Rinks Rotterdam hurried to get a special place at Mrs. Claus knee for a Christmas story. It was a tradition that when Santa went off for his annual run around the globe that the Elf's were read a special story by Mrs. Claus. Rinks was thinking this moment was never going to come. He was one of the youngest elves and this was his first year on the front lines and he was tired. Really tired! He couldn't imagine how some of the elves were able to remain so calm because there was so much to do to get Santa on his way. Sometimes Rinks felt like he was just running in circles.
He looked around the room just checking to see if any of the other elves looked as tired as he felt. Up in front of the room was Glaspar, he was the head elf. In spite of all his duties he looked alert, and in charge. Standing just behind Mrs. Claus shoulder so he could respond to her every desire, he was keeping an eye on all the elves as well. Even though Glaspar was always ready, he was definitely more relaxed than he had been for 364 days. He was in charge of everything while each of the others only had one job they were responsible for. Domo made sure all of the board games were in perfect condition and had all their parts accounted for. Razzle put litter, tags and ribbon on all the outgoing packages, and then Peppermint Penny was in charge of making sure that everyone had egg nog, cocoa, and Christmas cookies for their breaks.
But now it's all over. Santa is gone with all the toys for the good little girls and boys. Rinks punched his pillow to get it comfy, and leans just slightly on Mrs. Claus knee. What story will it be this year?
Will the elves play a starring role, or will it be about the reindeer. Why should it be? Why should it be? The reindeers take it easy all year just eating, and getting fat. Oh yah, they practice a few take-off's and landing, but do they deserve ALL the stories written about them? Rinks didn't think so.
Rinks thoughts were interrupted because Glaspar was helping Mrs. Claus with the biggest book he had ever seen. It's huge! "This is going to be a great story", Rinks thought. He wasn't the only one antsy with anticipation; all the elves were squirming trying to see pictures,
"And it came to pass in those days, that there went out a decree from Caesar Augustus, that all the world should be taxed. And all went to be taxed, every one into his own city. And Joseph also went up from Galilee, out of the city of Nazareth into Judaea, unto the city of David, which is called Bethlehem to be taxed with Mary, his espoused wife, being great with child. And so it was that, while they were the there, the days were accomplished that she should be delivered. And she brought forth her firstborn son, and wrapped him in swaddling clothes, and laid him a manger; because there was no room for them in the inn."
Mrs. Claus said the words so soft and yet they were clearly heard by Rinks and all the other elves. They knew this story they were hearing on this Christmas night was the most important story of all. They all leaned in just a little closer so they could hear about this little baby and not miss one little word.
Rinks noticed a little tear in Mrs. Clause eye and rolling down her cheek. Glaspar handed her a tissue as he wiped his own eye with his sleeve. Mrs. Claus sniffed and continued with the story.
"and there were in the same country shepherds abiding in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night, And, lo, the angel of the Lord came upon them, and the glory of the Lord shone round about them; and they were sore afraid. And the angel said unto them, 'Fear not: for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all the people'.
For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord. And this shall be a sign unto you; Ye shall find the babe wrapped in swaddling clothes lying in a manger. And suddenly there was with the angels a multitude of the heavnly hosts praising God, and saying, 'Glory to God in the highest, andon earth peace, good will toward men'."
Rinks was sitting high on his pillow now. His little elf ears were perked up and he wanted to sing with joy, just like the angels. He poked at Domo next to him and said "The angels came, the angels came!" Domo put one finger up to his mouth and said, "Shhhhh". He didn't want to miss any of this story.
"And it came to pass, as the angels were gone away from them into heaven, the shepherds said one to another. Let us now go even unto Bethlehem, and see this thing which is come to pass, which the Lord hath made known unto us. Ad they came with haste, and found Mary, and Joseph, and the babe lying in a manger. And when they had seen it, they made known abroad which was told them concerning this child."
Rinks thought: "Of course they are going to tell everyone, the Shepherds just saw the baby Jesus. Everyone needs to know! I wish I was a shepherd. I wish I saw Baby Jesus and Mary, and Joseph, I would tell everyone!"
Mrs. Clause continued with the amazing story, but Rinks wasn't really listening any more. Rinks wasn't even there at Mrs. Claus' knee with all the other elves; Rinks was in a land far away, in a time far away. His little pointed Elf ears were tucked under his shepherds turban, and he was hinging on tightly to his shepherds crook with his little elfin hands. It was dark, but one star shone brightly over the fields where he was watching his sheep.
It was special, Rinks knew it was special. Tripping over his cloak with his turned up elf shoes he made his way with the other shepherds to the little stable behid the inn. The star stopped and the light filled the little manger, and there on the hay was a beautiful little baby boy. He had a smile brighter than any child, and his eyes, his eyes seemed so old, so wise. They looked right through Rink's own eyes, into his heart. Rinks felt the love from this little baboy go all through him. He had never felt such joy. He knew who this baby was, and Rinks knew how important this little boy was to the world. He had to tell the world,
He HAD to tell the world.
As Rinks ran away from the little manger scene with the little baby tucked in the hay, he tripped from his robe, and dropped his little shepherd crook and he found himself once again at the knee of Mrs. Clause as she finished her story.
"And all they that heard it wondered at those things which were told them by the shepherds. But Mary kept all these things, and pondered them in her heart, and the shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all the things that they had heard and seen, as it was told unto them".
Rinks thought about his trip far, far away on Judea's plains, about the love he felt, and about the story he had to share.
When Santa returned Rinks was the first one at his sleigh because he had so much to tell Santa. He wanted to tell him that he also went on a long trip that night. Santa was touched by the story Rinks told him, and about the love Rinks felt from the little Christ child.
The next day it was back to work as usual. Everyone had to get busy for next years Christmas. Rinks loved working for Santa and Mrs. Claus. He felt true joy in his work with the other elves. Even though the toys they made were great, the sweets they ate were tasty, and the stories of Santa and the reindeer were fun, Rinks knew that he had heard, and lived on Christmas Eve, the most important story ever told. He also knew he felt the most pure love that could ever be felt. Rinks, "the youngest elf", didn't say "Merry Christmas to all and to all a good night", Rinks, 'the shepherd boy", said "Glory to God in the highest and on earth Peace, Good Will to men."