April 6th, Sweetheart Day, was clear and crisp. It couldn't have been more beautiful.  The stars twinkled brightly.  By midday the bell of truth was chiming the call to gather. The helpers began arriving at the Circle of Forevergreens, where Boog and Holly, and Jackson and Sheeny would be joined.

            Belle, the snow fairy of dreams, would preside over the ritual. She put her bluebell bonnet atop her short blue-gray curls, and glanced in the mirror. She resembled the other fairies except blue and indigo were her colors. "Okay, time to get started."

            The song bearers were singing Let it Snow, but there wasn't any chance of fresh snow. The starlight was glorious, though.

            The Clauses were the last to arrive.  Everyone held hands formed a huge circle within the forevergreens. Holly and Boog, Jackson and Sheeny, and Belle stood in the center.

            "Thank you for coming on this beautiful Sweetheart Day.  It's not every year that we have a Joining, and this year, we have two!" Bluebelle's wings fluttered gently. "So, let us begin by bearing witness to the union of Jackson and Sheeny," Belle blew wuffle dust on them, "and Boog and Holly." Again, she blew dust. "These couples are forever joined." And that was it.

            Everyone cheered, and tossed wuffle dust into the air, wishing for health, fun, and longevity for the couples.

            "Ahem." Santa cleared his throat. He and Mrs. Claus stepped into the center of the circle. "Now for the gifts from our community."

            "For Jackson and Sheeny, a new shop," Mrs. Claus said, smiling.

            "It will be called the Gingerbread House," Santa said.  "Your residence will be in the back of the shop, and with your talents and skills, we all look forward to some wonderful new treats."

            The helpers clapped and cheered.

            Mrs. Claus shushed the crowd.  "Violet will dust the area on Santa Claus Lane, across from the Fix It Shop."

            "Oh, yes ma'am!" Violet's eyes and wings revealed her enthusiasm.

            "And for Holly and Boog --," Santa began.

            "This!" Mrs. Claus showed them a basket.

            “Already?” Boog rubbed his hands together, excited.

            “You both already have businesses, and you will live at the igloo.  Besides, when the right star appears, the time has arrived.”  Mrs. Claus fumbled with the kerchief that hid the basket’s contents.   The cover fell away, revealing the star.

            “Oh, it’s red,” Holly almost shrieked.

            “Yes, and six points,” Santa said, smiling.

            Boog gulped. "Six points?  That’s rare, isn’t it?”

            “Yes, well, we really don’t know what to expect.  All elfin stars have five points.  This is a unique find indeed.” Mrs. Claus touched the star gently.

            “And it’s red,” Holly said, again, awestruck.

            The helpers moved in closer, so that they could see.

            "It's red, alright," Ticky said.  "What does that mean?"

            “The color is quite unusual.”  Mrs. Claus handed the basket to Holly.  “Well, it’s up to you two, now.

            “How long?” Boog wanted to know.

            “Just long enough,” Santa said, taking Mrs. Claus' hand. They offered best wishes and said their goodbyes.

            The helpers followed the newly joined couples to Polar Park, where they continued the festivities of Sweetheart Day.

            Pole Kat was doing his best to get a sweetheart for himself.  "You growed up purrty," he said, winking at Ginger.

            "Purty big," Jimbo said, laughing.

            "Big and bootiful," Kat said.

            Ginger purred. 

            "You be my gal." Kat put his arm around her.

            Ginger snapped her head around and hissed.

            Pole Kat took off on all fours.  Above all, he was a scaredy cat.  He skidded to the other side of the skating pond and yelled.  "Oooooo weeee! Wadda woman!"

            Pole Kat continued to flirt while the other helpers toasted the new couples with Sparkling Dust champagne. Clouderpuffs, the traditional sweetheart snack, were provided by Tubbs.

            After the toast, Dulcie stepped forward. "We have one more surprise." She nodded at North Pole Phil, who led the orchestra in a catchy Spanish tune. Phil, himself, played the castinets.

            "Bump and jump, jump and bump. If you act like a lump, I'll take you to a dump." Dulcie rhymed as she led the pink birds in a classy little dance.

            "Flamingo dancers!" Sheeny shrieked and clapped her hands.

            The birds danced circles around the new couples, to everyone's delight.

            Boog shouted, "Dulcie, you've done a great job with the birds."

            "They're really sweet, but they have big feet." Dulcie spun around for the big finish, and the birds followed suit.

            The crowd applauded and cheered, and the flamingo dancers took a bow.

            At last, the newly joined couples left, but the snow fairies kept the celebration lively.  The songbearers sang into the night, the Philharmonica Band played, and the helpers passed the hours ice dancing.


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