Grandpa and Santa
Grandpa had a secret.
Little Jimmy learned what it was on late Christmas Eve as he sat with grandpa watching the tree lights twinkling.
“I can’t wait for Santa to arrive.”
“Me too,” Jimmy said. Then he looked at grandpa. “Why are you waiting for Santa?”
Grandpa gave him a big hug. “I’m going to tell you a secret. Do you promise to keep it?”
“Of course, Grandpa. We’re best friends.”
“Well,” he whispered, “I’ve seen Santa Claus every Christmas Eve for the last 80 years. I caught him leaving presents under the tree, and he said if I promised not to tell anyone he would grant me special wishes. For years I wished for toys. Then I wished to get into a good college. Then I wished I would make enough money to give my children everything they ever wanted.” He paused to wink at Jimmy. “Sometimes you wish you didn’t get everything you want.”
“What do you mean, Grandpa?”
“Well, I don’t know if you’ve ever noticed, but your daddy and your two aunts are awfully spoiled.”
Jimmy smiled. “Yeah, but I didn’t want to say anything.”
Suddenly there was a blast of cold wind and a soft “ho, ho, ho.”
“Well, James I see you have your grandson with you,” Santa said.
“Promise, Santa, I won’t tell,” Jimmy said.
“So, James, what’s your wish this year?”
”I don’t have a wish, except that Jimmy start having his wishes now.”
“He’s a good boy,” Santa said. “I think he can handle it. So, Jimmy, what do you wish for?”
“I just want grandpa to be happy.”
The next morning everyone gathered around the Christmas tree–grandpa, Jimmy, his parents and his two aunts. Jimmy opened each present and hugged and kissed his parents and aunts.
“Dad,” Jimmy’s father said, “you didn’t give Jimmy anything.”
“Yes he did,” Jimmy said spontaneously. “He introduced me to Santa Claus.”
“Introduce you to Santa Claus?” one of his aunts said with shrieking laughter.
Jimmy looked at his grandpa with terror. He had let the secret out. Grandpa nodded, smiled and told his family that he had visited with Santa for the past 80 years. Jimmy’s father scolded him for telling such silly tales to confuse the boy. The two aunts, almost simultaneously, accused grandpa of dementia, to which Jimmy’s father announced that if that were the case then grandpa had to be committed and all his funds taken into a guardianship handled by his three children.
“Oh, yes,” the other aunt added with an evil giggle, “I could take care of Daddy’s money very well.”
Tears filled Jimmy’s eyes as he sat in the judge’s chambers a month later with grandpa, his parents and two aunts. The judge sat at his desk and peered over his glasses at the stack of paperwork in front of him.
“I’m so sorry, Grandpa,” he whispered.
Just then there was a cold blast of air entered the chamber as Santa Claus appeared to Jimmy and grandpa. Everyone else was frozen.
“I wished for grandpa to be happy,” Jimmy said with a pout.
“But you were the one who told,” Santa reminded him.
“Is it too late for me to have a wish?” grandpa asked.
“No, I guess not,” Santa replied.
“I just wish this hadn’t happened.”
With another blast of air, Santa was gone, and the judge looked up from his papers.
“I’m sorry. What were we saying?”
“I was saying,” Jimmy’s father said, “my sisters and I have discussed it, and we think our father has given us more than we deserved throughout our lifetimes. We want our father’s will be changed so that everything will be left to his only grandchild, Jimmy.”
“Oh, I think that can be arranged,” the judge said.
“But Grandpa,” Jimmy said.
“Shh.” Grandpa put his finger to his lips. “It’s a secret.”