‘No kids, no Christmas’ committee concludes
“Two meetings in two weeks!” grumped Holger Danske as a northwest gale blew him into the town hall for another emergency meeting of the Homeland Security Committee.
“Doesn’t anybody have television?”
The other 13 town electors had already gathered and were huddled in the sunny southeast corner of the converted Bohemian Lodge hall.
“Christmas just snuck up on us,” Chairperson Ork Dorken explained. “We haven’t done a thing about a community Christmas for the kids.”
“What kids?” barked Old Sievert. “The last kid left town 20 years ago.”
“Well, there’s Little Jimmy” Chief Alert Officer Garvey Erfald started but Hank Dvorchak cut him off.
“Little Jimmy!” he exclaimed. “He’s taking online medical classes from Chadron State. He’s no kid.”
“Where did all the kids go?” asked Orville Jordan, the retired depot agent who stayed even though the railroad left.
“They couldn’t handle civilized living,” snipped Holger Danske. “They had to run off to those colleges and get smart for big jobs in some urban jungle.” He was still mad because his two kids were in Seattle working for Microsoft when they could have taken good track jobs on the Red River Valley Railroad for $13 an hour.
“This is terrible,” mourned Einar Torvald. “No kids means no Christmas programs with kids singing, no candy bags, no popcorn balls”
“Skip the popcorn balls,” suggested Old Sievert. “None of us have the teeth for ’em anyways.”
“We ought to do something,” Ork said emphatically. “It’s traditional to make Christmas a big thing for kids, especially having a Santa Claus.”
Ork let out a hoot. “Sievert was the last Santa Claus we had. The suit was so tight he ripped the pants and had to throw the candy bags to the kids through the front window.”
“Why don’t we draw names and exchange presents like we did in school?” proposed Madeleine Morgan, a warm-hearted soul who escaped from Montana. As head of the town’s welcome wagon program, she was the most community-minded person present.
“And where would we exchange these presents?” Old Sievert asked.
“Well, we could have a community party right here in the hall, sing some Christmas songs, share some fruitcake” Madeleine suggested nostalgically.
“Fruitcake! Fruitcake! We’re all fruitcakes!” exclaimed Holger, pulling the earflaps on his cap down over his ears as he rose to his feet. “We can’t have Christmas without kids.” He looked around the room at the aging faces. “And that won’t change unless we can do the Abraham and Sarah bit.”
The electors figured Holger was right. Sullenly, they pulled up coat collars, donned mittens and trooped out into the empty street. Christmases were better when there were kids and nobody ever heard of Black Friday.
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