- Chimney Smoke and Tree Tops by Loren .
This work has reached the exceptional level
Never, ever, give up on your heart's desires
Chimney Smoke and Tree Tops by Loren .
Christmas Story contest entry
Artwork by VMarguarite at

Once upon a time, just before Christmas and during a terrible snow storm, Mrs. Thompson, a grandmother, was shopping in a toy store for a special gift for her granddaughter, Sarah.
Looking around, she spotted a porcelain doll dressed in a knee-length red-velvet dress with white-lace trim, black-patent shoes, and white stockings.

"The doll's name is Rebecca," said the friendly shopkeeper.

"She looks just like Sarah, my six-year-old granddaughter," Mrs. Thompson told the owner, "dark, curly-hair, and beautiful blue-eyes. Sarah is having an operation the day after Christmas and this will be just the thing to cheer her up. Can you mail the doll to the hospital?"

The clerk nodded. Then Mrs. Thompson telephoned her granddaughter, telling her to expect the lovely doll.

The doll was mailed right away but, because of the wet, wintry storm, the writing on the package was smudged and the doll was delivered by mistake to the North Pole where it was placed in the mailbox of a loving couple named Mr. and Mrs. Santa Claus.

Waiting in the package, Rebecca was unaware she had been delivered to the wrong address and was expecting Sarah to open her box at any moment.

"I know we'll be the best of friends," she whispered to herself. "I want so much to be with her for her operation."

Suddenly she felt the box being lifted and carried to a warm room, then opened. But she was surprised not to see Sarah, but instead a jolly-looking man with white whiskers looking down at her.

"Ho, ho, ho," the man said to a woman dressed in a red dress and white apron standing next to him.

"What a lovely doll," the woman exclaimed, as she took Rebecca from the box and placed her on the table.

"Don't be frightened, dear," the whiskered man told her. "I'm Santa and this is my wife, Mrs. Claus. What's your name?"

Rebecca told them her name and explained her story; and how she needed to find Sarah waiting at the hospital.

"I'm sorry, Rebecca," Santa said, "but look out the window. The snow's so high and the storm's so bad we won't have mail until after Christmas."

"But she's depending on me to help her though her operation." Rebecca explained. "If you're truly Santa, why don't you hook up your sleigh and take me to her?"

"I can make only one trip a year," Santa explained. "And I have all the children in the world I must look after." Noticing tears welling in Rebecca's eyes, he put a finger to the side of his nose. "But there might be a way. Mother," he called to his wife, "bring me the Wish Book."

Mrs. Claus brought the book, which he opened, telling Rebecca that it contained the wish of every child in the world. "Next to every name is the one wish each child wishes for more than anything else," he said. "If we find your name next to Sarah Thomas, then quick as you can say Chimney Smoke and Tree Tops, you'll be in my sleigh and swished off to her on Christmas Eve. Plenty of time to be with her for her operation."

Pleased about what she heard; Rebecca watched Santa's finger run down to the bottom of the page to find Sarah's greatest wish.

"A pair of pink-satin ballet slippers?" Rebecca asked, startled. "But that just can't be! Her grandmother called and told her I was coming. I know she wants me more than a pair of slippers." A tear ran down her cheek.

Mrs. Claus wiped the tear with her apron. "There's nothing we can do but wait," she said, hugging her. "We'll check the book every day to see if the wish ever changes."

"Meanwhile," Santa said, "why don't you help the elves and me by getting the toys ready for Christmas? There is a lot to be done. You dress so beautifully and have a pretty voice. You can teach the other dolls how to dress and speak.
Rebecca agreed to Santa's plan. She was sad, but didn't let it show. She did her best to teach the other dolls how to dress and speak. She made many new friends. Every day they went with her to check Wish Book with Santa. But it was always the same wish next to Sarah's name: A pair of pink-satin ballet slippers.

"Don't be unhappy," Santa told her. "You can stay with us. You're doing a wonderful job. Everyone loves you."

Rebecca smiled. Helping all the other toys did make her feel good about herself and staying with Santa and her new friends would be fun. However, she couldn't help but wonder about Sarah.

Christmas Eve finally arrived, it was full of wonder and beauty; and, as midnight drew near, each toys listened excitedly for their names to be called.

Rebecca stood beside Mrs. Claus under the twinkling stars as she read from the Wish Book. An elf placed a check mark beside each child's name as Mrs. Claus called out the gift they wanted most as it was loaded into the sleigh. When it came to Sarah's name at the bottom of the page, everyone grew silent.

Mrs. Claus read the wish. "Sarah Thompson," she said, "a pair of pink-satin ballet slippers."
Rebecca burst into sobs and ran back into the shop, closing the door.

An elf ran behind her. "Rebecca,' he called. "I'm so sorry. But you can stay here. We all love you."

"Thank-you." She wept. "But Sarah needs me. Or, at least I thought she did. I just don't understand."

Suddenly there was a great cheering from outside. Rebecca looked out the window to see Mrs. Claus running toward them.

"Rebecca," she cried. "Rebecca, come quickly. It's so exciting. There are two Sarah Thompson's in the world! One was at the bottom of the page, and we never thought to look for two, but when we turned to the next page, we found the other Sarah. And her wish is for a porcelain doll named Rebecca. That's you, Rebecca! Now hurry! Hurry!"

"Sarah wanted me all along," Rebecca cried, running to the sleigh while everyone shouted happily.

"Come along," Santa told her. "We must hurry, and before you can say Chimney Smoke and Tree Tops you'll be in the hospital with Sarah."

In a twinkling, Rebecca found herself in the hospital snuggled beside a sleeping Sarah.

"Everything's going to be okay," she whispered into Sarah's ear. "I promise. You see, I made a wish, too and it's in Santa's Wish Book, next to my name and quicker than you can say Chimney Smoke and Tree Tops you'll be all better and we'll be the best of friends, forever."

Author Notes
To my readers, I know treetops is actually one word, but for this story and personal reasons, I have made it two. Thank you for reading and indeed a most magical chimney smoke and tree tops Christmas to everyone!


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