A Few Interactive Christmas Stories
With Christmas on the way, I am once again in search of fun Christmas sites.
Here is one with interactive stories that I entered the names of some friends, some of my creative writing characters and even myself.http://www.searsportrait.com/storybook/storybook_storyindex.asp?tag=3833CF4723684DEE9A656A511CAFCFAF8B977075CAD0499D84B7EA027EB5A19B
Sarah went to bed with a million questions in her head. It was Christmas Eve, and the some-year-old just couldn't fall asleep. She needed answers!
Mom paid her third visit to Sarah's room that night.
"You must try to get some rest," Mom said. "Santa Claus won't come until you're asleep."
"Does Santa have time to make toys for all the children in the whole wide world?" asked Sarah.
She knew from stories Mom read that the Earth was really big. Even with an army of elves, Santa couldn't possibly be able to answer every child's wishes...or could he?
"How many elves work for Santa?" Sarah asked.
"Does Mrs. Claus help? What if the reindeer get tired during the night? What if Santa can't find our house?"
Sarah had so many questions that Mom barely had time to answer.
"Shhhhhhhhhhh," Mom said. "Close your eyes, and I'll try to answer your questions."
Sarah finally agreed to put her head on the pillow, and she listened quietly to Mom's story.
"Once upon a time, a curious child named Sarah wanted to visit Santa Claus. She wanted to see how Santa made toys for all the boys and girls," Mom said.
"Well, the North Pole is far away from our home in Whoville, and Sarah and her pals, Indy and Jennah, decided to walk. Through snow and sleet and rain and hail....the three friends walked on and on and on."
"How long did it take?" asked a sleepy Sarah.
"Many, many, days," replied Mom. "And the children were very tired," Mom yawned.
"What they discovered at the end of their journey was a toy factory beyond their wildest dreams," Mom said.
"There was a whole room devoted just to talking dolls."
Sarah smiled at the thought of talking dolls lined up end to end. Then she rolled over in her bed and closed her eyes.
"When Mrs. Claus realized that the visitors were Sarah, Indy and Jennah from Whoville, she gave them a grand tour," Mom said.
"Each and every room in Santa's factory was filled with elves. And every elf had a special job," Mom said. "For instance, one elf is in charge of combing the dolls' hair. Another elf makes sure all the choo-choo trains are in working order. And another elf put stuffing into the stuffed animals."
Sarah had always wondered what life was like at Santa's workshop. And now, in her dreams, she could find out!
Sarah, Indy and Jennah followed Mrs. Claus throughout Santa's special factory ooohing and ahhhing at all the wonderful toys.
The elves were so busy getting ready for Christmas, they could hardly stop and talk to the visitors. But one little elf was happy to take a moment out of his busy routine.
"Come give me a hand," said Eddie the elf.
Sarah followed Eddie's instructions and started counting puzzle pieces and putting them into boxes.
"You wouldn't want some child to be missing a puzzle piece on Christmas Day!" Eddie said. "Each toy must be perfect!"
While Sarah counted puzzle pieces, Indy polished blocks and Jennah filled bouncing balls with air. The whole workshop was buzzing with excitement!
When Sarah completed her stack of puzzles, Eddie led her into another room filled with bicycles.
"You can paint these bikes whatever color you wish," said Eddie. "Just make them bright and shiny so the kids will love them."
Sarah painted all the bicycles, and hoped that she might receive one for her very own.
Mrs. Claus served lunch for the entire workshop. The hungry children ate their chocolate sleighs, gingerbread and two helpings of nanaimo bars.
There was still more work to do after lunch. Indy assembled the wheels on tiny racing cars. Jennah tied strings on marionettes. Sarah wrapped bows around the neck of the teddy bears.
Every room was brimming with busy elves, scurrying around to complete their jobs. There were more rooms, more elves, and more toys than Sarah had ever imagined. Every way she turned, she discovered a new team of elves getting ready for the big night.
"Hurry, everybody!" a voice called out above the noise of the workshop. "Tonight is Christmas Eve, and there's no time to waste!"
Sarah turned around to see a round, rosy-cheeked man dressed in red. Santa Claus smiled broadly, and touched his white beard.
"Rudolph and the rest of the reindeer will be ready by seven o'clock," Santa said. "Let's pack up the toys and move 'em out!"
With that, dozens of elves scurried about. In no time at all, they packed the toys into very large sacks. Santa helped the elves carry the sacks out to the loading dock, ready to be placed onto the sleigh.
Eddie explained that Santa actually crisscrosses the North Pole several times on Christmas Eve, giving the reindeer time to rest, and the elves a chance to refill the sleigh with more toys.
Sarah watched Rudolph and the rest of the reindeer team get into position. Sack after sack of toys were loaded onto the dock, and each was marked with a special label.
"This sack of toys is marked for Whoville!" said Sarah excitedly.
"Yes, Whoville is on my first flight," said Santa Claus.
"But you know, Sarah, I only visit those children who are sleeping."
Sarah hardly wanted to leave this enchanted workshop and all the friendly elves. But it was Christmas Eve, and being home with family and friends was really important to her.
Sarah didn't want to miss out on any toys either!
"How will we ever get home in time for Christmas Eve?" asked a worried Indy.
"It's a very long walk," added Jennah.
"Hop aboard," Santa said. "First stop, Whoville!"
The weight of the three children actually helped balance the load on the sleigh that night. The excited passengers waved their good-byes to Mrs. Claus and the elves as they found themselves flying across a starry sky.
Rudolph was an excellent navigator and, before long, the children caught sight of the the Town Haul Building in Whoville.
"I'm going to drop you off at your homes now, and give you time to go to sleep," Santa said to the children. "I'll stop by later to deliver your presents."
"That is... if you've been good," Santa added with a twinkle in his eye.
The next morning, Sarah woke to the sound of "Mom" singing What Child Is This. Although Sarah was very excited about the day to come, she was so tired she could hardly climb out of bed.
The presents under the tree looked familiar, somehow. Sarah thought she had seen some of the toys before.
Christmas morning was a joyful time at Sarah's house.
"Santa must have been awfully busy this year," Mom said as she eyed the toys under the Christmas tree.
"He had a lot of help," Sarah said and smiled.
Santa's Toy Shop
By Esther Hershenhorn
Cuckoo! Cuckoo! Cuckoo! Cuckoo!
Santa Claus paced in his Santa Claus boots.
"We still have orders to fill and toys to make and toys to wrap, and it's four o'clock on Christmas Eve!" he said.
"Not to worry, Santa," Mrs. Claus said.
"Don't worry, Boss," the elves agreed.
"You leave at eight o'clock," said Ring-a-ling, the head Elf. "There's time enough to handle these four orders."
Ring-a-ling read the letter from Sandi in Acme. "All Sandi wants is Cat And Mouse."
Santa's elf assembly line turned up the speed. "One exciting video game coming right up!"
Of course Santa had to test every toy he delivered. When five cuckoo's sounded, Santa froze at his computer.
"We still have toys to make and it's five o'clock!"
"Not to worry, Santa."
"Don't worry, Boss. This next toy is easy. It's from Maureen in Sylvan Lake. All Maureen wants is Energizer Bunny Hop."
"One fun game coming right up!"
Santa found a seat so he could sit and test the game.
When six cuckoo's cuckooed, Santa bolted from his chair.
"We still have toys to make and now it's six!"
"Not to worry, Santa."
"Don't worry, Boss."
"This next one is a snap. It's from Kate in High River. All Kate wants is Jingle Bells."
"That's one fun CD coming right up!"
"Fun, indeed," said a dancing Santa. He'd taken off his boots, and was singing and dancing along.
Seven cuckoos sounded. Santa stopped in his socks.
"Now I've done it! It's seven o'clock!"
"Only one letter is left, from Capri in Calgary."
Santa read Capri's letter out loud.
"'I like to have adventures, to play games, to sing and dance...'."
"That's easy, Boss..."
"Wait," said Santa. "Capri says the present must be soft for nighttime cuddling!"
Santa's assembly line stopped with a crash.
Santa paced the floor. He thought and thought and thought.
"These new-fangled toys aren't meant for cuddling!" he said.
He looked out the window. "There's snow on my sleigh! The reindeer are ready! Rudolph's nose already glows!"
"Not to worry, Santa. We have what Capri wants," said Ring-a-ling. "We have all the toys that every child wants."
"The ones I made without fancy wires or batteries?" Santa said.
Ring-a-ling handed him a flashlight and led him to the basement.
Santa shone his flashlight on the basement's corner.
"Ahhhh," he sighed, admiring the sign. "SANTA'S FAVORITES."
He saw shelves of baby dolls, blocks and puzzles, coloring books and wind-up toys. Soft, stuffed animals from teddy bears to ducks sat on the tallest shelf.
"The perfect toys for cuddling," Santa said, "in the middle of the night!"
Santa chose the puppy, dressed in Christmas colors. He pressed its nose.
"Jingle Bells! You're one of my favorites," Santa said, "and just what Capri needs for fun and adventures. One cuddly puppy coming right up!"
Soon Santa and his reindeers rode across the nighttime sky. His very first stop? Capri's house.
"Ho! Ho! Ho! Merry Christmas!" Santa called.
Eight cuckoo's cuckooed. He was right on time.
A Very Special Christmas
"Is that BIG present for me?"
Indy stared and smiled at the box. It was wrapped in shiny multicolor gift wrap with gold stars and a fancy gold bow on top. The lowest branches on the Christmas tree were barely high enough to make room for the present. All of the smaller gifts had been opened. Only the biggest, fanciest box remained unwrapped.
"Go ahead, Indy, it's your turn," Mom said. "Open the box."
It was Christmas Eve. Orisha, NT, Pippi and Robbie gathered at Indy's house on Whoview Road for hot chocolate and gift giving. Carol of the Bells played on the radio and a warm, golden fire was making snapping sounds in the hearth.
Indy tore apart the bright multicolor wrapping, pulled off the gold bow and lifted the lid off the big multicolor present.
"What's wrong? Don't you like it?" Mom asked.
"It's soft and cuddly," offered Orisha.
"It has a sweet smile," added NT.
Indy closed her eyes, and tears leaked from under her eyelids. No. She definitely did NOT want a stuffed animal. Especially not a stuffed panda! She opened her watery eyes to take one last look at the gift chosen especially for her.
"I DON'T LIKE IT! I DON'T WANT IT!"
Indy raced into her bedroom and pounced on her bed.
Later, when Mom and Dad tucked her in for the night, Indy's eyes were still red from crying. Indy really DID like Christmas. She liked the tall green tree decorated with popcorn chains and silver tinsel. She liked the smell of Christmas cookies baking in the oven. And she loved to see her family and friends gathered together singing, laughing and enjoying their new presents. But Indy hoped Christmas would mean a new dvd recorder -- not a fat and furry panda with a ribbon around its neck.
That night, Indy's dream took her around the world. Aboard Santa's sleigh the some-year-old helped deliver toys to all the boys and girls. Stars twinkled and snowflakes fell as Indy soared through the night sky...munching on candy canes and singing Carol of the Bells.
When the sleigh finally landed upon Indy's snowy rooftop on Whoview Road, she reached into Santa's bag to choose a present for herself. Santa's sack was filled with toys. Wooden trains and building blocks. Dinosaurs and music boxes. Balls and books and baby dolls. Indy reached way down to the bottom of Santa's sack to something furry. With both hands she lifted out a big, soft panda with a red bow, and eyes that twinkled just like Santa's. Indy wiped snowflakes off of the panda's face and squeezed him tightly.
Suddenly, the sound of Mom's voice roused Indy from her sweet Christmas dreams. Indy kicked back her bedcovers. Where was the panda with fur as soft as clouds and eyes that begged for friendship?
"Good Morning," said Indy's mom.
"Merry Christmas," said Indy's dad.
Indy barely heard their greeting. She raced into the living room, searching for her Christmas toy.
Indy discovered the panda all packed up in its box. Indy tore open the box, smoothed the panda's ribbon, and gave her new stuffed friend a "Merry Christmas" hug.
Mom looked at Dad, and they both looked curiously at Indy. Mom gave Indy a big hug and a kiss on the cheek. Indy gazed lovingly at the panda and brushed a few snowflakes from its furry face.
"Is there SNOW on that panda?" asked Dad. "Have you been outside?"
Indy didn't answer. The Christmas season is filled with special magic. Sometimes moms and dads can't even explain it. Indy carried her panda to the kitchen table where she propped the bear in the chair right next to herself.
"My favorite breakfast!" exclaimed Indy. chocolate chip waffles and vanilla pudding! "You must be hungry," Indy whispered to the panda. She scooped an extra big portion of her breakfast onto her new friend's plate.
"It's been a busy, busy, night."