Her dad looked at her, eyebrows raised, caught off guard by this sudden challenge. “Well,” he said slowly, drawing out his response. “Leah, you know that Santa really represents the spirit of the season, right?”
Leah rolled her eyes. “Yes, Dad, I know,” she said. “But Andy is just 4, and he doesn’t think Santa is a spirit. He thinks he comes down the chimney and fills up our stockings.” She thought for a minute. “I like that he thinks that.”
Her dad smiled and put an arm around her shoulders. “And I like that you like that,” he said, kissing her on top of the head. “I think I can help. Tell you what—on Christmas Eve, I’ll climb up on the roof and stomp around, after you guys are supposed to be in bed.”
Leah smiled. “Okay, Dad. It might take more than that though…” Leah thought for a minute. “Do you think you could get a reindeer up there?”
Her dad laughed. “Honey, if you want reindeer on the roof, you’re going to have to wait up for the real Santa to land,” he said, still chuckling. “But I’ll do what I can. I’m sure you’ll figure it out.”
Later that night, Leah sat up in her room, thinking. She knew that Andy would be easy to convince. He wanted to believe in Santa, after all. To him, Christmas was magic. Ryan, though, was starting to notice things, like how the same wrapping paper was used as last year. He might have even seen it when they were getting out the decorations! Leah didn’t think she could dress up as Santa and be very convincing to anyone, and she knew her dad wouldn’t let her get up on the roof, no matter how much she begged.
And then, it hit her. Her parents bought presents for all of them, and they even put their names on most of the gift tags. But there were always a couple of presents for each child from Santa. Always two, and always the two things they had asked for the most often. They all knew to expect two presents on Christmas morning. But what if there were three this year?
Christmas was only two weeks away. Her parents were done shopping. They had already sent their list to the North Pole. But what if there was something they hadn’t asked for on that list, something they wouldn’t be expecting on Christmas morning? Something that couldn’t have come from a letter being intercepted by their parents?
The next morning, Leah laid it out for her brothers. “Here’s what you have to do. Write down something you want, something you didn’t put on your other list.”
Ryan sighed. “We already did that, Leah!”
“But this time, we aren’t going to give it to Mom and Dad. This time, we’ll put it in our stockings. Santa is magic, right? So he’ll be able to get the present right away!”
Andy grinned and nodded his head. He was always up for extra presents! Ryan shrugged. “Okay, sure,” he allowed. “But no peeking!”
Leah smiled. “Of course not,” she agreed sweetly. “But remember, you have to be good until Christmas too! We have to earn that extra present!”
Make sure to come back next week for the 3rd installment of Secret Santa.