An earthquake has revealed one of Santa Claus' closely held secrets, but it is fiercely guarded by a ghost .... the ghost of Barrister Thurgood Mistletoe! Legend tells us that centuries ago Barrister Mistletoe brought the biggest case of his life to Father Times' court to fight for Santa Claus, who needed more time on Christmas Eve night to deliver presents to all the children of the world. Father Time had an amazing solution and Santa Claus discovered why MIDNIGHT is truly something special and not just a moment of time on the clock. Father Time's solution leads Santa to one of his greatest Christmas adventures where he is confronted by forces who want to end the holiday of Christmas, and Santa can only be saved by the most unlikely heroes among us!
|Product dimensions:||6.00(w) x 9.00(h) x 0.28(d)|
|Age Range:||4 Years|
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Midnight On Christmas EveA Christmas Legend
By Kevin R. O'Malley
AuthorHouseCopyright © 2011 Kevin R. O'Malley
All right reserved.
Chapter OneSecret Discovered
Regis O'Reilly could not believe his eyes. The stone basement wall had been severely damaged by the earthquake and there hidden behind the wall appeared to be a secret room. As O'Reilly removed the remaining stones and rubble to gain access to the room, he was overcome with excitement. When he purchased the Mistletoe mansion, he dreamed of finding items of historical significance, but in reality thought it unlikely. After the final stone was removed, he illuminated the hidden room with a flashlight. O'Reilly, stood there in disbelief. The shock waves from the earthquake had revealed the secret library of the great and famous Thurgood Mistletoe. The room was filled with antiques, paintings, artifacts, shelves loaded with books, and a beautiful rocking chair placed directly in front of a stone fireplace. The rocking chair had the initials "TM" etched in fancy lettering on the headboard of the chair. For O'Reilly, this was like finding a pot of gold.
As a true historian, Regis O'Reilly meticulously recorded and catalogued every item in Mistletoe's library. He took days to examine and catalogue each manuscript and book in the library. As a matter of ritual, O'Reilly would read the books while sitting in Mistletoe's rocking chair, during which he always felt a strange eerie presence that seemed to surround him. He sensed that someone was there with him, reading over his shoulder; it was a feeling he could never escape.
Then, it was the eve of Christmas, when one particular book grabbed O'Reilly's attention. The book was a collection of Mistletoe's greatest cases, but it was the book's inside cover that caught O'Reilly's curiosity. There, in colored pencil, was a drawing of Santa, Mrs. Claus and Thurgood Mistletoe, a duplicate of a painting hung above the fireplace. The drawing in the book had the initials "TM" inscribed at the bottom. O'Reilly had found an original drawing of Thurgood Mistletoe. Although excited about his discovery, O'Reilly's curiosity was focused on the actual portrait hanging above the fireplace.
"Why would Mistletoe make a drawing of the painting on the inside cover of a book about his greatest cases," wondered O'Reilly. The book made no mention of a case with Santa Claus. O'Reilly decided to inspect the portrait hanging on the wall more closely.
O'Reilly gazed upon the painting which depicted Mistletoe standing between Santa and Mrs. Claus superimposed on the face of an antique clock face. An inscription at the base of the painting read "A Trip Through Time" and the portrait was signed by Sir Thurgood Mistletoe.
O'Reilly moved a crate to stand on and tried to remove the painting but discovered it was attached to the wall by hinges. As O'Reilly pulled the painting from the wall to explore the back of its frame he was startled by a loud deep moan ...
which blew right past him, shook the library walls and slowly disappeared into the heart of the basement.
Regis O'Reilly froze with fear. "Whoa ... that was really strange!" he uttered, feeling puzzled about the strange noise.
He slowly turned and looked around the library, fully expecting the moan had come from a person behind him, but found nothing there. Feeling somewhat relieved, O'Reilly dismissed the eerie sound as howling wind outside the mansion, and returned his attention to the wall behind the painting. There hidden behind the portrait was a safe. The safe had words inscribed on the front ... "Warning Do Not Open."
Well, some folks would not have dared to open the safe, but not O'Reilly. As a historian with overwhelming curiosity, he had to know the safe's contents. The safe required a key, and O'Reilly recalled a large steel ornamental key he found in an old jewelry box while listing the room's inventory. O'Reilly retrieved the key and nervously placed it into the key slot. As he turned the key and opened the small steel door, the most frightful cry came from within the safe ...
O'Reilly froze. "My goodness ... what was that!" he gasped trying to catch his breath, too fearful to turn around. An eerie silence took over the room. Again he slowly turned, not knowing what to expect behind him. As O'Reilly glanced around the room, he felt his heart begin to beat again; there was nothing or no one in the room. He could not dismiss that cry to the wind. Something strange was happening!
Still shook up, O'Reilly returned his attention to the safe. It contained one item, a manuscript. O'Reilly removed the manuscript which was covered with a thick coating of dust. Through the heavy dust, O'Reilly could barely read the cover, but what he could make out read "In Re: Santa Claus vs. Time." Excited, O'Reilly took a deep breath and tried to blow the dust from the cover; however, the dust somehow stuck to the manuscript cover as if it were glued to the surface. O'Reilly tried to brush the dust from the cover with his hand, but as he did, the dust began to gather and cover the title of the manuscript. O'Reilly looked closely at the dust.
"It seems to have a life of its own," he thought.
Determined to remove the dust, O'Reilly took one last deep breath, but before he had a chance to blow, the dust began to lift from the cover on its own. Shocked, O'Reilly dropped the manuscript and backed away.
The cloud of dust filled the room, and then began to spin wildly and concentrate in the center of the library. The dust began to sparkle with energy from within. Mesmerized, O'Reilly could only watch as the dust began to take the form of a face. It was a face O'Reilly recognized. It was the face in the portrait. It was Mistletoe's face five times its normal size. Before O'Reilly could move, the ghost sternly bellowed in a deep loud voice:
"PROTECT THE SECRETS OF SANTA CLAUS!!!"
Wide eyed and terrified, O'Reilly collapsed unconscious into the rocking chair.
Chapter TwoTalking to a Ghost
Regis O'Reilly slowly awoke still sitting in Mistletoe's rocking chair. He had fainted and after coming around thought he must have had a nightmare. However, as he turned to glance around the library, he immediately realized the ghost of Mistletoe was standing right beside him.
"You're sitting in my rocker!" said the agitated ghost.
O'Reilly sprang from the rocker with great haste. The transparent figure dressed in old English barrister garb, settled into his rocking chair and began to rock. "Ahhh ... such a long time it's been," the ghost mumbled.
O'Reilly observed in disbelief, and wondered, "Am I dreaming?" After a long moment, O'Reilly nervously asked "Ar ... Are you Mistletoe?"
"Nay, I am his ghost, sit down!" barked back the ghost. O'Reilly immediately pulled up a chair. They sat there in silence, O'Reilly's knuckles turning white from his grip on the chair. Then, the ghost broke the silence.
"You, my good man, have uncovered one of the great secrets of our time!" declared Mistletoe's ghost. "But you must keep the secret, protect it with all your might, as I have these many centuries."
"Wh ... what great secret have I uncovered?" asked O'Reilly, still shaken by the appearance of the apparition. "Nay, not a word ... not until you agree to keep and protect his secret," demanded the stubborn ghost.
O'Reilly pondered the proposal. "But I am a historian, I just record my findings," protested O'Reilly.
The ghost grew angry. "We almost lost Christmas forever and without our efforts you would have nothing to record!
Surely you, as a Christmas historian, can appreciate that!" argued Mistletoe's ghost.
O'Reilly could not argue with Mistletoe's logic and he had no idea that the very existence of Christmas was once threatened. "How was Christmas almost lost?" asked O'Reilly.
"Do I have your agreement to keep Santa's secret?" Mistletoe's ghost once again demanded. "Trust me, you don't want the likes of me haunting you the rest of your days," warned the ghost.
Mistletoe was right, O'Reilly did not want to be haunted and his curiosity about Santa's secret was overwhelming. "Agreed!" said O'Reilly reluctantly.
"Well then ... done and done," Mistletoe's ghost exclaimed as he sealed the deal. "What you are about to hear is Santa's secret, how he has been empowered to travel around the entire world to deliver joy and happiness, as well as a few presents, to all the good girls and boys, all in one Christmas Eve night! Sit back O'Reilly ...," the ghost advised, ... "It's quite a Christmas adventure," as the ghostly old barrister began to tell the amazing story of Santa's secret with TIME.
Chapter ThreeMistletoe Tells His Story
It was Christmas morning, many, many years ago. Mrs. Claus stood in front of their castle at the North Pole looking out at the rising sun. Santa was still not back from delivering toys on Christmas Eve night. She was deeply concerned. The number of girls and boys in the world had grown so large that it had become almost impossible for Santa to deliver toys to all the children in one night.
As Mrs. Claus stood looking out at the horizon, she was joined by Shaggerhaffin, a fun-loving elf, who was one of Santa's favorite companions. Shaggerhaffin shared Mrs. Claus' concern as well. Santa had once again missed the elf Christmas party, a traditional party held by the elves to celebrate the completion of another successful Christmas season. Typically, the elves would load Santa's sleigh, clean up the toy factory and prepare the feast, then await Santa's return from Christmas Eve. Shaggerhaffin was in charge of the party and was very disappointed that Santa had missed the last five parties because his trip around the world delivering presents had taken all night.
The Christmas party was not the same without Santa sharing the night's adventures with the elves. In the past, they would sit around the fire, drink eggnog and listen to Santa tell of all the dogs he had to dodge or cats he had scared that caused such a commotion he was sure the children would awake. The elves would listen intently, as Santa would tell of his efforts to avoid curious children peeking around corners. Some of the elves favorite tales were of slippery roofs that would cause Santa a few tumbles. The elves would always get a chuckle as Santa would claim that the chimneys were tighter than in the past, but with a wink of his eye, they knew it was a belly full of cookies as the night progressed that made those chimneys tighter.
Yes, it is fair to say that Shaggerhaffin and the elves had good reason to miss Santa at their party, but there was a more important concern ... TIME. Santa did not have enough time on Christmas Eve to deliver presents to all the girls and boys of the world. TIME was truly running out on Christmas Eve! It was a reality that could no longer be ignored. Mrs. Claus knew it more than anyone, and as she stood there with Shaggerhaffin awaiting Santa's return, she knew something had to be done; otherwise Christmas could be lost to children forever.
O'Reilly was astounded as he sat there listening to Mistletoe's ghost. "It never occurred to me." O'Reilly muttered.
"What my lad?" said the ghost.
"How difficult it would be to make it all the way around the world in one night!" O'Reilly said.
"Add to that, delivering all those presents, not an easy job for the jolly old guy, heh?" added the ghost.
"Well what did they do?" asked O'Reilly impatiently.
"Wooooaaa, hold your britches on my good historian, there is a long way to go," said Mistletoe's ghost as he continued the story.
* * *
Mrs. Claus and Shaggerhaffin stood waiting in silence, both equally concerned for Santa. Then in the distant horizon just above the rising sun, they noticed an object that appeared to be moving. As the object came closer it began to take shape, finally they recognized Santa and his team of reindeer.
In came Santa's sleigh led by the powerful reindeer, strangely without a sound other than a very soft jingle from the tiny bells around the mane of their strong necks. The reindeer came to a stop, and hovered just above the freshly fallen snow, then silently touched down right beside Mrs. Claus and the elf. A sight it was to see, these large and powerful reindeer fly, hover and land without a sound. It was easy to see how these wonderful and amazing animals could land on roof tops and never be heard.
As Santa's sleigh landed, Mrs. Claus and Shaggerhaffin saw no sign of Santa. Simon, Santa's most trusted elf, who always assisted him on Christmas Eve, was driving the sleigh.
"Don't worry Mrs. Claus," whispered Simon as he pointed to Santa sleeping in the back of the sleigh with his head comfortably propped up on a pile of present sacks.
"We almost didn't make it!" said Simon.
"What do you mean?" responded Mrs. Claus.
Simon told Mrs. Claus and Shaggerhaffin that the sun was rising during their last stops and how children almost caught Santa delivering their presents.
"Our very last stop was an orphanage. The girls and boys were rushing down the steps to the Christmas tree room, just as Santa was placing the last presents," said Simon.
"Santa tells me not to worry, as he always does, but I know he is worried too. On the way home, as Santa was sleeping, he had a nightmare and talked in his sleep," Simon said as Mrs. Claus and Shaggerhaffin listened closely. "Santa's nightmare, it would seem, was that he did not make it in time to deliver presents to some of the girls and boys," Simon declared.
"A legitimate concern it is," said Shaggerhaffin, 'but why do you believe that to be Santa's nightmare?'
Simon explained, "Well ... as Santa slept in the back of the sleigh, he cried out many times in his sleep, ...
"Oh those poor children, what will they think when they wake to find no toys or presents, I need time, more time!" ... Simon said describing Santa's nightmare.
They all stood there in silence, until Mrs. Claus spoke, "We have to do something!"
Chapter FourMrs. Claus' Plan
Mrs. Claus and the two elves briefly woke Santa, who exclaimed,
"Merry Christmas to all and to all a good night!", then fell back into a deep sleep. The trio carried Santa back to the castle and put him to bed for a long deserved rest.
Meanwhile, Mrs. Claus was on a mission. She baked bread and made soup to eat after Santa's nap, a good healthy follow up to his belly full of cookies. Then Mrs. Claus went right to the elf house to consult with Simon and Shaggerhaffin. The elves were just waking after their Christmas party, except for Snoozy, whose snoring could be heard throughout the large elf home.
The elves all greeted Mrs. Claus and expressed their regret that once again Santa had missed their party. Mrs. Claus assured the elves that it was her mission that Santa would never miss another elf Christmas party. The gloomy elves spirits came alive and they let out a cheer, all except for Snoozy who continued to snore, of course!
Simon made tea with honey and lemon, and joined Mrs. Claus and Shaggerhaffin in the great elf dining room. They sat around the dining table and prepared their tea until Mrs. Claus spoke,
"Good friends, we have a problem that must be solved. The world is getting larger with more people and more presents, but we have only one Christmas Eve night to complete our job," Mrs. Claus said summarizing the problem.
"If we do not act now but leave it as is, Santa's nightmare will come true, and good girls and boys will wake up on Christmas without toys from Santa. My fear is, if this happens, it will slowly destroy us all, and with us the existence of Christmas as we know it. We need a plan to get Santa more time on Christmas Eve night!" a concerned Mrs. Claus said as they huddled around the table to address the problem.
* * *
Regis O'Reilly was in a trance listening closely to each word from Mistletoe's ghost as he told the story. "Well what did they do?" said O'Reilly impatiently.
Excerpted from Midnight On Christmas Eve by Kevin R. O'Malley Copyright © 2011 by Kevin R. O'Malley. Excerpted by permission of AuthorHouse. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.
Table of Contents
Chapter I. Secret Discovered....................1
Chapter II. Talking to a Ghost....................7
Chapter III. Mistletoe Tells His Story....................11
Chapter IV. Mrs. Claus' Plan....................15
Chapter V. Santa's Special Project....................21
Chapter VI. Meeting with Mistletoe....................25
Chapter VII. Morgan's Toy....................29
Chapter VIII. Biggest Case of His Life....................33
Chapter IX. Father Time's Court....................35
Chapter X. The Case for More Time....................39
Chapter XI. Dangerous Decision....................43
Chapter XII. A Place Known As Time-Suspended....................45
Chapter XIII. Abyss of Timelessness....................49
Chapter XIV. Into Thin Air....................53
Chapter XV. Sir Yesterday and Sir Tomorrow....................57
Chapter XVI. Santa's Fall....................61
Chapter XVII. Simon's Run for Help....................65
Chapter XVIII. Scorn....................67
Chapter XIX. Joy of the Toy....................71
Chapter XX. Follow the Light....................77
Chapter XXI. Too Easy ... Not to Try....................79
Chapter XXII. All Time Stop....................85
Chapter XXIII. The Battle for Chistmas....................87
Chapter XXIV. Midnight on Christmas Eve....................91
Chapter XXV. Was It Just a Dream?....................95
Note from Regis O'Reilly....................99
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
This is a clever tale combining elements of Santa's story with which we are familiar with some new twists. The story is written in a way that both adults and kids can enjoy. My two girls, who fancy themselves as writers, thoroughly enjoyed it! I highly recommend it as a new holiday tradition :)
My niece would not allow me to stop reading this story to her...well past her usual bedtime. It puts you in Santa's world like no other Christmas story, and is impossible to put down!
Loved it!! A new Christmas classic!! Gotta read it with the kids!