelling at African Americans to go back to Africa!”
“They’re really misguided.”
“Don’t they know about what happened with slavery—the forcing of people to come here? Jerking their freedom away from them?”
“Don’t you pay attention in history class?” Sacheen snapped at Jordon.
“What are you talking about?” he sneered.
“It’s my ancestors who were already here. Your ancestors had to cross a whole ocean,” Sacheen declared. “You go back to where you came from!”
“Leave my country!” Ellery bellowed.
“Then you believe my land!”
A teacher noted the heated situation and told the students to disperse from the hallway.
“Who does she think she is?” exploded Ellery, fuming.
“She’s a big, fat butthead! This is our country and no one else’s!” blurted Jordan.
“She doesn’t know what she’s talking about,” stated Ellery. “She’s just a girl! I hear that the only reason she’s in the honor roll is because she cheats!”
“Yeah, big, fat cheater!”
“They’re lying about her!” burst Snowy.
Alma Aurora sighed. “That’s what they do to discredit her—belittle her. Make her small. They’ll say the lie over and over again until it’s baked in.”
“Until it’s a brainwash!” Snowy snapped.
“That cheater should be thrown out of school,” Ellery retorted.
“Yeah!” was heard from several in their group. “Throw her out of school!” they chanted.
“I don’t understand why Carly doesn’t defend her—I’m sure she knows they’re lying about Sacheen and besides she’s another girl.”
“Snowy, Earth is very hard on the female gender. Even today, female leaders are often minimized and put through all kinds of unfair ringers because males have problems giving up power. Girls are taught to go against one another and even be threatened by each other.”
“That so awful!”
“So much sexism takes place—brainwashing, double standards, scapegoating, the aggrandizing of faults of a female when those of a male are easily forgiven. Pounding in the head mistakes of a female while giving a pass to male errors. It’s standard on earth.”
“I’m still having a hard time with the way Carly seems to be against her own gender—not that she should be for Sacheen only because she’s another girl but, BUT Carly has to know the lies being thrown around. Doesn’t she see how the boys in her group treat girls?”
“It’s very simple—she sided with male power and not with her own.”
“We’ve already handled Carly the best way we could,” Alma Aurora stated. “Let’s concentrate on Sacheen, shall we?”
“I’ve got to get her a wonderful gift.”
“I have an idea—I’ll give her the very same book on the heroines I gave Carly. That way she takes it to school for free reading period and maybe Carly will see her with it.”
“Actually, she and Carly have the same class.”
“Great! Both Sacheen and Carly will see that heroines come in different shapes, sizes, and ethnicities including their own, of course. Seeing Sacheen with the same book will hopefully make Carly think seriously about which side she’s on—what the right thing to do is. Meanwhile, the book will show Sacheen her own heroism compared to other heroines.”
After Snowy took care of the gift box, she and Alma Aurora slipped into Sacheen’s small but cozy bedroom. After Alma Aurora waved her hands and the gold specks settled on Sacheen’s head, Snowy immediately asked the angel about the gift.
“I gave her thoughts.”
“Stay brave. Stay focused. Don’t allow the brainwash of others diminish you. The Creator made you grand, so you can stand up to anybody who wants to make you small.”
Once the morning brought Christmas day, Santa’s family eagerly met in the dining room. All were eager to hear Santa’s and Snowy’s adventures of the special night before.
“Gramps, how was your trip?” questioned Snowy.
“Yes, dad, how was it?” Kris Jr. chimed in.
Santa looked pensive. “It went well with the toys, but I worry about earth.”
“Worry about earth?” Rosita inquired, puzzled.
Mrs. Claus’s eyebrows shot up. “Why is that, papa?”
“Much of the people seem to be having trouble with goodwill toward one another. They’ve actually always have had trouble with that, but…” Santa sighed.
Mrs. Claus groaned. “Getting along has always been such a problem.”
“We’re in the twenty first century now,” Santa declared. “Why are the same mistakes of hate being committed? It’s becoming increasingly dangerous for everyone. It breaks my heart that so many children wished for people to be nice to one another instead of toys. Anyway, tell us, Snowbella, how did it go for you?”
“I think I have your answer to your question about hate, Gramps,” Snowy stated. “Alma Aurora and Christmas Eve in Freedom Land taught me.”
“So what’s the answer, Snowy?” Santa questioned. “Why is there such hatred in the beautiful world that God gave us?”
“Yes, why?” Rosita fervently asked as the rest of the family also ardently chimed in the question.
“Haters usually hate because they’re insecure about self-preserving. Big-time FEAR. Hating a them makes them feel better about themselves. Hating a them makes perfect sense to their superiority thinking.”
“Superiority thinking,” murmured a pensive Santa.
“It’s about insisting on the inferiority of others so they quiet their own fears and feel powerful. Haters—they’ll never admit to being haters because the God spark inside them tells them it’s wrong, so they refuse to admit to going against what’s right. God is inclusive to all humanity—not exclusive to some fighting for superiority. God is inclusive—not exclusive.”
“My gosh, Snowbella,” gushed Santa. “You’re really learning from your outings with Alma Aurora.”
Snowy nodded enthusiastically. “She’s a great teacher.”
“I imagine she also taught you about love,” murmured Mrs. Claus.
“Love—Jesus’ way. ‘Love thy neighbor as thyself. Treat others as you would want them to treat you.’ We’re celebrating Jesus’ birth, so we should follow his example. Christ-mas. Mas in Spanish means more so let’s have some more Christ.”
“Ho, ho!” Santa exclaimed with delight. “Well said, Snowbella. Merry Christmas and happy holidays to all!”
The Warriors Club
Planet High School
Lovestruck/ Sequel: The Key of Hearts
Paradise Abductions/ Sequel: Paradise Escape
Flowers For The Living
My Mama’s Tamales
Pride and Preference
Forever Hearts/ Sequel: Forever Destiny
A Beautiful Haunting
A Christmas Passage/ Same series: Angel Gifts/ Christ-mas