Holly Hill was a place for Christmas! Holly Hill, the old rambling Stratford homestead in Virginia, on its high hill, looking down the long slope and across the wide fields to the far woods rimming the sky. From Bob, the veteran, within a month of his teens, down to brown-eyed Evelyn, with her golden hair floating all around her, when Christmas came everyone hung up a stocking, and the visit of Santa Claus was the event of the year.
Try as they might, the Daemons of the Caves could not tempt old Santa Claus in any way. Quite the contrary, his cheery laughter disconcerted the evil ones and showed to them the folly of their undertaking. It's well known that no harm can come to Santa Claus while he is in the Laughing Valley, for the fairies, and ryls, and knooks all protect him. But on Christmas Eve he drives his reindeer out into the big world, carrying a sleighload of toys and pretty gifts to the children. Christmas Eve is the one time when his enemies have a chance to injure him. So the Daemons made their plans and awaited the arrival of Christmas Eve. Santa bridled his reindeer to the sleigh, and took to the air -- when suddenly a strange thing happened: a rope shot through the moonlight and a big noose that was in the end of it settled over the arms and body of Santa Claus and drew tight. Before he could resist or even cry out he was jerked from the seat of the sleigh and tumbled head foremost into a snowbank, while the reindeer rushed onward with the load of toys and carried it quickly out of sight and sound. Such a surprising experience confused old Santa for a moment, and when he had collected his senses he found that the wicked Daemons had pulled him from the snowdrift and bound him tightly with many coils of the stout rope. And then they carried the kidnapped Santa Claus away to their mountain, where they thrust the prisoner into a secret cave and chained him to the rocky wall so that he could not escape.
Just who is Santa Claus? Join Joe as he discovers his life isn't as useless and empty as he thought it had become. When Charlie, the little girl with the big heart, teams up with him, they discover the true magic of Christmas. A peek inside: "Part of what I got, when I became a 'Nicholas," is the ability to be with certain people. What they know about a child, we know. In turn, their ability to relate to children, is magnified, so they can help them. We can't reach every child who needs it, because there are not nearly enough who can do the work. We can't tell you how you'll know, but you will know when a certain child needs extra 'attention.' When you touch them to let them on your lap or say hello, they'll feel the unconditional love that is the Spirit of Christmas."
After spending 20 years in a Santa Suit delivering Christmas joy, author John Mangiapane has written a memoir of his best - and sometimes least-successful deliveries. Written for adults who understand that a good illusion is worth it's weight in gold.
Meredith Nicholson (1866-1947) was an American author, diplomat, and lecturer. He worked from 1885-1897 for the Indianapolis News. His first novel was Short Flights (1891) and his last was The Cavalier of Tennessee in 1928, which included both prose and poetry. He was a member of the Democratic party, serving one term (1928-1930) as a reform city councilman in Indianapolis. For his long years of service and dedication to the Democratic party, Nicholson was rewarded with ministries to Latin America-Paraguay (1933-34), Venezuela (1935-1938) and Nicaragua (1938-1941).
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